As a new user, I’m finding the full-color bitmap icons really difficult to “read” and differentiate from one another. My eyes are not great, so they all kind of look like little blobs of multi-colored mud.
Separately, as a UI designer/developer I find them pretty unappealing to look at, but I know that’s a subjective thing and I’m sure there are a ton of long-time users that would respond negatively to any major changes.
But I think I good compromise would be to provide some mechanism to customize the icons, or even the GUI styles more broadly. I noticed that you’ve migrated to Qt in the LTE branch (and a lot of the UX is a huge improvement over the stable branch!). I browsed their documentation a bit and it seems like they provide some support for runtime UI customization (unless I’m misunderstanding), so hopefully it wouldn’t be too huge of an undertaking to allow users to define an XML map of icons or something similar?
Just to offer some context, I initially purchased a competing software package (well, two of them, actually I’m about $900 deep in terrain-generating software now) before finally coming to terms with the fact that World Machine is the only tool that really has all of the capabilities I need. But the UI/UX is such a huge hurdle that I’m finding it really difficult to get anything done.