Wishes forum
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Please add color back to AC20 user interface.

Not applicable
I think the idea that "ARCHICAD’s new interface provides cleaner workspace free of visual noise" is fine in itself, but pre-AC20 interface (albeit, dated) is much easier to read due to extra level of clarity brought by the color.

AC20 is so uniform in color that it takes me a few seconds just to get my bearings every time I need to find something on a Project Map (pre-AC20 schemes used to have colored icons). With AC20's new colorless interface Project Map is just an indistinguishable grey glow that is hard to navigate.

View Map is a bit better due to icons being blue, not grey, so it seems color does help, but Layout Book is, again, a grey mess.

The ease of navigation and usability goes on, but I think interface color needs to be brought back.

Think of this as a difference between a grayscale and color floor plan drawing.

Color drawing can communicate a lot of information quickly and clearly, on the other hand, if you convert that same drawing to greyscale — lots of graphical information gets instantly lost to a viewer.

UI, as varied as ARCHICAD's, is not unlike that.

Clearly, from the poll, some people are not troubled by this. However, I agree with Anton that a useful characteristic has just been tossed out, mostly, I guess to seem cool and "up to date." However, anything that makes my life more difficult is not an improvement. I am not sure who decided that architects prefer no color, or that removing visual cues is somehow helpful. However, maybe there could be at least a CHOICE of interfaces? (with color or without)
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

David Collins
Richard wrote:
a useful characteristic has just been tossed out, mostly, I guess to seem cool and "up to date."
...and "clean" to add one of the modernist buzzwords. I have to agree, although I did try to get past it. Change for the sake of change always seems to go minimalist. Never understood that.
David Collins
Win10 64bit Intel i7 6700 3.40 Ghz 32 Gb RAM
AC 24.0 (3022 INT FULL)

Not applicable
I am about to start a new project an seriously considering doing it in AC19 for this very reason.

I'm glad Anton brought this up....I hated the look of AC20 when I first installed it 2 weeks ago and I hate it now.

Up to date?

Isn't it just retro?

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Not applicable
My view is that AC missed the point of flat design. Flat design was a movement toward minimalism and the antithesis to skeuomorphism. Flat design never meant devoid of colour, in fact, bright pastel colour was one of it's tenets. Flat design as a movement that began in 2011 / 2012 has very much matured into Material Design.

You can read Google's guideline on Material Design here.

I cannot comprehend why Archicad would bother to go to the extent of a cursory redesign of the entire interface without really taking a meaningful look at the User Interface and User Experience. To redesign some icons and strip away colour seems such a trivial and pointless change.

Archicad still looks like a scientific calculator, albeit, now with less colour. If you look closely you will notice that the UI is now a mixture of skeumorphism (buttons featuring and gradients) and a modest attempt at some flat design icons.

EDIT : Spelling and shade.

1) I wondered why they removed the colors as well because we do not recognize things we once recognized. I have re-learned what things look like now, and everything is OK.

2) I made a wish awhile back that folders and views etc could be customized by color.

3) My wishful thinking is that the color was removed from everything so that in the next version ArchiCAD 21 we will be able to add color back into things including folders, interface text, menus, and tool icons so that the total user interface can have an additional "layer" of order imposed upon what we already have. For example: (now that everything is white or grey) it would be great if I could add a slight pink coloration to the background of my 3d tools toolbar. Doing this would help me customize my workspace. It could really help those who have visual issues as well, because they could add color to things that are difficult for them to find now that there will be less "noise" from the original color scheme.

Am I right?
Am I right?
www.michaelgustavson.com Architect NY WI IL
Madison WI
Archicad21 MEP EcoDesSTAR Win10-64-bit
EliteBook8570W Corei7-3630QM@2.40GHz
QuadroK2000m RAM32 (2)250GBSSDs
4 Monitors Internet:4Up60Down

Not applicable
Still on 19. I just can't tell how much bad it is to work on a white environment 10+ hours. After certain time you just can't see anything.

If it would be possible to easily decompress and recomress icons from dll's and exe's I would have done it already by myself.

Here is my version:

Not applicable
I currently use AC20 and the new interface (re: lack of colour) does take some time but my biggest issue is having commands in "grey". In all my other applications and windows a "greyed out" command means that it is not available. By using grey as a colour it seems to be going against the rest of the UI world. Maybe a quick fix would be to change the colour of command text to black and only colour them grey if they are not available.

