Sketchup UI Redesign Suggestion



What version of SketchUp are you using? Please complete your forum profile.


Waste of time. Anybody has a statistic how may user suggestions have been implemented by Trimble?


I can think of six or seven off the top of my head without even opening SketchUp. At least that many again in LayOut. You’ve alreay decided it’s a waste of your time though so I won’t go into it.


Nice, I like the web interface , I look forward to the day it moves closer to that.

SketchUp actually always has a lovely search tool that was introduced in 2022

Shift+S or the dog/magnifier-reticule icon in the menu bar

1 Like

I love the work you’ve done so far. I have been using a Stream Deck XL and I like using dark buttons to match the ambience of the room. I haven’t been able to find any good sketch up icons so if it’s cool I might take the ones you have posted here and try and see if they will work as button images.

1 Like

This looks like a potential improvement of some of the web based user interface. But this would be a severe oversimplification and unsuitable for the desktop pro application.

1 Like

Occasionally my 2023 glitches as it loads and the Ui goes black - I sometimes wonder if that’s a glitch into the future!


Absolutely, here’s some of the icons I made for the mock-ups
New Icons (623.8 KB)

Thanks for sharing…here are the ones I created for using in Chief Architect with a stream deck.

I’ve found that using an iPad works the best. 64 buttons on a single page.

Thanks, Dave! You are always so “objective” and “unbiased” when it comes to SketchUp’s shortcomings!

1 Like

yeah. I meant, it’s a nice proposition, but if it were up to me, I’d pass, even though I wouldn’t mind a dark UI version.

IMO it’s too far on the “sketchup - photoshop” scale.
On one hand, sketchup, quirky icons, colourful, easy to recognise, wanna move something ? it’s the red cross (yeah sure it’s four arrows… c’mon, it’s a red cross).

on the other hand, in photoshop, I have students who don’t recognise icon meaning anymore. I tell them to grab the eraser, it’s a weird black and white oblique rectangle.

When SU revamped the interface for the web edition, they simplified stuff, made it more minimalist, only three colours. And already it’s a lot, I don’t like using the web interface, I have to ACTIVELY look for tools, decipher the icons, instead of going with visual memory. the tape is not yellow anymore. stuff like that. Sure, it’s clean and modern, and for a new user, it’s no big deal. but for existing users, such a design change could be a LOT.

Here are two similar redesign cases we’ve seen recently that are, again, in my opinion, not great

Capture d’écran 2023-07-13 à 09.22.12
Again, the blue ones are stylish, the concept behind, cool. but looking at the 3 red ones, without the names, it had a logic. If I told you back then “there is one for 3d volumes, one for 2d plans, one for changing the aspect of the volumes”, most people could have guessed that the red 3d cube is for the 3d volumes and the flat icon with lines and letter the plan one.

Looking at the blue one, you loose that logic, it’s all 3d, Style builder’s icon makes an S, it must be Sketchup then, and this time the 3d cube is layout.

That’s the risk of going too far in the uniformisation and minimalism of UI. it’ll end up looking great in the demo, but not as intuitive for users.

Capture d’écran 2023-07-12 à 23.43.09
(that one needs no explanation)

on paper, in theory, sure. harmony, all you want.
in practice, it’s hell. it’s all pretty much the same, especially icon size. I’ve stopped teaching about the 4 icons in the toolbar, it’s easier to show them the menus. most people see a blueish hexagon in all cases.

again, nothing against your work as a theoretical exercise, it’s clean, it’s neat, but it becomes so clean and minimalist and uniform that it looses its ease-of-use. Professional softwares don’t have to be at the tip of the design trend. they have to be efficient. if you used the colour code from web/go/ipad, it would make a fine dark version for these I think (there is a reason why SU’s team still used red as a contrasting colour, and not just shades of blue. the red in the web icons is actually important to see what the icon will do)

yeah, I re-edited my post, added a comparison red/blue SU icons to mark my point that you can have good looking smart design and yet not so great UX.

well if people are allowed to make “objective” and “unbiased” criticism of sketchup, I don’t see why other can’t make similar praises. it cuts both ways.


I agree with you on the icons Pierre.

IMO there’s something classic and fun about the desktop icons – instantly recognisable as SketchUp.

The web icons are non descript and not fun.

One of the reasons that I don’t use the web version is because I find the icons grating.


Hi pablopcb,
Looks initially good to me, especially the ‘Dark’ option which most other professional programmes have had for sometime now. Would be good to see an option for this put forward by SU HQ sooner than later.

It might even persuade me to change from my SketchUp Pro 2021 Classic Perpetual license to subscription… :thinking:

1 Like

I would downgrade if anything like the web icons made their way into a future desktop SketchUp.

Unless SketchUp give us the option to choose between classic and new icons.


Form Z HQ next release (ver.10) has now announced a “Dark-mode” UI as part of their upgrade.

1 Like

it’s nice to see they resisted to the siren’s call of minimalism, the icons remain the same, on a light grey background.
That’s the sort of stuff I could get behind as a SU dark mode.

1 Like

Hi ateliernab,

It’s also interesting they’re discussing a future upgrade with their audience rather than the SU-HQ… :zipper_mouth_face:…!

Crazy looking backdrop drawing…what is it :question:

1 Like

How hard is it to have themed icons?

Not hard at all. Except when you need to convince the marketing department to allow some creative freedom.


Thank you, Pablo.

I like what you’ve done; however, if it were implemented it would, likely, be a problem for long-time users who have become so familiar with the existing UI that movements are second-nature. I would like to see it implemented but it should be done such that it would be an option that the user could control, like themes are. I’m a hobbyist user of SU and could likely adapt to the change easily.

My programming skills are ancient; so I don’t know if this idea could be implemented reasonably, but I’d like to see some way to use mouse clicks to bring a pop-up menu of icons in close proximity to where the cursor is positioned allowing the user to make minimal cursor movement to select a new tool or tray option. Right clicking in Windows causes a pop-up menu to be displayed. That’s the sort of thing I’d like to see. I’d also like to see a feature allowing the user to control the position of toolset icons. I find having to move from drawing location to toolset menu and back to drawing location a bit ‘clumsy’ (if that’s the right word) or excessive. This could, perhaps, free up screen space devoted to always showing menus and trays.

I wonder what others would think of the idea.

1 Like