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User Interface/User Experience Design: How Popular is Dark Mode Anyway?

It seems like Dark Mode is becoming ubiquitous on just about everything, including on social media and all our mobile devices. With brighter LED screens and more people looking at digital screens in the dark, having this mode does come in handy.

What does it portend for UI and UX design? Is it really all that trendy, or is it being overused?

In the realm of eye strain, Dark Mode has its health benefits. Some variations are being done, though, for more artistic effect.

How Bright Is Text?

One thing to notice about Dark Mode is most designers refrain from using a stark white on all text. The better design trend on this is to use a light text without making it too bright.

The whole point is to prevent strain to the eyes, something science seems to support. Overall scientific findings show looking at black text against a white background is safest for our eyes. It all relates to the structure of the human iris.

At the same time, looking at a brighter screen will cause more eye strain if reading for long hours. This is where Dark Mode becomes important to just reduce strain in low-light conditions. Yet, it conversely causes eye strain if using Dark Mode in rooms with bright lights.

All scientific facts told, learning about how this mode applies on websites and apps should inform you of how widespread it now is.

Are More Sites Creating Dark Modes to Save Battery Life?

Another great benefit to using Dark Mode for enhanced UI and UX experiences is preserving battery life on mobile devices. Evidence points to this being true, depending on the type of screen one uses.

Most sources say OLED screens using Dark Mode save more battery power because black OLED pixels draw no power. LCD screens are a different story, even if bringing some power savings.

Brighter LED screens on tablets nowadays makes this perhaps less of a possibility. Still, the look cannot be denied. Seeing the creative methods being used on well-known sites and apps offers a good roadmap on how to apply it.

As most probably know, all mainstream social media sites now offer options for use on a desktop or mobile device.

Sites That Use Dark Mode Creatively

Many of the most popular operating systems and sites in the world offer Dark Mode in some ways. Some of them add little touches that make it look unique for the user, including giving options to tweak the screen appearance.

As Wired noted a while back, not every app has this feature yet. If not, one can usually tap into it through its operating system. For instance, Windows offers Dark Mode now, as does MacOs, iOS, and iPadOS.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram also give you a Dark Mode option, something Facebook was initially slow to adopt. Now a year after being fully implemented, places like Mashable declared 2019 the year of this mode.

How can one go about making it work for a website or app to give it a unique aesthetic?

Tips On Making This Work With One’s Brand

If the brand colors of a business already translate well in Dark Mode, that is always advantageous. This is why it’s smart to test a web or app design first to see how well the colors match.

Most design experts recommend never going too dark and instead use a dark gray with desaturated colors. Also, Google recommends a 15.8:1 text-to-background contrast level.

Colors that pop against a dark background are also an emerging trend, including neon and glowing texts.


Visit us at Jaroop to learn more about Dark Mode and other elements of UI/UX design.

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