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QuickBooks 2013 – Where Have the Colors Gone?

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QuickBooks 2013 has an entirely new look and I have to admit there are many things about the product redesign that I really like, however, the biggest issue that I have with the redesign is the fact that Intuit has removed the ability to change the color scheme of the software.

QuickBooks 2013Where oh where can my QuickBooks colors be, Intuit took them away from me…….ya, I know that sounds like a really bad rendition of an old song that went like this – “Where oh where can my baby be, the lord took her away from me, she’s gone to heaven I’ve got to be good so I can see my baby when I leave this world”.

Color is an important part of our daily lives.  Did you know that the human eye can see 7,000,000 colors?  Certain colors and color combinations can be eye irritants, cause headaches, and wreak havoc with our vision – especially if we have any sort of vision problems.  Color also has an impact on our mood.

As a bookkeeper and software developer who spends most of my day in front of a computer and working in QuickBooks; color has another use for me.  I color code my various QuickBooks files so that I know at a glance if I’m in my own company data file, in a test file, or in a client/customer file; as I’m sure most people in this situation does as well.  For us, being able to navigate through QuickBooks quickly is a must – especially when we have a client/customer on the phone who is seeking assistance – in this situation, we all rely on visual cues or icons in addition to verbal instructions in order to help our clients do what they need to do.

My preferred method of navigation is mainly keyboard shortcuts – but over the years I’ve found that many of my customers/clients rely on their mouse for navigation; so I’ve learned to tell folks click on the “whatever” icon, go here, do this.

While I understand Intuit’s desire to provide users with the most space in which to focus on the task at hand – I personally feel that they’ve been rather dismissive on the “how to get there in the first place” part of the processes.  While the top icon bar, for example, contains many shortcuts to common tasks the color and size of the icons and text makes me feel like I have to strain to see what those shortcuts and icons represent.  Below is a screenshot of the top icon bar from QuickBooks 2012 and QuickBooks 2013 – notice that the icons and the font size in 2012 are larger, more pronounced, and easier to read; while the icons and text for the exact same tasks appear to blend together in 2013.

comparing the top icon bar of QuickBooks 2012 and 2013Right click on the image to enlarge it

Personally, I find the top icon bar of QuickBooks 2012 (the one on top) to be more visually appealing and easier to work with – simply because the icons have color (making them easy to distinguish), are larger (more easily recognized or seen) and the font size used for the description is larger and more easily read.

If you feel that color impacts your mood (like many of us do), if you look a color mood chart and look at what emotions are brought on by certain colors; you’ll see that black brings on feelings of tension, nervousness, harassed, and overworked while grey represents anxieties, nervousness, and strained.  I don’t know about you – but these are not emotions that I want to feel during my workday!

What do you think of the new colors in the top icon bar of QuickBooks 2013?


15 Responses to QuickBooks 2013 – Where Have the Colors Gone?

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    Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

    Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
    QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert

    I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.

    QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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