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When designing Outlook 2010, we worked hard to ensure that the colors, shapes, and text used within the product provide a pleasant experience and make it easy for you to get work done. We have done this by redesigning parts of the user interface to give Outlook a clean, crisp, high-quality look that is free from distracting visual elements. By simplifying many parts of the user interface, we’ve allowed your e-mail messages and meetings to shine in the foreground better than ever before! Let’s take a look at some examples of how the new visuals improve Outlook.
For instance, in the screenshots below, notice how the new look of the Navigation Pane buttons is simpler. We have removed the glassy blue gradients and bright orange selection color so that the buttons are less distracting and more refined. For more about the changes in the Navigation Pane, see Melissa’s earlier post.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
The To-Do Bar and Navigation Pane have been darkened in Outlook 2010 – this makes your message list and reading pane pop out from the surface of Outlook so that it is easier to focus on the content that matters – your messages!
We also flattened and simplified the Calendar to achieve the same goals as in the Inbox – to make your content easier to focus on.
The ribbon has been simplified as well – notice how buttons and groups of buttons no longer have borders.
We have also removed unnecessary visual elements (like the Inbox header below) to provide more room on screen to show your messages.
The default theme for Outlook 2010 is the Silver theme, as shown in the screenshots above. In addition to the Silver theme, Outlook 2010 includes two more great color themes — Blue and Black.
Outlook 2010 Blue Theme
Outlook 2010 Black Theme
Outlook 2010 Silver Theme
To change an Office theme, click the File tab, click Options, and then on the General tab, choose a different color scheme.
I hope you will agree that Outlook 2010 is the best-looking Outlook, ever! Let me know what you think in the comments!
For more about the goals behind the Office 2010 refresh, see Keri’s post on the Office 2010 Blog.
Tom O’Neill Outlook Program Manager
More info on Outlook themes:
Changing your themeChange the Outlook 2010 color scheme
@Eric Fookes. Have you "sent a frown" from the 2010 beta tools. AT least those will get read by someone.
Use Outlook since it exists. Use Outlok 2010 since internal Beta. Works like charm. The first Outlook I felt in love with.
I actually find the removal of the Inbox Header that you describe as an "unnecessary visual element" to be a distinct backwards step as it served the purpose of providing the clearest indication of which folder you're looking at! Working with the navigation pane minimised (or off), I find that the 'instant awareness' (reminder) of which folder you're looking at (within email, Notes, or wherever) is significantly reduced in Outlook 2010. The only places in which that information is now displayed (unless the navigation pane is fully expanded) are:
- as part of the window's title, which is well away from the general eye-line / focus of attention while working, and
- in the “Search (Ctrl + E)” text of the instant search box, which is de-emphasised in size/colour and so also fails to easily provide that instant reminder Unless the reading pane is to the right (only one of the three options) removing it doesn't even result in the claimed space saving, as the "bar" is still there to hold the Instant Search box to the right, with the space all across to the left (where the folder name used to be) totally wasted. If the mo visually helpful 2007 approach can't be returned, perhaps the folder name could be displayed after or in place of the "Folders" label that appears on the minimised navigation pane? It would also be useful to somehow highlight the "button" area of a 'Favourite' mail folder that's visible on the minimised navigation pane when that folder is being viewed (e.g. with a slightly different background colour, or an added border line just inside the edge).
I still can't like the Office 2010 interface... Bland, ugly depressing, It has all been mentioned so many times before.... I did like the Office 2010 Tech Preview but then with the Beta, it looked so lifeless and dull. The Tech Preview had enough colour differentiation that you could tell what program you were in by th clour easily with asimple glance, even from a distance away.. this current one... .. Maybe the release might be something different.. but I am not holding my breath..
I have to agree with most of the posters here. The new interface design is just ugly and reminds me of the office of 10 years ago. Simplifying an application doesn't mean removing all the visual improvments you've made over the years. It looks like you could run that office 2010 with 16 colors and not notice a difference! If windows7 had been released with that same flat bland look no one would be buying it.
The interface redesign is great. I wasn't that happy with 2007 and I really disliked the color scheme so I stuck with 2003. I installed the 2010 beta a few days ago just to see what it was like and within the span of a day pretty much abandoned 2003. I'm a mostly light user of Outlook but I get a decent amount of email throughout the day and I found the Conversations grouping very helpful in keeping track of the multiple email chains I have to deal with.
The majority of the comments in here seem to be displeased with the look of the new Outlook 2010 (Today (3/4/10) I counted 12 against the new theme and 4 in favor of it). However, Tom O'Neill, Outlook Program Manager seems to be in denial the majority of the people that have posted on this forum are displeased by the new look. He writes, "Of course, not everyone will like every color choice we’ve made..." My suggestion to anyone at Microsoft, who is concerned about making Outlook the best product in its class, is to have an option to have Outlook 2010 look like Outlook 2007. Just my thoughts...
Hopefully someone can help with this - after opening and reading an email and hitting the delete button, there used to be options to "open previous item" "open next item" or "return to Inbox". Right now it just returns to the Inbox. Was this removed in OL 2010?
I know this is completely off topic, but I love the theme used by this blog. Is this something built just for this blog or an extension of a commercial free theme?
I'm with SteveB... I work with the Navigation pane minimized so the folder header is 1) a good visual indicator and 2) (more important for me) a quick way to get access to the context menu for the folder. (e.g. Right-click, Mark all as Read.)
Is there a docuemnt that compares Outlook 2010 to Outlook Web App. Trying to determine what the differences are. I found one for 2007 but not 2010. Thanks.
I've got to agree with most comments here. The interface of Outlook 2010 is absolutely horrible. Please MS, you knock our socks off with Windows 7 then kick us in the teeth with the horrible look of Outlook 2010. Oh yes, I agree, "Conversations" are BROKEN beyond belief. Just because two people email me with the same subject doesn't mean they are in the same conversation. Simply terrible feature, could be useful if done correctly. I live in Outlook during the work day, please take on board some of the comments in this blog.
@Warrier- I'm glad you like it; the Office Design Group provided us with this new theme. You can read more about it here: blogs.msdn.com/.../check-out-our-new-blog-design.aspx
Yea, I'm getting a little tired of companies forcing me to accept new looks and feels every single iteration. Develop them, fine, some might like it. But let those of us who aren't crazy about it go to the old look. There are some great improvements, don't get me wrong. But there are also things that really annoy me. For example, I hate how the folder list and todo-panes are SO DARK. It's a huge eye strain. Silver is the "lightest" theme, but it's just so plain, it's a bore to look at and hard to track down the things I want to focus on. For the record, I will say the "plainer" ribbon, I do like, especially it's customizability (with the GLARING and AGGRIVATING exception that I can't modify the default panels, only add new ones - WTF???).
Thanks for the very big printscreens ;-) Can't see anything.