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VW 2020 Tool Icons

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Agree, the new icons are so so poor and absolutely unprofessional. To me it looks very amateurish with so little care that went into it. Nothing to do with quality design - graphic design.

Not mentioning alignment of icons, some touching each other and so on...just new patches on the old coat


Why company that provide Vectorworks promotion videos is not one that take care for this area too?

They definitely have very good taste and sense for detail. I like their work a lot.


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I'm glad I'm not the only one.  Makes me want to be running another program, that looks a bit more professional.  So sad there isn't a way to do this I might call tech support.  Is this is what they think users want in an upgrade, they are mistaken.  I would like to see the research or focus group for this.  Might call support today and see if there is a way to set it back.


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While I also dislike the aesthetics of the new graphics, the bigger problem I have is that they are harder to tell apart at a glance.  It's more of a functional issue than an aesthetic one.   I find myself having to look around for tools rather than heading straight to them as I did with the more distinctive icons in previous versions.  An unnecessary hiccup to interrupt my workflow. 


I understand that there may be some Mac dark mode difficulties, but I'm hoping VW will find a way to improve the situation.  User selected icon packs perhaps? 

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I just wish the PC side of things was paid attention to, luckily I don't find the tools as I use hot keys to do that unless it is a tool I don't use very often.  Some of the icons simply don't look like what they are intended for. See circled below.


I also hate to say it but it looks embarrassing when compared to other CAD programs, That means a lot when a client/ producer look at the program you are working on and judge your abilities based on what the UI look like.  And it does happen.

VW Tool Bar.jpg

Edited by MartinFahrer
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47 minutes ago, angelojoseph said:

There was a post here that seems to have since been deleted from @RussU that I think was interesting regarding the look and being results driven. 


I totally understand that point of view, but for anyone having an outward-facing design business, perception is very important. Looking the part is important to instilling confidence, as well as reinforcing perceived competence. 


I'd like to be able to share my screen and not have someone think I'm working on a fresh copy of "DIY Homebuilder Pro" from Home Depot. Appearances are important, no matter how little stock engineers hold in them...     sorry, i couldn't resist. 😉


Yes I totally agree with @RussU and you.  It was a very insightful and interesting post that spoke to my point exactly.  I have to admit I am in kinda the same position The "Other Program" (Maybe why deleted??) has a very Dark art and overly technical and complicated look to it, the fact is I am twice as fast as any one using the other program.  I have even converted another designer/ draftsman to our side because they were impressed by my speed.  Part of that speed is using the hot buttons and not the icons(Debating hiding the icons altogether)


FYI I tried windows "dark mode" and "High Contrast Mode" for a day, and several key dialogue boxes were completely useless (attached below)  SLowed my effeciancy down enough to bail using dark mode and taking both tool palettes of and having a keystroke quick reference by my computer.  Yes the look in any other mode besides MAC DARK MODE is embarrassing to have any client see like  "angelojoseph" said above it looks like I am using a copy of  "DIY Homebuilder Pro".


Seams like catering to one look on one platform, instead of the overall community is short sighted.  I can't figure out why this is the case?   Is some one involved in the GUI enamored with Mac Dark, is that all they use so that is all they care about??  Even if it was just a mac program (which it's not) why design GUI for just one mode??

The followin sums things up on what I am dealing with too:


"While I've been producing really really quick and accurate drawing sets in VW, the other designer here likes to make our job look like a dark art. He's an A--- ---D fan, terribly slow and over-complicated, and likes to scare people about how specialist and difficult CAD is."....."


One of the comments was that A--- ---D "looks the part" and is the "industry Standard", and I'm using an "entry level" substitute product...."


As Steve Jobs Said to the engineers "Make time for the fonts"


Edited by MartinFahrer
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1 hour ago, angelojoseph said:

nyone having an outward-facing design business, perception is very important. Looking the part is important to instilling confidence, as well as reinforcing perceived competence. 


And that, @angelojoseph is perfect.

My clients love to see the design process "live", so I've always got an audience, so I'd love a razer sharp look to the front end.

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Russ, you've laid it out quite succinctly. 


One thing of note, as I am currently dealing with this, is that VW is very easy to train on due to it being GUI-based, with intuitive hot keys. Daftsmen are quickly trained due to the core elements being so intuitive. I had a new grad drafting in 2 days, and with the standardized templates and class system being wrapped up in the office this winter, that process should be done in a day. The designer functions are the trickier items, but there is always going to be an on-boarding process due to ACADs need for plug-ins, workarounds, or convoluted processes to achieve a firm's particular style.


Anyway, your original post was spot on, as you were here. I don't think it comes off as petty. I think VW must recognize this as well, due to the high visual design of their marketing material and their stylized representation of functions within. I thought it very telling that those were the videos you show to sell the software, as does VW. 😉 

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1 hour ago, RussU said:




I think it's the same as me using photoshop on my machine and my kid using ms paint on hers.... and me designing brochure in InDesign, while the secretary does them in Fisherprice Word.


I really need to prove that VW is the heavy weight, and on the most part I've done that.... but people also buy with their eyes!!!



Apologies for deleting the earlier post. If a forum admin can recover it, I'd be more than happy for it to go public. I didn't want to be unduly down on VW, of which I'm a big fan.





No Apologies needed!@! Very well put and also the struggle I am having trying to get VW to be the standard in my industry, where it is split 50/50. And frankly when it's 50 and I am faster than my AutoCad counterparts, I get hired or I am employed far longer on a project because of my ability to output, clearly, visual, and accuratly with effeciency and speed thanks to Vectorworks.


I too am a hot key kinda guy but some things I only use once in a while and it's nice to have the option to use the tool set.


While minor overall to some it's major because we all work in a visual medium.

Edited by MartinFahrer
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I think this may have been and attempt to "upgrade the UI."  I've been watching and posting in the new features request topic thread for years. We've been talking about the need for a GUI upgrade for a long time. Esp as the new release videos come out and we all get excited by how cool the marketing dept makes it look in the commercial and then we get the new version....! And we open it....! And... its... the same. 

BUT! I don't ever recall anybody complaining about the icons. I want to see upgrades to operation windows so you don't have to hunt around with the HUD help to figure out what you're supposed to do. "oh! I'm supposed to click on the word in the list until the thing I want comes up!" More cursor tip commands (this has been getting better) maybe pie menus? What about smart pop ups that don't just appear right in the middle of the screen on top of what you're working on but are "selected object sensitive" and put themselves somewhere else on the screen? The stuff of Si-fi I know, but how cool would that be? And my all time #1 request universal XYZ/local locks! 

But I can imagine it would be a lot of work to go back and fix all those old windows and palettes. But this is not the first thread with people complaining about the icons. Hopefully they will get the message and just give us an option to revert. Or use the old icons in a custom work-space like we can add back in legacy tools. At least until there is an actual serious overhaul of the GUI.  


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