I have read through many forums from May 2012 right up through the current ones about this issue. There are a lot of Photoshop users who are complaining about the size of tool icons and other elements as being way too small. Then there are others who defend the size of Photoshop and some who say the icons haven't really changed. Finally, there are some who say Adobe will not do anything about this.
Let me offer a perspective as a 15 year user of Photoshop and other Adobe products. Under the earlier versions of CS, Photoshop would follow the Windows sizing instructions inputed by the user. So if we wanted everything to be large and 150% of normal size, Photoshop would follow those instructions regardless of the monitors resolution. In CC especially, it appears Adobe has abandoned any connection in its software to what the user has defined in Windows about sizing. This isn't so much about the actual size as defined in Adobe's code but how those sizes vary or don't vary based on Windows settings.
This is no minor matter. We are now working on a high resoltuion, 23" Apple Cinema Monitor at top resolution. We do that to get maximam clarity. At the same time, we know that we cannot possibly use any software that looks as small as it would in that resoltuion without adjustment. So we turn around and crank Windows up to maximum oversize in every setting that exist. The result is that desktop icons show at the size we want and other major software also shows at the size we want. The best example is Cubase which is a professional digital audio workstation. Cubase is to muisic what Photoshop is to images. Both highly professional tools. The difference is that even in high resolution, Cubase defers to the Windows sizing. All the icons, menus, navigation bar, track workspace and more are very large just like the icons on our desktop.
This means that we know it is possible and not difficult for all software to follow the Windows settings inspite of the native resolutlion. So far Adobe has chosen not to do this. Below is a screen shot of PS CC on our monitor (actually 2 monitors with Apple Cinema on the left where PS is). Unlike all the screen shots that have been shown by others during the last 18 months, we made sure that our desktop icons could be clearly seen as well. Notice the size difference between PS icons, navigation and elements versus our desktop icons. Cubase looks like our desktop icons. So why can't PS?
It is our recommendation that Adobe do the following immediately. You can't ignore 18 months or more of complaints from a large number of users without addressing the problem. The world has gone to high resolution monitors but for many of us, we need the size of software to be larger than the native resolution we are using. It's not a matter of dropping the resolution. That is not desirable and not necessary based on our actual experience. That produces other types of problems with lack of clarity that don't work. Try to select a single strand of a sound wave when there are one hundred a second in low resolution. We need the resolution but we also need the software to show larger for those that want it. For those that don't, you may be happy but why should everyone else be unhappy or unable to use the new software.
1. Provide a yes/no option to allow Adobe CC to follow the Windows sizing settings inspite of monitor resolution. Those that don't want to do this can leave it no. Those that want it can turn it on and make the entire program look bigger.
2. Provide internal CC settings to increase the size of any and all visual workspace elements and tools on a percentage basis for maximum flexibility. There may be good reasons why some people don't want to change their Windows sizing but do want to increase the visual size of CC programs.
Frankly, this is not rocket science and I'm amazed Adobe didn't jump on solutions after the 2012 forum discussions. To hear from people that nothing is gong to be done is scary for the user and should be scary for Adobe since it could result in losing customers and sales. Let's make this program work for all users on all resolution monitors in the way they need it to work. Other major software companies have done this. Why is Adobe the odd company out on this.