Sketchup UI Redesign Suggestion

I think part of the difference of opinions on UI interfaces comes from different uses of SketchUp. Sometimes UX UI designers achieve a clean looking streamlined interface that looks great by sacrificing top level options and burying them in menus, pop ups, or fly out sub menus. This looks good on a screenshot but in practice slows the workflow with cumbersome required navigation to find useful tools. For a Pro user like myself who employs many extension in their workflow there may be 50 or more tool icons needed along with hundreds more in the menu systems. Having these icons all at the top level for use may look “messy” but once a workflow is established it’s fast. That’s why something like the iPad or web based UI feels like a big step back for me, despite how “modern” it looks.


Just wanted to add my +1 for the dark UI (option), and ideally, there would be at least a couple options (classic, minimal, etc) for the icons as well.

The biggest challenge I see to this design is dealing with all the additional extension toolbars. Since so much of SketchUp’s functionality lies in extensions (which is a huge gripe of mine actually), everyone is going to have additional toolbars. Will those snap to these vertical side bars, or will they still live along the top?

I think as long as the interface is still somewhat customizable (not that it’s currently that flexible or sleek), then I think this could be a great improvement.

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It’s great to see so many answers and suggestions, it really happened what I wanted to happen, that is to make the UI of Sketchup a topic that more people can give their opinions.
The points of using classic colors to mantain the musle memory or having a easier read of the icons is really good, also the huge amount of extensions that needed to be added I didn’t took that into account.
And yes I also hope to see the Dark mode implemented into the new updates.
I’ll take all of your suggestions and try to create new mockups with that and let’s hope we can see some of the suggestions make it as a future update.


You might want take a look at the Trimble/SketchUp Modus UI style guide: Extensions on fleek: Try the new SketchUp UI style guide

You can contribute your feedback and icons (Under, “Submit Icons”) here: How to Contribute | Trimble Modus Design System

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Hi All,
Here at SketchUp we often are on the forums reading your feedback to see how we can improve the product across the 3 Platforms. Desktop, Web and Mobile. We will be publishing a Icon users guide shortly and the philosophy of how we are designing our icon sets with best practices in mind. For example user contrast ratios for visibility we ran through our icons through Contrast ratios color generators. On a side note for Dark Mode if you want to get a glimpse of what it will look like. Check out SketchUp for IPad!.

Salvatore Reda

The original post appeared as I was creating sets of toolbar icons.

Viewer Discretion is Advised!

Screenshot 2023-07-20 132904

Earlier today was a failed attempt at getting Modus to work…

Because this doesn't look great.

Screenshot 2023-07-20 134405

Comments show that some users have strong preferences about icon/UI appearance. It seems this can be best addressed by allowing users more options than small/large icons and adding a dark mode.

Maybe there is room at Trimble for an Icon & Theme Generator? If UI designers could submit icon sets / themes and easily apply Modus you’d be killing two birds with one stone: Trimble gets unified Modus across platforms, and users get UIs suited to their preferences. Skilled UI designers who may not want to create Trimble Modus may still want to contribute their original creations because Modus can then just be a variation on their theme. Imagine applying a Fredo6 or Evil Software Empire theme across SU? I’d try that just for amusement.

As my example icons clearly demonstrate, the world would be a better place if Trimble had a Theme & Icon generator!

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