Proof that designers thrash

I've suspected for years that when designers run out of real work to do they "redesign" working software because they cannot sit still, want to justify their salary/position on a project, or maybe they just like to make everyone learn new user interfaces every couple of years.

Until recently I had no hard proof of this. But today I realized that the combination of two trends presently going on are the needed proof. These trends are removal of color on the Web and simultaneous addition of color in the terminals.

I already mentioned that the Web is becoming colorless. As far as I can tell this trend started with apple declaring a war on color with most designers following suit. Nowadays the most popular color for websites is arguably gray.

Incidentally, just today github rolled out a new design of organization pages, where links that were previously blue are now black. Interestingly they are high contrast black and not gray - either there was an internal revolt against gray-on-white color schemes or the designers could not make the grays any more white so they decided to spring in the opposite direction and make them black.

As the Web slowly devolves into black and white, what is happening in terminals? The exact opposite! Colors are being added to program output left and right. The most recent examples I saw were gcc errors and whatever debugging junk gtk prints when stuff it is not too happy with happens. In both of these cases, the color was used to highlight pretty silly stuff - the address of an function in a stack trace, for example. These addresses already stand out being a sequence of 8 or 16 digits in what otherwise is more or less English prose, but clearly that was insufficient to someone out there and now these numbers are red.

There is no rational explanation for why color should be nuked off the Web but stuffed into terminal output whereever possible. In both cases the change is the opposite of the status quo. To me this is clear evidence that designers are thrashing at least on the color issue.