Reflecting your feedback in Visual Studio 2019

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Jamie

Anthony Cangialosi

Anthony

We started sharing Visual Studio 2019 Previews with the goal to deliver the best possible experience through a more open dialog.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen lots of thoughtful and passionate discussion throughout the community, on the blog, in Developer Community, and a bunch of social media sites. Through these previews, we were able to share some of the UI changes in this release.

We want to say thank you for sharing this feedback. Everyone working on the team has read through all the comments and we’ve done our best to respond to the different themes discussed in the threads.

Hopefully, by now you’ve had a chance to try the Visual Studio 2019 Preview. If not, we encourage you to try out some of the new experiences. There were a few popular themes in the feedback that we wanted to acknowledge and talk a bit about the changes we’ve already made based on your feedback.

Combining the title and menu bar

With the combined menu and title bar, we took an opportunity to give back valuable vertical space and update the layout of the upper shell controls. This also makes the new more accurate VS Search more discoverable and accessible. While we strived to do this without impacting your workflow many users highlighted the title bar was home to several information elements including solution name, administrator mode, experimental instance tag, and the preview badge the were important for navigating between multiple instances of Visual Studio running at the same time.

When we first combined the title and menu bar, we were careful not to remove the solution name from the app title that appears when you ALT+TAB or hover over the app icon in the start menu. We found in controlled studies testing these were the most commonly used elements for establishing context across instances of Visual Studio. As we started to test the changes internally though, feedback surfaced that users still found the missing solution name jarring so we started working on some potential solutions.

We heard another piece of feedback from the community that we’d heard in our studies; users often need more context than just the solution name. Having seen this feedback before in some of our studies we experimented in Preview 1 & 2 with a new home for solution name in the status bar next to the existing branch switcher. While this design had the benefit of bringing solution and repo information closer together it wasn’t very discoverable and didn’t work well with cascaded windows. Preview 3 now brings back the solution name into the combined title & menu bar and updates surrounding controls to reserve space for the name.

The Preview 3 title bar with the solution name as well as instance and preview tags

The title bar included other information in addition to the solution name. We took steps to preserve the other contexts that were previously available in the title bar including Administrator mode, experimental instance, and preview channel by displaying them in a badge under the window state controls. The “Send feedback” and “Live Share” controls are available on the toolbar row while the notification icon has a new home in the bottom right of the shell to better align with common notification patterns.

Blue theme changes

Another goal for Visual Studio 2019 was to make it easy to tell the difference when you have different versions of the IDE open, be that 2012, 2017 or 2019. We refreshed the blue theme, which we’d not touched since 2012, to indicate this step into the future.

What we found through the feedback is that some functional elements from the original Blue theme were lost with the first iteration of the theme update. While most of you generally liked the new theme some customers gave us feedback that it removed some spatial definitions in the UI that helped navigate around the IDE quickly and intuitively. Comments also pointed out that the blue theme updates had gotten too bright adding eye strain over longer periods.

The changes in the blue theme from 2017 to 2019 as well as changes to the title bar, which increases the vertical height available.

For Preview 3, We’ve heightened overall contrast which in turn helped improve legibility, accessibility, and wayfinding throughout the IDE. We reduced the brightness of the base color and added a set of complementary and analogous accent colors. These changes preserve an at a glance difference between versions while tackling the functional feedback.

New Icons

While not the most glamourous part of a new release, the new product icon is an important way to identify our IDE in a busy taskbar, start menu or desktop. It’s also another way that you can tell the difference between versions of our product. In our original post we explained the approach we’ve taken to simplify the icon for Visual Studio as well as create a system for showing the difference between a Preview and full released version.

Visual Studio for Mac 2017 (left) Visual Studio for Mac 2019 Preview (Middle) Visual Studio for Mac 2019 (Right)

We’ve now applied this approach to the Visual Studio for Mac icon which is available to download from our website. One of the challenges with the icon for Visual Studio for Mac was how to create an icon that was closely tied to the Visual Studio Family line of products but that stood apart from the Windows version of Visual Studio so as not to confuse you into thinking they’re the same (just on different platforms). We experimented with many ways of showing a differentiation between the two applications but settled on tying them together as a family, with a background shape that echoes the form of the Infinity Loop, and adds a macOS flavor to the icon.

Let’s continue the conversation

We are truly grateful for all the feedback we’ve received so far and hope to use this to continue to improve the experiences we’re delivering throughout the product. As you find bugs or have suggestions the Developer Community site is the place to log these items for the team to review and the benefit of the community. We’re eager to continue the discussion as you continue to use Visual Studio 2019.

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Jamie Young

Group Principal Design Manager, Visual Studio Family

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Anthony Cangialosi
Anthony Cangialosi

Principal PM Manager, Visual Studio IDE

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Nick Arellano 2019-02-21 10:47:20

Make it so app work under android and windows. For some reason my app complies as android but not windows. It is your software, how can that be. I can't find away to solve the problem.

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Yuri Shutenko 2019-02-21 11:33:28

> "Let's continue the conversation"
Yeah, no. The title-bar is a prime example how you DO NOT listen to your user feedback! See the comments and complains in the original issue thread (https://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/idea/381901/do-not-remove-title-bar-from-visual-studio-2019.html) and try to find how they were asking for over-crammed "compact" bar (spoiler: they did not, they asked for it to be optional). It's not a "conversation" if you don't actually listen to the other party, it's a monologue.PS: I guess it'll be the same as ALL CAPS text in menu bar debacle...

