Why do you want to ruin everything with new UI?

Answered

The existing UI is awesome, why are you messing with it and ruining your product?

I like the old textual panels, they are compact and descriptive, I can organize them to my liking. I don't like these large icons and I do not understand what do they mean. I need to click and guess to find a panel I want. I don't like the amount of space these panels take.

I don't like that hamburger popup menu. Who gave you idea that a smartphone style popup menu is a good idea for a desktop product?

I'm sure that third-party plugin developers won't be dedicating much effort to own icons with consistent design, so all these panels will look like a crap zoo of ugly icons of different shapes and sizes.

I've been using JetBrains products since 2004 (ReSharper) and 2009 (IDEA) and you're destroying everything.

Find another way to occupy yourself, put your hands off the existing UI, no one asked you to do it, so just don't do it. Don't fix something that isn't broken.

If you want it to look like VS Code, then I will rather cancel my subscription and switch to VS Code. At least they have a larger community for the same iconish UI.

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80 comments
Official comment

JetBrains did not remove Classic UI in 2023.3.1, nor have we planned to turn it off entirely in 2024.*. 

Hello,

Thanks for sharing your opinion. We understand that you may like old UI more, so it's possible to switch between them easily.

-14

So will you support both UIs for the long term? Or will the new UI replace the old in the near future?

13
Hi Simon,

At some moment, the traditional UI will reach the sunset. However, this will not happen in the near future.

This year, we intend to make New UI the default option only for new users.
-37

I believe a lot of users will unsubscribe if you get rid of the old UI. We pay for this product instead of using VS Code because we don't want to use VS Code, and are paying for that privilege. You should stop trying to emulate a free product and leave the UI alone - I realize with an excess budget and too many idle hands it can be hard to "do nothing", but sometimes doing nothing and bug fixing is the best course of action. Take the money you have as a company and realize it as profit, rather than using it to actively destroy your great UI like a lot of other companies have done in the visual dumbing down trend. Analyze your target audience here and ask.. "does it really make sense to sunset a UI that people are paying us to use?". If you become too much like VS Code, I'll simply use VS Code instead.

38
Hi,

Thank you for your feedback. For now, we have no plans to eliminate the traditional UI, and it will be an option at least until the end of the next year. Also, our key features, such as "Search everywhere" to execute a command or change a setting, advanced navigation features, and configurable inspections, will be available no matter what UI you use. You can return your tool windows and buttons and make New UI full of elements in minutes.

However, if you figured out that some particular scenario (such as displaying the full path to a file in the window header) is unavailable, please share it with us, and we will work on the missing features implementation.
-8

Hi Nadia thanks that's reassuring. One thing I don't like the look of is the lack of text next to icons (eg: "Notifications", "Database") etc. There should be an option to keep this as I don't want to memorize icons

9

Do you see the text on hovering your icon? If yes, then probably it's similar to https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-302646, and this would probably be implemented by a plugin.

If you don't see a text when hovering over your icon, then it's a bug. Please write to support@jetbrains.com, we should start the investigation.

-8

Hi Nadia yes that issue surmises exactly the way I feel, I'll upvote that

2

Leaving this to support that the current UI is at its best, is COMPACT + easily accessible + easily customisable per liking and  there is really no need for new UI, the statement it comes up with: `removing visual obstacles and clutter`, thats absolutely not true, the clutter mentioned is the easy to reach configurable menus I and many devs use per day basis, so finding them elsewhere is like adding a pain point in daily workflow.

If u do wish to continue new UI support, then I can just say please dont discontinue the traditional one.

13

This seems to be an unstoppable global trend, everything becomes simplified and minified, customizability and complexity disappear. Sad that IntelliJ no except from this. Something is handy and perfect, then has to be changed. I hope current UI keeps up as long as possible.

22

Totally agree with "We pay for this product instead of using VS Code because we don't want to use VS Code, and are paying for that privilege." statement. The day old UI will see it's sunset will be the day I'll (and pretty much our whole company) return to Visual Studio (not the overrated notepad called VSCode, but to the full Visual Studio IDE). I know, this thread is for IntelliJ, but new UI is pulling it's tentacles to the whole Jetbrains IDE ecosystem

11

I am using JetBrains IDEEs for the last 10 years, one of the key factors was the nice UI and how well all tools are connected with it. Moving to the new UI, it seems you are forcing me to use VS Code - and I don't really like it. This is probably the last year I am going to renew my personal license and as Architect - I am not going to advocate for renewing the license in my company (30 licenses less) 

13

Dragon4eis, you mentioned that all tools work fine with the old classic UI - does it mean that you met problems with them in the new UI? Please, feel free to report any bugs and usability problems to our YouTrack so we can improve the new UI; alternatively, you can just describe them here, and I'll make a new issue for you. 
As my colleague Nadia mentioned above, there are no plans to completely disable the old UI for now. 

