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[flagged] New VS Code icon is ugly (github.com/microsoft)
66 points by jack1243star on Oct 15, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 48 comments

I've always supposed HN to be growing very petty. This is just further proof. Really? It's an icon. An icon! And we are spending time deliberating on this?

I am now really curious as to the demographics of HN these days. It is clearly not the same place as yesteryear. I'll probably be down voted into oblivion as well but this is the truth. Stop being petty and worry about things that actually matter.

A lot of things make it to the front page here, not because they are profound or inspire great passion, but simply because... well, they're kinda funny! At least, I assume that is the case here.

But yes, the thing that MAKES it amusing is that some non-trivial portion of the readership will debate it seriously.

Well it's branding, and I get the feeling branding is pretty important to the HN crowd.

It’s just another example of bike shedding. Everyone has an opinion about icons, and feels qualified enough to offer up that opinion.

It's on github, right?

Isn't the point of open source that someone can fork it, revert the icon, and call it "IconStudio Code" or something?

Why all the fuss?

Because not all issues are worth forking.

You introduce another delay for security updates to get through (and this text editor has a browser under the hood, so very much needs security updates) and you get a not necessarily trustworthy and not necessarily dependable third party into the mix. They could ship malware in their build or abandon updating the software at any point.

Bad thing about being a designer is that most of the time you have to justify your existence by redesigning things that don't need a redesign.

Surely that can't be the case at MS, they have so many other UX challenges across products that there can't be a need for designer busy work, right?

This icon was jarring for me though I rarely use vscode. But I thought it noteworthy that it doesn't share the aesthetic of the application, which makes it tough to mentally map icon to app. I passed by it in my dock twice before making the connection. That's a design problem.

I have a hard time distinguishing parody from seriousness when it comes to UX.

The previous icon was a purple "Jesus fish". The new icon is an orange Jesus fish, enclosed by a bottom and right border. Either of those things "mentally maps" to a programmer's text editor?

So... the bad thing about being a designer is that it's not a viable full-time profession?

The same can be said for developers. 90% of jobs will soon be automated.

I don't know about 90% of all jobs, nor how soon, but as a developer, I see that as my purpose. I build things so I don't have to do the heavy lifting myself. I automate as much as possible and train others to do the maintenance so I can move on to building the next thing. If you're stuck in a rut trying to justify your existence with pointless busy-work, this suggests there isn't enough demand for your real work.

Architects don't squat on a house they've built for someone, trying to constantly tear it down and redesign it. If no one needs you to design a new house, and redesigning the same house every year is the only work you can find, maybe there are too many architects out there.

It all boils down to this: if it's fine, let it be. See the subl text icon, the endless redesigns of perfectly good tools and programs that serve only to annoy those already used to the interface.

There is such a thing as good enough. Changing stuff every x months for the sake of changing it is dumb.

It's the VS code devs trying to hang on to the good stuff while the going's still good.

There is part of me who is embarrassed to even think about this, because from a certain perspective, the icon is so irrelevant. If I like the program, I will use it, no matter how ugly the icon is.

But having said that, the new icon does look rather weird (and not in a good way), and why did they change the icon in the first place?

The updates on this issue (and the linked post to the MS blog) explain the reasoning a bit more.

I found a lot of the community-submitted designs to be quite nice.


I was passively confused with the new icon but the rationale just annoys me.

They want to make it feel like the full VS icon, but with a gap to signify it's not the full experience. They made the icon incomplete because they thinks devs can't tell them apart (and honestly some of the people I talk to can't, maybe they should have used a different name?)

It reeks of some sales guys complaining that devs won't be able to tell it's not the VS they make commissions on, ignoring the fact VS code can make MS money though getting developer mindshare on an MS product again.

> We feel that the icon denotes "openness". It conveys that VS Code is (in a good way) a subset of our big brother, the Visual Studio IDE.

God, we programmers are such babies.

Yeah... but it is at least slightly funny seeing how angry the internet has got about this. I must admit, I do agree with the basic sentiment of the bug report though: the new icon is pretty fuggers.

On a related note, I felt that the previous sublime text icon was better.

I thought so too initially, but I've since grown to like the new simple flat S design. Humans in general are probably opposed to changes to things they've grown accustomed to, so naturally it takes a while to adjust to new stuff.

I liked the old butter pat design but the new zigzag is pretty slick. I could go with either, especially since I don't see icons anymore now that I use i3 + rofi

The icon really put me off. It almost feels like colors are inverted and makes you think for a sec if the app is corrupted or something.

Just leave the $%$@$!@##$ icons alone! I hate it when my status bar changes and I have to look for the icon.

Whenever a company changes icons I see it as a sign of decline. They are out of ideas to make the product better so they just do some busywork and shuffle the UI around.

Finally, I thought I was alone in this. I ended up replacing the icon with one that a designer posted online, but on a Mac, I still see the ugly icon when I Cmd-tab between apps. If anyone has a solution for this, I'm all ears.

Sublime 3 and VS Code icons have the same colors now, confuses me every time I am trying to run any of them from the dock.

Is it really that hard to compile it with a different icon?

There is probably a whole department on the payroll at Microsoft that decided this icon change after several long meetings. Just compile your own and let them do their thing.

At least on windows and mac it is really easy to replace it with another icon as well.

Probably would have to redo it with each update but still easier than compiling from scratch.

here is a link that is talking about redesign of icons: https://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2017/08/29/new-vs-...

Why Orange when the editor's main color is blue? Does not look right.

It's so bad that I had to switch to WebStorm. At least their icons don't suck...

> This is a very critical show-stopper for serious coding and needs to be changed.

It really is. Is there somewhere I can download the old icon and some way that I could use it as a replacement? (I'm on Linux; Ubuntu with Gnome shell specifically.)

The old one was also not as neat as the Visual Studio equivalent. That’s why I made my own and changed from the "get info" menu of Mac OS. But each update override that icon again so I got fed up of changing it each month.

The new one is puzzling: it looks like the Visual Studio icon (which is still nowhere near as beautiful as the 2010 version), but the left part is missing. Is it a subtle way to tell that Code is an incomplete VS product?

I have to agree, VS2010 had the most beautiful icon of any Microsoft IDE.

This is absurd because every OS lets you change the icon so you can use the old one if you want. OSX makes it especially easy.

Can't agree more

Switch to the insider version it has better logo. It is green.

I actually like the new icon :\

If this is the main problem people are complaining about, I am impressed by Code :)

What a great tool from Microsoft!

Well, it's not the main problem. Just a new problem, therefore gathers new attention. The main problem people have with it is the resource usage, as it's built with Electron.

There's an abundance of text editors available and there's generally only minor differences between them, so people will weigh up those minor differences all the more.

The main problem people have with it is the resource usage

From what I've read on HN, people seem to generally like VS Code. (Replies to this comment by people who don't notwithstanding.) So is resource usage the main problem of people who use VS Code, or is it the main problem of people who don't like Electron?

I don't see what purpose this differentiation serves.

It's a problem for people that like the text editor enough in other aspects to still use it and it's a problem in that many people will not use it, due to the resource usage not weighing up with potential other advantages for them.

And I really would not think all too hard about the opinion that an open online community seems to have about a product of a bigger company.

It's gotta be beyond trivial for Microsoft's PR department to steer the mood in threads about their products by deploying vote bots and a few workers that write enthusiastic comments.

VS Code is my primary editor. I don't really find myself having any issues with resource usage. Of course, I have 16GB of memory on my primary and secondary machines.

Well, it is.

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