Dark Mode Rises- why is it suddenly every web designer’s favorite?

At times, it’s the simplest of stuff that scale up to be everyone’s favorite over time. The Dark Mode is one such phenomenon. Initially introduced as some default coding, today the very Dark Mode seems to be gaining increasing traction with each passing day. It’s no longer limited to just computer developers or programmers- rather, from desktop/mobile users to website visitors, every user online user prefers the dark mode these days.

Reasons are manifold behind this envious popularity of dark mode. To start with, it helps to protect the eyes. Next, dark mode consumes less battery. Besides, the increasingly popular mode also enhances the overall appeal of a web design.

The post below shares the coolest and not-so-cool parts of dark mode, followed by a brief on the major reasons behind its stellar popularity today.

Dark Mode decoded

Also dubbed as the “dark theme” or “night mode”, Dark Mode is a feature (on a mobile app or website) which enables users to change backdrop shade of user interface into something dark, say grey or black. In regard to website design, this feature is especially used to create a visually convenient layout so that visitors find it more comfortable to read or check the contents (video, text etc.) in dark.

The good and not-so-good bits about Dark Mode website design-

Advantages:

  • Enhances user experience
  • Enhances visibility of mobile application or website content, especially in the low-light environments
  • Guards from unwanted blue-light exposure
  • Guards eye from digital strain
  • Cuts glare
  • Saves battery as well as energy

Disadvantages:

  • Not useful when you want comfortable readability in long-term
  • Doesn’t help in daylight hours
  • Might hamper readability especially if the content is viewed from smartphone

Why is dark mode gaining brownie points in web design world?

Now, let’s take a look at the most significant reasons behind the rising use of the Dark Mode of late.

Your battery messiah

It’s a digital world we are living in today where a major chunk of our daily activities is performed online. From working to education to shopping to leisure and recreational activities, almost every thing we do these days, we do online. Constant use of mobile or laptop/desktop/tablet drains away the battery life fast. This is where Dark Mode could be your savior.

Without the dark mode, the empty bright white space right on your device’s screen demands more power. And that in turn eats away the battery of your device. As per XDA Developers, the black or grey dark mode has shown to cut down on consumption of battery by a whopping 63 percent on the AMOLED displays, and that too with high brightness.

Not just that, Google also supports use of Dark Mode. The search engine giant has already confirmed that dark mode is extremely beneficial for the battery life on the OLED screens. For example, if a user can adjust the screen brightness to, say, 15 percent, the YouTube interface would be able to save around 15 percent screen energy- compared to a bright flat screen.

If both the Google and online users are so ga-ga over something, it’s only apt that web designers pay more heed to it.

Your eyes love it

It has already been mentioned above that Dark Mode in web design makes things comfortable for your precious eyes. It’s especially the case when you have to read in low-light or dimly-lit environments. No wonder, internet users have started liking Dark Mode as it helps them to prevent digital optic strain. And smart web designs always look to incorporate what the users love.

Light-colored text content on dark background is far easier and more comfortable to read compared to dark textual content on bright background. As per the medical experts, the iris is under more stress and has to expand way more when you have to read on bright screen that on dark screen.

Additionally, research studies have shown dark mode even helps users to reduce the unwanted exposure to the harmful blue light. It’s to stress here, the blue ray emitted from computer, smartphone and similar tends to supress melatonin production or the sleep hormone. In other words, Dark Mode can be effective to prevent insomnia issue that’s caused by long-term exposure to digital screens.

Tech big wigs vouching for it

Dark mode has also won the hearts of tech giants by now. A good bunch of tech big wigs, like Apple, Google, Android, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Samsung etc. have already adopted the said feature for their services.

Google Chrome has implemented Dark Mode through Night Eye. A welcome feature, Night Eye enables users to turn on Dark Mode for almost all sites one might visit using Google’s own algorithm. The new Chrome extension also allows users to control in-built dark themes featured by online platforms such as Reddit or YouTube. While expressing their new-found love for Dark Mode, Google has also declared that the feature can enhance visibility for those with low-vision, such as users who are somewhat sensitive to vibrant light.

The Safari browser too has embraced Dark Mode with open arms. To enable the said mode on Safari, one has to switch to dark theme of greater macOS. This dark theme works all across the system, be it the menu bar or the dock or desktop apps.

Apple too has noted that dark mode improves the focus quotient while working online.

Perfectly game with virtual video streaming

Leading virtual video streaming platforms such as Netflix too are singing praises of dark mode. In fact, Netflix has already added the feature for its streaming service. A major advantage of including the feature is that it enables users to focus better on content rather than the controls, particularly after they have stared at screen for prolonged time. Besides, dark mode makes the video visual more cinematic.

Tips for incorporating Dark Mode in web design

With Dark Mode rising in popularity, web designers are all gearing up to incorporate the theme into their designs. That’s cool- but before you go all gung-ho into it, here are some tips to mind to ensure the optimal utilization of Dark Mode.

Think beyond pure black

The “Dark” theme doesn’t always have to be everything about pure black. To make things little different and interesting,  you can vouch for grey. Dark grey evokes almost the same feel and look as that of pure black yet commands attention with its own signature softer appeal. Usage of grey can do wonders to soften the very contrast between background and text, making it more convenient to focus.

Besides, grey backdrops even allow users to play with various hues in the design as well as bring more depth with elevation and shadows.

Pin on sufficient color contrast

A balanced play of color contrast seems to be the Holy Grail of scoring big with Dark Mode. The backdrop must be sufficiently dark so that it becomes easy to view the white text. Inadequate contrast will only make things muddled, dark and ruin the whole game altogether. Again, an overwhelming contrast ratio too would lead to a jarred visual experience.

Steer clear of heavily saturated hues

First things first, saturated shades are the thing of light backgrounds- say a bright purple on a pristine white backdrop. Now, imagine the same purple on some dark backdrop. The result- disastrous readability and severe eye strain for readers. Hope you have already got the drift.

Does it complement your brand?

Dark themes are no doubt amazing and we have already covered its excellent benefits. But then, the mode won’t be suitable for each and every brad out there. So, before you make it your next web design update, get a thorough assessment of your brand. Look into the brand character, story, audience as well as signature color palette. Do you think a dark backdrop would be able to complement your brand’s story? Would it be suitable to highlight major product features?

The bottomline is, if you think, the mode will be able to complement your offerings, join the wagon. If not, please don’t and look for a better suitable alternative.

Dark shows a bright future

Well, the sub-head might sound tad ironic but experts have predicted a bright future for Dark Mode. The trend has gained momentum gradually over the years and now is only showing an upward graph. You already have it in a number of highly frequented apps such as, Google as well its various services, YouTube, Facebook. WhatsApp, Instagram and more.

Not just that, major email service providers and verifiers, including the likes of Gmail, Android, Outlook, iOS, have also adopted Dark Mode.

Winding up

So, you have a detailed discussion here on how and why Dark Mode is fast gaining a strong traction in the contemporary web design space. It even serves as a smart growth hack tool. Equal parts aesthetic and equal parts beneficial, Dark Mode is a wonderful feature to protect your eyes and battery. And of course, the feature scales up the experience of web video streaming a notch higher.

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