-5

@Jetbrains: It's fine if you experiment a bit. However, please note that the old UI is simply more convenient in terms of navigation. Real developers care about actual usage, not looks, so please continue to support the old UI if not even canceling the new UI and completely reworking it.

10

Jo Zeller could you please elaborate a bit on what navigation issues exactly you're facing in the new UI?

-6

The new UI is just ugly.

16

Ekaterina Valeeva

For example, the fact that you have to expand a lot more before you can access everything that was previously in the toolbar at the top. The old UI simply requires fewer clicks there. With the new UI, you have to click a lot more, which is a disadvantage for developers who aren't very familiar with shortcuts, which would be much faster naturally. However, it seems that the majority still use the UI a lot by clicking. In my opinion, it would be better to have more buttons like in the old UI instead of expanding everything.

Also, the new UI has fewer labels and relies more on icons, which is better in part because it allows for a more compact design, but sometimes causes confusion. I would be a bit more careful there.

10

Jo Zeller thank you for clarifying. It's possible to add the actions you need back on the toolbar, please see this article for more details. We're currently improving the toolbar customization and soon it will be possible to add all the popular actions there at once.

As to the icons - if you mean that it's harder to distinguish tool window icons without text labels then please upvote the IDEA-298006. If it's something else then kindly specify what labels that existed in the old UI you miss in the new one. Thank you!

-4

I tried the new UI (for PyCharm Professional especially). Not everything is bad, but I noticed somewhat "different" behaviour of the menus. They do not feel "native" anymore (which is bad of course). It feels like kind of an Electron app (or worse). Do you use another GUI toolkit for the new UI? (I'm on Ubuntu and on WIndows).

One general comment: I do not like the pure Icon based toolbar; the textual one was better for fast recognizing the tools.

6

I tried the new UI and very strongly dislike it. All the feature seem to be gone (or most likely hidden away somewhere). I hope you guys are doing some UI studies to understand if people actually like the new UI.

Especially Bazel integration is not working well with the new UI. For example the target configuration (which you access from the top right) doesn't show most of the info in the old UI.

I agree that the new UI needs a reboot, where it is actually better than the old one.

 

 

8

One point I really miss is the ability to have multiple tool windows open at the same time in one column. e.g. project and structure in on the left. In the new UI I can open only one at the time (or the setting is somewhere hidden to enable it).

Showing project in "top left" and structure in "left bottom" look different in the current and the new UI.

current UI:
- both tool windows are displayed in one column left from the current editor

new UI:
- both are now shown in "top left", either project or structure is shown in a column left from the editor
- after activating "left bottom" for the structure it is shown in a row below the editor with full window width


4

Starting from 2023.1, you can move "Structure" tool window to "Left bottom" position. Example

-2

I noticed somewhat "different" behaviour of the menus. They do not feel "native" anymore

It's possible to turn on the native menu with the Show main menu in a separate toolbar option in File | Settings | Appearance & Behavior | Appearance, UI Options. 

 I do not like the pure Icon based toolbar; the textual one was better for fast recognizing the tools.

There's already a request for that, please upvote IDEA-298006.

All the feature seem to be gone

Bazel integration is not working well with the new UI. For example the target configuration (which you access from the top right) doesn't show most of the info in the old UI

AP if you mean the actions that used to be on the main toolbar then you can bring them back manually, see my previous comment

As to the Bazel project - could you please share a couple of screenshots showing what information exactly is missing in the new UI compared to the old one? Thank you.

 

-1

I agree with leaving the old UI alone. But the real issue is when members from the JetBrains team, like Nadia, write that, "For now, we have no plans to eliminate the traditional UI". The problem is the "For now" part, which indicates that they plan to get rid of the traditional UI at some point and probably already have a date when they intend to make it final... quite similar to what Microsoft did when first introducing Windows 10.

It comes down to money. Yes, I said it. I really think the introduction of the new UI stems from this industry being a competitive market. Let's not forget that this is a business and JetBrains are trying to get more customers - make more money basically.

I don't think it comes from a place of JetBrains having analysed feedback from current customers who have said they want the UI to be changed because it's clear that we don't want it to be changed. At the very least, JetBrains have probably lost customers (lost money), former customers that jumped shipped and are now using VS Code or another tool. Also, as others have mentioned, they are trying to attract more customers (make more money) by mimicking VS Code. If and when they remove the traditional UI, I will discontinue my subscription.

10

All it ever takes is one individual, with a passion to hold on to something that was perfect, to incorporate a new company, make a new IDE, and attract a customer base from a company that abandoned them. I hope Jetbrains has thought this through that abandoning their loyal subscribers in the hope of offering a copycat tool (VSC clone) to a new generation of developers is worth it. A tool this new generation can already get for free that they must somehow now pay for by switching to a new company? Doesn't make sense to me.. but what do I know, I'm just one person.

