Reduce the brightness, rest your eyes, and conserve energy. The dark mode is one of the hottest design trends, and leading firms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, Facebook, and Apple have already jumped on board.
Consider what these leading businesses are doing and how you might include dark mode UI into your designs. You’ll understand what is dark mode for websites, the benefits of dark mode, as well as fundamental best practices for designing for dark mode, to ensure that your web and app designs look and perform flawlessly in dark mode.
What exactly is the dark mode?
The dark mode is a low-light user interface (UI) that uses a dark hue as the primary background color—typically black or a shade of grey. It’s a reversal of the decades-old white UI default. As a result of our increasing screen time, developers noticed that dark theme interfaces reduce eye strain, particularly in low-light or nighttime environments. Reduced eye strain resulted in fewer headaches and a more enjoyable work environment.
However, dark mode is not a new concept.
In The Matrix, do you recall the green computer code showering down over a black background? That was a homage to the original dark mode: the early computers’ monochrome screen.
In the 1980s, this classic dark aesthetic was phased out in favour of black text on a white backdrop designed to simulate the appearance of ink on paper.
This was the norm for over three decades until dark mode made a triumphant return in Windows Phone 7 in 2010. Google added dark mode to their Android operating system in 2018 after confirming that it improves battery life. Apple followed suit a year later with the addition of a dark mode to iOS and iPadOS.
The dark mode was often reserved for coders, who spent their days looking at code for extended periods. They found the dark mode more pleasurable, which resulted in its widespread adoption. As user preferences evolve, an increasing number of websites are experimenting with their design aesthetics or responding to their readers’ needs. Everything is being examined in dark mode, from typography to logo design to layout.
In either case, dark mode is well on its way to becoming a commonly utilised, mainstream alternative, with its popularity increasing as superior new technologies such as VPNs, SaaS platforms, and cloud services adopt it. However, as we shall see, this has both advantages and problems.
Why use dark mode on Websites
Not only is dark mode pleasing to the eyes, but it also conserves battery life and may even be healthier. The practical benefits of dark mode for website are as follows:
Reduces strain on the eyes
You are not meant to have any sensation in your eyes. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a group of symptoms that include eye pain, blurred vision, double vision, headaches, and neck/back pain. When it comes to charts and graphs, a dark mode can alleviate some of the discomforts.
Apart from the hurting neck and minor tightness in the thumb, always being on our phones is dangerous for our eyes, with 2 in 3 people expected to develop eye strain due to excessive phone use. The dark mode is here to assist with this by making the screen more visible in low-light situations such as at night or early morning. It can be far gentler on the eyes, resulting in less strain and being more beneficial in the long run.
Increases visibility in low-light environments
If you are sleeping and someone switches on a bright light, you will experience a headache. The same idea applies to folks who work late at night or early in the morning in front of a computer screen. Dark mode dims the strong light and improves visibility in low-light circumstances.
Increases the life of the battery
Certain digital devices equipped with OLED displays can turn off black pixels while they are not in use. Dark mode increases the number of black pixels on the screen, which forces the device to consume less energy.
Additionally, the dark mode has been shown to boost battery life. According to a new PhoneBuff test, iPhone batteries can be extended up to 30%. This is true only if users have an OLED display. This is because black pixels consume no power, whereas their LCD counterparts consume the same amount of power regardless of the colour displayed.
Enhances emotional well-being
Many dark mode UI users are motivated by health and energy-saving concerns rather than aesthetic concerns. Dark mode serves as a reminder that they’re doing something a little healthier, which generates a positive feeling—similar to the one you get when you fill up your reusable shopping bag or water bottle.
Prevents Attention Deficit Disorder
To some extent, white light and colours tend to divert your attention, making it more difficult to stay focused. Dark mode UI can help you focus by directing your attention to the interface’s content zones, allowing the content to stand out and the background to fade away.
Explore additional design alternatives.
Dark mode enables designers to experiment with new design possibilities for their goods. A white screen might make certain colors harder to see. For example, a red background may need you to concentrate more carefully on words than a dark one would.
The trend toward darker designs has been far more pronounced in mobile applications than on web pages. Numerous application designers prefer to reduce the lights due to the darker environment’s:
- Conceals backgrounds, big images, and writing.
- Enhances the professional appearance of image-heavy designs.
- Younger folks who play many video games are accustomed to grey color palettes and anticipate that apps will follow suit.
Finally, there is no doubting that a black background brings out the vibrancy of some hues! When the background is dimmed—or when entirely black backgrounds are used—light blue, pink, and yellow, among other hues, show out. These hues would be lost against a white backdrop, yet they pop against black.
The popularity of dark mode is unlikely to wane anytime soon. Both visually and practically, it provides a lot of benefits to its users. As we approach 2022, including it into your web design decisions will put you ahead of the curve and help your website stand out.