Inspired by the UI updates - Here are additional UI items that need addressing

I’m relieved to see that there have been more UI/UX updates. I’m glad users expressed their opinions and helped move the needle on that. I wanted to point out some additional issues that will hopefully be resolved in the future.

Confusing “Default” Colors

Cubase/Nuendo provides preset “Default” UI colors that define the overall user interface. The range from a very dark gray to a medium gray and a couple in between. It’s been incorrectly suggested by others that only one of those colors is a default. That would seem to be incorrect since the collection is labeled as “Default Colors” – plural. The confusion reveals itself when we realize some defaults work better than others.

The problem

It seems that the UI design is mostly optimized for the first color, a dark gray, and the UI is not actually designed for another color-- the medium gray. For example, the Arranger track uses green arrows in the inspector. You can see in the image below that the green arrows have an appropriate contrast.

However, if you use another default color such as medium gray, the green arrows are no longer visible (for many of us).

The extends to other scenarios. Here the QC parameters have a higher contrast with the dark UI.

That contrast is reduced with the default, medium, gray UI.


I’m guessing that much of the UI design and design system was originally created for the dark UI color. As a result these issues were ignored or overlooked.

Why do we need a Dark UI and a Medium Gray UI?

These two colors provide a high to lower contrast experience. Users may choose one or the other depending on their eyesight, monitor brightness, or external brightness in their location. For example, the higher contrast “Dark UI” is more effective when there’s more sunlight in my room. I do prefer the Medium Gray most of the time.

Possible Solutions

  • Ideally, the UI needs to work with all the default colors if possible.
  • If a “default color” can’t provide a consistent experience, remove it from the list of defaults. Don’t provide users with a “default” color that hasn’t been effectively tested.
  • Consider the importance of an effective Higher and Lower contrast UI