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New Icons for VS2012?

Nov 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM
Edited Nov 27, 2012 at 3:08 AM

I put this question to the community.

As we work on the new version of VSPAT for VS2012, it begs the question of whether to provide new icons and bitmaps for the various menus, buttons, images and so forth, to fit the simpified 'grey scale' look and feel of VS2012. Things like:

  • The icon and image for the various extensions of VSPAT, seen in the Extension Manager window.
  • Icons for the 'Pattern Toolkit' project templates, seen in the 'Add New Project' dialog of VS.
  • The icon for the Solution Builder tool window seen in the 'View' menu of VS.
  • The default icons for a toolkit, collection, element nodes in the solution builder window.
  • The icons we use for a Pattern Toolkit project, as seen in the Solution Builder window (when you are creating a toolkit)
  • The icons and images used in GUI on the pattern model.

Regardless of what color scheme you choose to use in VS2012, the icons in VS2012 use only a very limited pallette of colors (mostly black, dark greys, with blue, green, yellow and red accents for various meanings). Whereas the color pallette in VS2010 was far more 'colorful' shall we say.

All the dialog boxes are already conforming to the new color scheme in VS2012, all that is left to do is to address the icons.

I am not judging the new color scheme in VS2012 in any way. The question to me is rather - whether to embrace it fully or not. Of course, the right thing to do to remain professional and well integrated is to ship a new set of icons, so that VSPAT UI elements blend in with the rest of the GUI - be a good VS2012 citizen.

But this will take a lot of time and work to design new icons - delaying the release.

I can tell you from looking at the old VS2010 colors in VS2012 right now - really stands out above all other UI elements in VS. That's nice, because it brings attention to our UI over the other UI, but it is also shouting where we perhaps dont need to.

Have a look at this page for the actual screenies

So, what is your opinion? Shine out?, or blend in?

Nov 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Blend in, eventually. Dont delay release because of that.

Also, do we want it to look grayscale in the colorful vs2010 too?

Cause that looks alien too (i.e. Look at the nuget package manager icon in vs2010 now... )

Nov 27, 2012 at 6:59 PM

If we go greyscale in VS2012, we would still remain colorful in VS2010.

Nov 30, 2012 at 9:22 AM

I think it is feasible at this point to go greyscale for just the following glyphs:

  • The icons for VSIX, and preview images (as seen in Extension Manager window)
  • The icons for the Solution Builder command bar and default menu (Properties), toolwindow. (as seen in the Solution Builder window)
  • The icon for the Solution Builder window (as seen in the View menu)
  • Project Templates for 'Pattern Toolkit' and 'Pattern Toolkit Automation Library' project templates. (as seen in the Add New Dialog)

The remaining glyphs, which are primarily visualized within the solution builder window, in the pattern model designer DSL, and Add new Solution Element dialog can probably wait for a future revision.

I think this is manageable and doable for this release, without holding up the release.

Dec 2, 2012 at 9:21 PM

This itemized work has been completed in the current sprint.