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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
I also do not like the changes, I am about to downgrade just because of that. There should be at least the possibility to choose the old look and feel. Especially I am missing the task coloring under the calendar. Based on colors I was able to choose the important tasks easily, now I need to look closely
Many nice features with 2010, but you COMPLETELY MISSED THE MARK on the dark gray navigation pane and the apparent inability to change back to black font on white background. I'm a Microsoft partner - gave Office 2010 demo today to 3 clients after I loaded my action pack version on my laptop, and I was actually embarrassed that I couldn't change the navigation pane color from the immutable gray to white or another higher contrast (lighter) color after repeated requests by those in attendance to "get rid of the gray". After scouring the net, I found 100's of other users who agree. So, when will we have the nice new features of 2010 without losing the simple flexibility to decide on our own colors? Please, please, please - a better job needs to be done with actual user testing and focus groups...
I think the colors in the new Office Suck. I actually found them a starin to read and uninstqalled and went back to the old office.
At LAEST Use 2007 colors. They're easier on the eye.
Yes, the new colors make the message panel "pop". Unfortunately, they also make everything else on the main view irritating as hell to read. What genius decided that you would not even include an OPTION that put a white background behind text that you're trying to read? Especially for overdue tasks, red text is extremely irritating to read on every background you've "thoughtfully" limited users to.
I can't stress this enough, you've effectively taken a page that was busy, yes, but contained a lot of useful information, and forcibly turned 30% of it into dull, hard-to-read wasted space.
If there were any customization option to fix this I wouldn't care, but you've literally removed any chance of setting things up in a readable way. This is absolutely NOT the best looking Outlook ever. Give us a "White" theme that has decent contrast on anything other than the email pane and then we can talk.
I really do not like Office 2010. I migrated from Office 2003 to 2010 bypassing 2007. I use Outlook and Word, mostly, but also dabble in PPT.
I have to say that what took me 1 or 2 steps in this Office Suite now takes 2 or 3. The interface has changed so much I am at a loss as to how to do many of the things I used to do. I have been working with this program for over 6 months now so it isn't a virginal clumsiness that makes it difficult to work with: it is definitely more complicated, not streamlined. The online help isn't help at all but an exercise in frustration as I plow through all the things I don't want to read about in order to find out how to do something.
I use IMAP for my Gmail because work used Gmail for our company. IMAP in Outlook 2003 worked seamlessly. In 2010 it freezes, hangs for a while, goes s-l-o-w, or constantly marks read messages as unread. I am starting to just go to Gmail on the web instead of Outlook 2010 because even though I hate the Gmail interface, I hate what Outlook 2010 does with Gmail.
This program is not more streamlined in my opinion. It is clunky, non-intuitive, and buggy (at least the IMAP part).
My productivity has dropped over 40%. So have others at work.
I wish I could go back to 2003...
It cost us a lot of money to get this program and no one is happy about it. No money back guarantee if you aren't satisfied. Looks like we are stuck with this for a long time.
I have a problem.
Considering my age, I have fragile eyes.
I need rough colors. A true blue, a true red, a true yellow. Not or little of pastels.
With office 2010 it is not possible to really change the color scheme. How to create my own color scheme ? And why not ?
Blue, silver or black, it is the same problem for me. too much pastel.
Sorry, but I will have to pass to another office Suit
Was able to finally upgrade to 2010 at work and like with every other "upgrade" it will take time to adapt and learn the changes. However, i had to comment on the statement below questioning whether people really like a background other than white. I have to say that "like" isn't the option. Looking at a screen all day with fluorescent lights makes too much white very hard on the eyes. My complaint with 2010 is that there is too much white that I can't get rid of. In the old versions I could just make all the white into light grey and be done with it. Now there are areas that I cannot change to grey. And the pre set selections have too much white. When I create my own color theme, Excel and Word loose many color coded options. I also don't like that way I have to find previously used documents. The page that opens has more information than I need and not as much room for a long list of items. I did like that change in 2007, but can't find a way to have that short list available to me. A little more research might find something, but again, lost time at work learning "improvements" every year is getting annoying. Just my rant...in another year there will be a new version I have to relearn...[I really liked Word 1 and Excel 1...simple and too the point...yes, i am old (haha!)]
I upgraded from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010 and from first glance, the UI looked like a downgrade to Win 98. I don't like it at all. The look and feel of 2007 was the best that you have had so far. Is there a way to get all the bug fixes and functionality of 2010 with the 2007 look and feel?
I'm shocked at how bad you mucked up Outlook 2010. It looks like someone puked on 2008. Sheez, you guys are trying way to hard to just make it different. Different does not equal better. How can I get the old interface, and especially color back. BTW, fire your color designer.
Baby blue, please. I want to up-chuck
You guys screwed up. Can't you just leave things alone. Hey, if it works don't try and fix it. I HATE THE NEW OUTOOK 2010. Unfortunately company is making us switch. You dropped 3D shading on item. You have got to be kidding. Do you really know what you're doing.
Talk about stepping back to Win3.1. Nothing like living in a MS 2D world. Horrible job. Words can't express how disappointed I am. I think is MS worst blunder yet. And you've had some good ones. Geeze I hate what you've done to a what use to be a really great program. Well one or two more rounds and we can just give up on MS and move to MAC.
Does anyone know of another email client that can hook into Exchange servers. MS totally puked on 2010. There is no God Damm way my eyes will survive looking at these flat, pale, plane sick colors. You freaking idiots.
And BTW, I loved Outlook 2008. Way to go!!!
The new plainer look is not an improvement to Outlook. Although, it may make items muted and provides more focus to the messages, the drowned out colors hurt the eyes. I use Outlook all day long and my eyes are starting to gloss over within 30 minutes.
Please bring back some color and defintions to this product. The all gray, blue, black selection reminds me of working on mainframe terminals which is boring and extremely hard on the eyes.
Microsoft - Please change your colors!!!!!
I wasn't going to bother signing up to comment, but I hate the new colors so much I had to comment. I went from Office 2007 to 2010 - the color scheme is HORRIBLE! The look of 2007 was great. I like the new features with 2010 but hate the colors.. I'd rather just use Outlook Web Access to get the new features then the client. Please, please consider changing the color schemes. I like how 2007 felt and didn't see a need to change. While I do believe that it takes time to adjust to new ideas this is the worst feel yet from all of the upgrades I've done. It hurts my eyes to look at the screen! I may go back to 2007.
The look and feel of Office 2010 is awful. The crispness of the views and colour options of 2003 have been replaced by horrible, illegible views - the monthly calendar is particularly incomprehensible. And just three colour schemes of Black, Silver and Blue is the opposite of progress and user empowerment.
If this is the pinnacle of Microsoft's UI design in 2010 then Microsoft if further behind Apple than I thought.
I was recently upgraded to Office 2010 by our IT dept. I am very disappointed that there is only 3 choices in the customization of colors. Ugly Baby Blue, Nasty Grey and Jet Black. WOW (Sarcasm Font) Really? Come On .. 3 Colors? What happened did they cut the color budget? With the number of Themes you have for Windows 7, and IE, at the VERY LEAST the Office Team should have the ability to provide a customizable color set for Office 2010.
Your markets demographic is aging. The 3D widgets, flattening of lists and the LH Pane does not provide enough contrast.
Read these posts, it will tell you exactly what your market is upset about and gives direct feedback on the product..