Hello, Fellow Designers! Today, we’re diving into the world of dark mode. When it comes to user experience, dark mode is the star of the show. In this journey, we’ll uncover what exactly dark mode is, whether it lives up to its promises, why is it market essential & how you can design for dark mode. Let’s get started on this exploration of how dark mode is changing the way we experience digital interfaces. 🌚💡
What Is Dark Mode?
Dark mode is a design option in user interfaces that switches up the typical look of screens. Instead of the usual light background and dark text, dark mode does the opposite. It uses darker shades like gray or black for the background, and lighter shades like white or light gray for the text and UI components. Basically, Dark mode offers a trendy and more soothing way to view content on screens!
Before we delve into the world of the dark mode design, let’s take a realistic look at some common beliefs that are often linked with dark mode. We’ll keep it real and steer clear of any misconceptions.
Belief 1: Dark Mode Saves More Energy
One widely held belief is that dark mode conserves energy. Is this fact or fiction? The answer lies somewhere in between.
If your device has OLED or AMOLED screens than it dark mode definitely saves more energy. Since each pixel is individually lit on OLED panels, dark mode, with its black or dark grey background, reduces the power requirements of the display. This can lead to improved battery life on devices that support dark mode.
On the other hand if your device has LCD or another type of screen, changing the color won’t do much for your battery life. That’s because LCD screens illuminate using a back panel that always lights up completely.
Belief 2: Dark Mode Reduces Eye Strain
Fact or Fiction? and again there is no straight answer. It depends on when & where you are using the device.
Dark mode can reduce eye strain in low-light conditions such as night-time or dimmer workspaces. However, in well-lit conditions, dark mode might actually strain your eyes more because it makes the text appear washed out.
Belief 3: Increased Concentration
Although lighter backgrounds are generally considered better for focus, there’s a catch. Computer screens can emit a slight flicker during refresh cycles, disrupting concentration. However, using a black background eliminates these flickers, assisting in maintaining better focus.
Belief 4: Better for Bedtime
Okay… Few studies have shown that Blue light, which is emitted by electronic devices, can disrupt sleep patterns and cause eye strain. Dark mode can help reduce the amount of blue light exposure, potentially promoting better sleep.
While it’s true that dark mode is highly beneficial during nighttime (for most people), I have to disagree with this belief. As my ma says, “No screens before bedtime.” So, while dark mode might help with reducing blue light exposure, it’s equally essential to manage screen time before sleep for a more restful night.
Why Dark mode is essential?
Dark mode has become an essential feature in the market for various reasons. Here’s why:
1) Aesthetics: Many people simply prefer the sleek and modern look of dark mode. It provides a visually appealing and stylish interface that has gained popularity among users.
Yes, the common belief no.1. With the rise of OLED and AMOLED screens, dark mode can significantly extend battery life on devices that use these technologies. Be sure to design for dark mode, especially for smartphones.
Almost all popular & most used apps are providing dark mode. Users are increasingly expecting dark mode as a standard feature, and not providing it could put a product at a disadvantage.
Dark mode is not just a trend; it’s a response to user demand. Many people find dark mode visually appealing and easier on the eyes, especially in low-light conditions. So, Some people prefer light mode but most people prefer dark mode.
Things to Consider While Designing for Dark Mode
1) Avoid Pure Black: Let’s talk about color. It’s wise to steer clear of using pure black as your main background color. When you place white text on a black background, the high contrast can strain your eyes. A better approach is to consider dark grays or other subdued dark colors. Light gray text on a dark gray background offers lower contrast and is easier on the eyes.
Just like with pure black, using pure white fonts might not be the best choice, whether your background is black or dark gray. Pure white letters on a dark background can appear blurry or distorted on most screens. When selecting fonts, consider opting for white with a lower level of opacity or light gray colors. This choice ensures better legibility and is gentler on the eyes.
Saturation refers to how intense and vibrant a color appears. Highly saturated colors can be bold and attention-seeking, ideal for design on light backgrounds. However, when it comes to dark backgrounds, the story changes. Using heavily saturated colors on a dark background can lead to issues with readability and user comfort. For dark mode, opt for desaturated shades. Quick tip: Aim for roughly 20 points lower saturation compared to light mode.
When designing for dark mode, it’s important to consider your brand and ensure that the colors and design elements are consistent with your brand identity.
Don’t just invert the color scheme. Inverting your existing light mode scheme to create a dark mode doesn’t necessarily mean the result will have high contrast. Be patient and create a dark mode-specific color palette that has enough contrast and is pleasant to the eye.
Testing your design for accessibility and ensuring that it meets WCAG color ratios is crucial. This ensures that your design is accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments.
In the realm of design, dark mode isn’t just another passing trend — it’s here to stay. Whether it’s conserving battery life or giving your eyes a breather, dark mode’s benefits are real(half real). So, designers, let’s embrace this trend responsibly, ensuring accessibility and maintaining our brand’s integrity. As users dive into the darker side, let’s offer them an experience that’s as sleek as it is soothing.