4

First thing- Is this where we're all talking  about the new UI? Serious question. If there's a designated forum thread for that purpose, please point me to it. 

 

Second thing- JB expects old UI lovers to be resistant to the new UI.  Thus the new UI will be rolled out to NEW users FIRST. That's why they're doing that.  This is a guess on my part; I have no 1st hand knowledge. I mention all this because I am going to assume, at least for  myself, that my reaction, as a current user,  will be heavily discounted. 

 

OK the new UI is terrible and for all the reasons  now cited here, and to be cited here. My contribution to this is to take a stab at root cause analysis - why do companies feel compelled to do this ? Of course everything I say should be taken with a big, huge grain of salt because I have no way to look into the mind of anyone else.

That said, what I think is driving a lot of what I call "negative innovation" in programming in general  is a desire to reduce what goes by the name of "clutter" and "boilerplate" and "distraction".... it has a million names. The goal is to strip the UIs down to the bare essentials needed for (what the UI authors imagine to be) the task at hand. 

 

Obviously, by definition, "distracing clutter" is bad because it's distracting so when you formulate the problem using those words you've already won a debate you probably didn't even know you should  be having.

Just to get  right to it- your assumptions about what information I want, and when I want it, is in error.

Specifically, you're taking away access to information (example: in Kotlin, the type information ) and abilities (simple example: toolbar buttons are defaulted to  MIA) that  I want and rely on.

In fact, I always turn the available information present up to 10 wherever it's an option. So, by way of  an example of this: (something which I actually don't do but will  give you the flavor of what I am talking about) is the following.    In Java, when defining the generic type for a collection instance, you have the option of removing the type from the generic on the r-hand side of the declaration ( <Type1, Type2> can instead be represented as  <> ). This is removing information about types from availability. If I do this, and  later I want to be reminded of the type of the generic, I now have to cast my eyes to the left hand side of the declaration, where that information is still present.  Now, casting my eyes slightly to the left on the same line is not a big deal (so in reality I choose to remove it) but this is the type of thing I am talking about in the UI- information (and function) erasure or inaccessibility, "out-of-sightness", to coin a concept.

In lambdas, (still  talking about Java) they deliberately toss away the presentation of the type. So I have to move my mouse to wherever my eyes may be while reading code and mouse over the variable to get that information back because buster, it ain't there no more. So if I am looking over the code, I can't just look anymore because Java itself elides that information from me. I have to look and mouse.

The built in assumption is, hey,  I know those types or can infer them consequently I don't need that info. That's a bad assumption for code I didn't, or wrote  some time ago, or rewrote, or something something something you can't foresee. 

So why does Java do that in the first place ? To reduce boilerplate and clutter. What boilerplate and clutter ? Well, in this case, anonymous inner classes. I LIKED anonymous inner classes and when the IJ  feature was available, (I think IJ removed it) I would right click over these lambdas and choose "express as anonymous inner class". I went and fetched the dreaded boilerplate, clutter.  Because its not boilerplate, it's  the full and actual information.  Java didn't understand how that could be of any use to anyone, (it contains type information and information about the type of interface or class  ), so they axed it. 

When this lambda notation came out, I realized that people were really annoyed, flummoxed and buffaloed by stuff that I could filter out without any pain or effort. All the articles at that time were about how horrible anonymous inner classes in this context were boilerplate and how much it bothered them.  

So this is getting to the  root cause of these types of changes. Programmers tend to be drawn from a population, some think, that is higher on the spectrum than other types of professions. Two characteristics of people on the spectrum are 1) they have difficulty taking the perspective of other people 2) they are overwhelmed trying to filter out extraneous information from their environment; it's upsetting if things are out of place, and they can't overlook it.

Consider that UI people (I am one, I know lots of others), are not just programmers but programmers who, for whatever reason, are attracted to and have strong feelings about how things ought to be arranged. This might lead you to entertain the notion that this sub-sub population of programmers might in some cases  be even higher on the spectrum than your average sys admin, or at least might be more likely to be there.  Supposing any of this is at play (and it's just a supposition) they're going to remake the UI world in ways that makes sense - to them. They're not so good at taking the perspective of other people into account , and, also, they hate "clutter". 

I am not saying this is true about anyone at IJ, none of whom I know. I am saying it might be true about this class of programmers generally ,in the wild, and that THAT is why we're seeing the changes in UIs across companies and platforms that we're seeing,   that IJ is seeing, and  that the  thinking  may be: "well, this is where things are going and we need to keep up or we'll end up looking like the equivalent of a 90s web page, complete with blinking text."   

