Some feedback on v12

dougshontzdougshontz Posts: 2 New member
edited November 2, 2016 12:27AM in SQL Compare
Been a Red Gate "evangelist" for many, many years. Never even needed to create a forum login because the products are just that good. I just got around to installing v12 of Compare and Data Compare and there are some things I feel like I have to mention:

1. I see there are other forum posts about the double-click arrow directional button. I get I can right-click, but it's such an important part of the workflow that just feels weird now.
2. I agree with other posters that the highlight color for differences is all wrong. Part of the greatness of your tools is how visually-oriented they are. Just like any IDE, you get used to "your" colors. The colors are just as much a part of the workflow and use case as anything else. I don't mind a change in color, but I'm already blind in one eye and have very thick glasses for my other eye. Granted, I have no problem coding or reading or anything, but eye strain is VERY real for me. Blue on blue just isn't enough contrast.
3. Continuing the color schema topic. I know I'm in the minority when I say I have never been a fan of "flat UI design". I get it. The world has moved on and I haven't. But part of the reason I don't like it is the lack of visual definition (again...eye strain). In this version, I've gone from having clear grid lines and strong color definition to a sea of flat black and grey with no color fades and it literally almost gave me a headache looking at it. I get that "theming" a UI and offering choices is difficult. At the very least, bring back the grid lines on each row. That would be a complete blessing.

Thanks for all the hard work you guys have done over the years. Your toolkit is one I "never leave home without".



  • Thanks for the awesome feedback Doug! Great to hear about your experiences with our tools. In particular, that's some really useful feedback about the recent Compare UI changes. I'll try and answer your questions as best as I can:

    1. We have heard from a few customers who have also become reliant on this interaction. As such, we will be looking to reinstate this in some fashion in a future release (date tbc).
    2. Similarly, we've had other reports of contrast issues since changing the highlight colour to blue in the diff viewer. As a result we are currently exploring a few alternative colour scheme options, with a view to addressing the legibility of data.
    3. Whilst we don't have any immediate plans to revisit the grid styles, we have taken this point on board. We felt that removing extraneous elements (such as the horizontal grid lines) has given Compare a much cleaner look, with less visual noise, which in theory should make it easier to scan an interpret the data. As always though, we welcome any feedback and will take this into consideration as part of any future design/style changes.

    On another note, I wonder if you would be happy for the team to show you some ideas they had for addressing the contrast issues raised in point 2? Perhaps we could arrange a call with you at a date/time that is convenient?

    Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch.

  • peter ehpeter eh Posts: 17 Bronze 2
    I fully agree with Doug here, especially his points 2 and 3.
    After working for nearly 12 years with RedGate tools, for me v12 ist the visually worst release ever. If I open v10 and v12 side by side with the same databases and the same differences, I see a clear structure with colored icons that are not flat and grid lines in v10 - striking points my eyes can focus on. On the v12 side I see a blue, grey, black patchwork blurring his content with hardly no point my eyes can focus on, so in v12 for me it's harder to recognize differences and in general much more weary to work with.

    To answer Matt's question about contrast issues, if you could make the skin (colors, icons, grid lines) from v10 available as an option in v12 and later releases, then the RedGate tools could bring me back the fun to work with, as it was for many years.

  • I agree with Doug too, somewhat relieved to hear I'm not the only one feeling this pain.

    I have to say so far v12 has been a bit of a disappointment, I do sense there are some incremental performance gains, but the UI is dreary, all grey and a few muted tones of a dull blue. I'm quite surprised by this as I too have been a very happy customer for many years. I don't usually object to simplification of design look and feel but I reckon you've 'jumped the shark' here. This isn't a web page or mobile app that has to work responsively under very challenging memory and CPU constraints. Taking away all the subtle color cues, borders, gradients and so on makes for a somewhat brutal optical experience, and for no apparent benefit. It's like you wanted to get on the new design (modern/material) bandwagon, maybe for the tablet market, but you then you thought 'hang on this is a serious productivity app - better not have any joyful eye candy'. Visual Studio went through a transformation over recent years and I love its new UI, but there are lots of color cues left in there and, most crucially, I can make my own color scheme for just about everything or even return it to 2010 style if I desperately want to.

    I'm sorry this must sound so negative, on the plus side the old arrow was definitely looking past its sell-by date, making that the 'deploy' button seems like a good idea... until you try to reverse direction, then the UI goes through a very clunky transition. But even there in that band you've made some strange choices. Making the server name bold? (hello, it's the db we're comparing here, that's what matters) And where source and target used to be close together in the center, making it easy to read both in one glance, now you put them far apart so my eye has to travel more, that actually reduces productivity. I can't really look at both sides of the screen at once so I have to read and half memorize one side to get the comparison. Might sound picky but there's a real change in mental effort required to read it. Not a big thing if you just opened it so you know what you just selected, but what about coming back to some work after an interruption, or when you have several comparisons open at once?

Sign In or Register to comment.