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Kyriacos M 2019-02-21 14:17:54

Please bring back the title bar. At the link below you accidentally closed it as completed https://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/idea/381901/do-not-remove-title-bar-from-visual-studio-2019.html
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Thanks

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Kyle Brown 2019-02-21 16:04:47

Personally I'm okay with not having a title bar, although I think it might look better if the solution name was centered in the space between the search box and the sign out button. Seperate it from the other stuff a bit.

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Ladislav Burkovsky 2019-02-21 22:21:17

Hi,
please show some love to .NET Core. We need a professional support with edit and continue. Memory and performance analysis.
If possible prefer completion over hunting new shiny things.
 
Regads,
Laci
 
 

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Martin Müller 2019-02-22 01:03:20

Regarding "valuable vertical space": Agreed. Personally, I never wanted to have a 16:9 monitor. Maybe Microsoft can influence the industry to sell 3:2 monitors so that vertical space won't be that valuable any more?
The company with the fruit sells its own monitors (although they are 16:9).

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Daniel Smith 2019-02-22 06:59:55

The "blue" theme still looks overly purple to me (maybe it's just the monitors I use?) - if the brightness was dialed down just a fraction more, I think it would look perfect.
I'd also suggest thinking carefully about the new bright orange used on the tab titles.  That sort of colour usually indicates a warning, which is jarring to see on your screen.  I'm sure you don't want to alarm your users!  Something closer to the light yellow used in prior versions would be preferable.

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Jeff Jones 2019-02-22 08:39:30

The items listed are mostly superficial.  Where is the Xamarin Forms XAML designer to enhance productivity?  Why isn't Blazor fully completed and available?  There should be truly substantive changes and new features in VS 2019.  How about automating the mobile app deployment process for Apple and Google?  Perhaps a tool that can take a bitmap and make the various sizes that iOS and Android require.Productivity is the edge developers need.  Time wasted on repetitive, hand-coding or following complicate dprocess that can all be automated is time taken from being productive.
I don't really care what shade of blue or purple the theme is.  If I want more space, I can get a bigger monitor.  I sure wish today's VS team had the ingenuity and insight the VB team had 20 years ago.

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Darryl Wagoner 2019-02-22 09:47:47

I would like to see being able to split windows into more than 1 direction like Visual Studio Code does.

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Keith Patrick 2019-02-22 11:17:10

I must be blind, because I don't see the solution name anywhere on any of those windows (the first one only shows the top of the window, and unless the solution name is "Roslyn", I don't see it next to the branch (status bar) either.  The world doesn't need Visual Studio (or Office)drawing windows differently from anywhere else in the shell. Personally, I'd put the solution name where the words "Solution Explorer" or (better) "Search Solution Explorer" currently are, since the words "Solution Explorer" already show up 3 times in that area.
BTW: The biggest thing I want is the ability to just fiddle with code.  Whether I'm debugging or not, with E&C enabled or not, I want to be able to edit code at my own whim, at any time.  Currently (and for as long as I've used VS.Net), it likes to lock files into readonly mode, whether it's because E&C is turned on (this is why I haven't used E&C since VS6!) or because I'm in a WPF codebehind or some modal popping up on monitor #4 (modals should be largely deprecated IMHO), I don't want the source files to be locked. 

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Eric Richards 2019-02-23 03:26:29

The only thing I really want is an end to the 32-bit memory limit barrier.  I would love to have a Visual Studio that can actually make full use of all the resources on my system, and not splutter and start page-thrashing on large solutions.

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Laszlo L 2019-02-23 05:17:37

Are you kidding us?
May I ask how many 'software engineers' are currently busy in Redmond tinkering #RRGGBB color hex codes and pixel shuffling in a 16x16 icon? I understand there are still some untried combinations left (and so will be lots of work for you until Visual Studio 2519), but could you please focus on more important things we are really missing.

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SuperCocoLoco . 2019-02-23 14:10:28

Please bring back the title bar and the same 2017 Blue theme. And listen to your customer base. Not do same things like "ALL CAPS" menu. The status "Completed - Preview" in "Do not remove title bar from Visual Studio 2019" feedback is unacceptable.

Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson 2019-02-24 11:58:19

Here's some feedback: stop wasting time messing around with superficial things like colours, icons and pixels, and actually implement some of the features many users have been begging for for *years*!
A few examples:
- Start listening to users (the time-wasting nonsense proudly presented in this blog post is the perfect example of how you are *not* listening)
- Visual Studio as a 64-bit process
- Stop wasting CPU cycles when I'm not even doing anything in the IDE (this is the reason I recently switched to Rider - what a breath of fresh air not having my fans whining all the time!)
- Kill the lag when opening the 'find in files' box (this is a long standing bug that's worked around by messing with proxy settings - this bug has been present since something like VS 2012!)
- Fix the bug where the project doesn't start if you click in a DLL project while building an executable project (another bug that has been present for *years*)
- Improve the *abysmal* performance of the XAML editor
- Better Roslyn analysers OOTB (R# is practically a prequisite to make VS usable, even though it also damages performance)
- Local history tracking, with an undo function that works even if you close and re-open a document (Rider has this - it's *wonderful*)
- Better F# support. You treat the abomination that is VB.NET as a 1st-class citizen, so it's high-time that F# was too

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Serge Lussier 2019-02-24 19:42:14

Merging title bar with the menu and hopefully, other widgets is a very welcome "space optimization"!! At last! Old annoying space wasting title bar was so .....1990!! One line of code more visible can mean a lot.
[EDIT] I am 53 years old and an old geyser c/c++ coder since 1988. Thus I know what I am talking about. I ALWAYS hated that ugly waste of empty space that we call "title/drag bar" !!! [END EDIT]