I have just started working with AC20... partially a delay due to continuing current projects in 19 that are about to be completed... and partially because my first impression of 20 was "Where is everything??!".
As has been commented elsewhere, colour is so useful in recognition. Every time I look at the Viewmap, I feel lost (a "where am I" moment) and then more seconds lost finding something that would have been immediate in 19. Please bring back some colour!
Simple flat design may be OK... if it had colour. And yes... the ability to customise (or just colour) icons, folders & tools, etc. would be very desirable.
Meanwhile... I'm not looking forward to a year with this interface. Can it be 'fixed' in some way in the next upgrade? Hopefully?
Rich Matthews

Mac Pro (2013) 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5/ 32.0 GB RAM, Cinema HD 30” & 4K 27” Monitors; AC24 AUS Full/Mac OS X 10.13.6
PC AMD Ryzen 7 3700x 3.9 GHz 8-core 32GB; 4K 32” Monitor ; AC25 AUS Full/Twinmotion 2021.1/Win10

ArchiCAD with Themes?!

It took a few days, but I figured out how all the new icons look, and I don't miss the old interface at all anymore. I do have 20/20 eyesight and relatively young eyes. I can see how a lack of contrasting color could be a problem as one's eyes get worse over time. It's a fact that the ability to view contrast degenerates over time. Since some like the current color scheme (and hopefully the ability to customize colors in the future), and some do not like the new color scheme, why not have "themes" like so many other software use? People could create color Themes and share them like they do with Work Environments, and Templates. I personally wish most that we could color our folders. With so many folders of views it would really be great if my most used ones could be a different color than the rest.
www.michaelgustavson.com Architect NY WI IL
Madison WI
Archicad21 MEP EcoDesSTAR Win10-64-bit
EliteBook8570W Corei7-3630QM@2.40GHz
QuadroK2000m RAM32 (2)250GBSSDs
4 Monitors Internet:4Up60Down

Not applicable

Not applicable
I have started a new project in AC20... I regret that already!
1. I spent at moment ~ 3x longer time than I usually do, but didnt finish it yet
2. After 8 hours of work my eyes are red and "sandy"
3. As I spent a lot of time and didnt get work finished, I feel very frustrated.
4. I became very irritated, depressed. Every day I imagine how I hammer nails into UI developers head, of course nail head in front.

So I am spending my nerves, losing money and time just because of one id... bad person.


I'm with @Vasil4y92... Bring back color and give us a BLACK background option! I've actually been turning on the Invert in the Mac Accessibility Control Panel, and as long as I'm working on design, not photos, it's very soothing.

Bluebeam, Pixelmator, and Adobe (dark Gray) really know what they are doing! Even Apple's creativity apps (Garageband, iMovie, Final Cut, Logic, and optionally Photos) use the dark gray, and color icons really POP.

Think it through... you can give certain color ranges a purpose, such as red representative of a warning, while green means something is active (we do still have this in Teamwork Reserved Indicators).

We're getting used to it, but there's still a lot of grumbling out here.
Chuck Kottka
Orcutt Winslow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

ArchiCAD 25 (since 4.5)
Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar OSX 10.15 Core i7 2.9GHz/16GB RAM/Radeon Pro560 4GB

Not applicable
Well - after several months using AC20 I can confirm that the new interface is awful! The lack of colour is unforgivable in this type of complex application. Everything takes longer because the eye cannot immediately locate the relevant icon. I am really disappointed and have started new projects on AC19 because it is simply more efficient use of time.

I agree for getting the color back.


Agree: When I go back to a project in V19 it instantley becomes apparent that colour is better.
Richard Wilden Design. Ltd
Dunedin, New Zealand.
Imac 27" i9 3.6GHz; 32GB Ram Mac OS 11.3
Archicad V23:V24

Not applicable

Why and how did this happend?
Archicad is a professional tool not a modern hobby device, and making ALL icons colorless was not very thoughtful of you.
Color is essential for brain-eye reaction.
Instead: create at least two UI color schemes and input color to UI, PLEASE!!!

Not applicable
We have active projects in versions 16, 19 and 21 and it's evident colour helps a great deal after jumping between files. Hoping GS have added some colour to the v23 UI!!

Start a new conversation!

Still looking?

Browse more topics

Back to forum

See latest solutions

Accepted solutions

Start a new discussion!