It's been a little over two months since Redmond released its Visual Studio 11 beta, and now the company has cooked up a release candidate that has an adjusted user interface, gleaned from user feedback.
In my time using the VS11 beta, the UI hasn't really got in my way, but the user base wanted "more visual 'energy' and contrast". And, so, Microsoft has delivered.
Visual Studio 11's beta look. (Credit: Microsoft)
Visual Studio 11 RC's new look.
I like the lighter grey tint of the interface, and the return of colour to icons should help recognition — good job on those efforts.
Then, there's that all-caps issue of the menus. It's really baffling, considering that the choice was made to remove the caps from tool window titles, auto-hidden tabs, and tab group members. Having an interface that is less shout-y can only be a good thing.
Updated look for tabs.
So why would Microsoft throw out decades of UI practices, to re-create this?
Can I pass on this aspect of the new look?
I'm stumped. Hopefully, developers will give enough feedback to Microsoft on this issue to have them restore the standard menu style. Of course, I could use the RC and learn to love it. We will see, over the coming days.
How distasteful is all-caps regarded, as a usability choice?
This very week, workers from Melbourne's Metropolitan Fire Brigade conducted a number of work protests, one aspect of which was to use their computers with Caps Lock on.
If a group of people is using your new UI feature as a form of protest, I would recommend that you quickly reconsider that choice.
I look forward to your all-caps comments below.
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets — he claims he once read an entire one.