All that has to happen within a company, and again I am not talking about JB here, is a chain of distorted   judgment and misplaced priorities forms spontaneously, by chance,  which is composed of individuals starting from the UI people to their managers and upwards to CXO. This chain of decision makers has the power to push out to the public some really, really bad ideas.

If I could offer one thing, it would be to define a redline that companies shouldn't cross. That's the removal of the option to opt out of "new improved" versions. 

In this case, that would  mean opting out any new UIs . Just the way a lot of people liked the old icon set for the UI and JB saw the wisdom of keeping it as an option, so also with the entire new UI. If, in the future,  new development only proceeds on the new UI and the current UI gets frozen out of functionality it could have, but doesn't,  making it less functional,  or, worse,  the users lose the ability to continue to use the current UI at all, then that is a redline where you've gone from serving your users to trying to remake them over in your own image, thinking  you  know what's good for them better than they do. 

Other people  don't understand my way of working and what information I feel I need and actually do make good use of and I don't understand the next person's needs and that's OK, that's, as we say now,  diversity. The great thing about cyberspace is it never runs out of real-estate. Everyone gets to live in their own space, just as it suits them. 

Just to add one more thought, wrt to the new AI feature. I cannot try this feature because you want me to be connected to the internet and your servers all the time. That's never, ever going to happen.

I am sure the technical issues at play here are substantial, but for me to use this feature from JB, it has to be locally hosted. 

If that's not going to happen, then (because I am very interested in seeing if it  offers any real benefits or if I can see how could) I am going to look for another provider of this feature which will support local hosting.  I know that's not about the UI specifically, (but then, it is really, isn't it ? )  but  I thought I'd throw that in here  too.    

 

HTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Meanwhile I tried the new UI for a longer period and I must say I completely changed my mind. New UI is actually great.

-8

java developer thank you for your feedback. We are still working on the new UI and trying our best to make it customizable and thus as functional as the classic UI. E.g. it's already possible to add popular actions to the main toolbar right away or switch to compact mode to reduce the amount of empty space in components.

If there are certain show-stoppers for you, we would be grateful if you share a bit more details here or file a new issue in our tracker.

Regarding the Java part - there are the following inspections configurable under IDE File | Settings | Editor | Inspections:

Java | Code style issues | Lambda body can be code block
Java | Code style issues | Lambda can be replaced with anonymous class
Java | Java language level migration aids | Java 8 | Lambda can be replaced with method call
 
You can tune the severity and highlighting for them so corresponding quick fixes are suggested.
If you for example enable the second inspection and put the caret to -> in the following code
void foo(List<String> list) {
    list.stream().forEach(s -> System.out.println(s));
}
you'll be able to replace lambda with anonymous class
 
for me to use this feature [AI] from JB, it has to be locally hosted
 
Unfortunately so far there are no plans to implement AI locally.
-2

> Regarding the Java part - there are the following inspections configurable under IDE File | Settings | Editor | Inspections:...

 

Thank you ! I was not aware of that ! 

 

Overall it's a difference in how things feel to the person. My personal POV in this space is there's no reason why everyone should not be able to have what they want. As JB is the sole provider, I wanted to make you aware that this new UI is not what I want and maybe some insight as to why.  FFF - form follows function. A tool is only beautiful because it's beloved and it's only beloved because its useful. Working it the other way, trying to make it look like something sleek or cool is just driving down the street in the wrong direction. Sooner or later, reality is going make itself known.  

Regarding AI being online only, did you know  that Google is starting a pilot program to have their devs' machines DIS-connected from the internet while at work? Right now it's voluntary. Of course it's about security. 

Honestly I am happy to have all my eggs in one basket having JB be my sole provider for all things programming but if I can't get something potentially useful from JB,  I'll have to look elsewhere for that part of my tooling. 

The overall risk / benefit (not to say convenience) of having your dev machine being online will be different for each team and project , obviously. JB has to know that for some teams and people, it's absolutely no-go territory forever.

Just the way I've seen UIs go into devolution, I've seen security go into devolution too. The fact that companies are willing to put the technology and information which constitutes their own competitive advantage and corporate strategy online, and worse, into the hands of entities which are their direct competitors or known-to-be-unethical actors amazes me.

The idea that Microsoft is, for some reason,  not data mining 24 / 7 / 365 the internal correspondence of all the companies which use Office365 is a joke to me. The accumulated information they have access to is invaluable for everything from their finance department''s stock market investing to their own internal commercial strategy to which  companies they decide to buy / invest in and how they advise them. 

But that's OK because these same people happily put Alexa in their homes and  give China, via 23AndMe, their literal personal DNA and those of their families.  What could possibly go wrong ? 

So there's just a failure in reality testing, foresight and the concepts of adversarial analysis going on across all domains.

So,now you know more than you ever wanted to about how one of your customers sees things ! 

 

 

 

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