Based on feedback from Visual Studio 11 beta users, Microsoft is tweaking the user interface for the upcoming release candidate of VS11.
Microsoft announced that it will
provide updates to the user interface in the upcoming release candidate of
Visual Studio 11.
The upgrades include new
applications of color to the development environment that many beta users
complained was too dark and depressing, among other things. Microsoft released
the beta of Visual Studio 11
In a May 8 blog post
, Monty Hammontree, director of user
experience for Microsoft Developer Tools Division, said:
For beta there has been a lot of
feedback on the overall grayness of the experience. We heard your call for
greater vitality in the user experience and have taken steps to both lighten
and brighten the experience through the use of bolder theme accents and lighter
There are three main aspects of the
design where we have increased the energy level of the Visual Studio 11
themes. The first is to lighten the grays used in the Visual Studio 11 light
theme and window chrome to improve both the energy level and readability of the
Hammontree said based on the
feedback from the beta Microsoft set out to focus on three main themes:
- An overall desire for more visual energy and contrast
- Calls for a more balanced application of Metro styling
- A desire for greater icon clarity and differentiation
through the use of color
Meanwhile, in a separate post
, Jason Zander, Microsofts Visual Studio
vice president, said, After announcing the Visual Studio 11 Beta developer
experience, we received considerable feedback on the UI. I want to thank you
for all the comments you provided on this topic, and for taking the time to
evaluate the beta release. At this point in the product cycle, weve been reviewing
all of the beta feedback, and working on product updates for RC. Today were
excited to share what these updates will look like for the UI.
Microsoft also colorized the Status
Bar to show IDE state changes such as when the IDE is in debug mode, Hammontree
said. Limiting the use of all caps in certain areas was also a focus.
The feedback relating to the fit of
Metro style elements in the new experience has fallen into three main buckets,
Hammontree said. The use of all caps for tool window titling is an area where
weve heard your concerns. In line with our overall design principles for the
release weve made lightweight changes that give structure and emphasis to
screen areas like tool window title bars, auto-hidden tabs, tab groups, and
separators that doesnt require uppercasing the titles.
Microsoft has removed all caps for
tool window titles, auto-hidden tabs and tab group members, he added.
Moreover, From Visual Studio 11
Beta we heard a lot of concern about the removal of color from icons negatively
affecting product usability, specifically where color icons helped quickly
distinguish between similar items, Hammontree said. We have addressed this
concern by systematically adding color back to select commands, IntelliSense,
and Solution hierarchy icons.
Microsoft did not provide a time
frame for when the release candidate of VS11 will be available. However,
Hammontree said the company is looking forward to hearing what developers think
of the UI changes in the RC.