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What happend to the color for the toolbar icons in Streets and Trips 2013? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Streets and trips 2011 had very colorful toolbar icons. In 2013 they're just black and white. Why this change?
    Friday, July 6, 2012 1:16 PM

All replies

  • It is meant to be inline with "Metro" the new look for Windows 8 (also Windows 7 Phone). Yes the main page of Metro is flashy bright colors, but notice how all the icons and images are monochrome (color and white, typically).

    The design impetus is one of "content over chrome" - ie. information (eg. the button's identity) is more important than prettiness.

    This can go both ways. For example, Vista's glassy title bars were a step too far (everyone I know switched them off). Such flashy stuff also uses more computing power. Animated buttons and icons are the same. A little animation might be effective, but it is easy to overdo things. However, I think there's a good argument that simple multi-color icon images are much easier to understand than monochrome. After all, isn't that why everyone switched to color icons back in Windows 2? (yes I do remember Windows 1: Technically color, but I rarely saw it running in color so all the icons were b&w).


    Richard Marsden
    MapPoint Add-ins at Mapping-Tools.com

    Friday, July 6, 2012 1:42 PM
  • Aesthetically, I like color better.  More importantly, color helps quite a bit in identifying the buttons, especially when an update changes the shape/design of the icon no matter how slight.
    Monday, July 30, 2012 8:06 PM
  • just installed 2013, frankly it looks like something from the stoneage.  Most of us have had to update our computers as Windows got more complicated.  I think we could handle a little more color in this app.  
    Tuesday, November 6, 2012 3:43 PM
  • I agree it's harder to see and I prefer color.
    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 5:55 PM
  • I agree. The appearance of the MS Streets 2013 toolbar is disappointing. It makes me feel like they gave us the cheapest possible implementation of a previously good looking interface. Any relatively modern computer, one running Windows 7 or more can easily handle a colored toolbar. After all, most of the Microsoft applications we've been using for years had colored toolbars with color playing a very minor role in application performance.

    If they had asked our opinion we might still have a better looking program. Perhaps someone could make an update?

    Thursday, August 1, 2013 1:01 PM
  • The argument re. computing power applies to things like phones and tablets rather than laptops and desktops, but it gives youthe background to Microsoft's metro style decision.

    Richard Marsden
    MapPoint Add-ins at Mapping-Tools.com

    Thursday, August 1, 2013 2:16 PM
  • No one is infallible.  In this case they made the wrong decision.  No one likes monochrome.  It must make selection even more difficult on a phone screen.

    Now that you gave us the excuse, er , uh, reason, the solution is simple.  When I open S&T on my 24 inch monitor, I just shrink the window size down to 3 x 5 at it all makes sense.

    Thursday, August 1, 2013 2:40 PM