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Dark Mode

Are you ready for another dose of design trivia? This time, we have also prepared something special for you again! Last time, we were talking a bit about white space.

Today, we are staying on the theme of colors, backgrounds, and contrast. The time has come for dark mode! What is it? Is it worth reaching for this tool when designing your website or program interface? See for yourself!

Dark Mode – What Is It?

Probably all of us have been faced with this novelty (perhaps not such a novelty, but more on that later). Dark mode is a distinctive color scheme. What distinguishes it? The fact that the background is darker and what is on it, is lighter. The whole technology is based on a fairly strong contrast. Typically, the dark mode has a black or dark blue background and much lighter compositional elements. Text, icons and graphics are white, yellow, green, pink, etc.

Where Can You Use Dark Mode?

Dark mode is offered by many websites, apps and programs. Dark mode can be enabled on a smartphone or laptop. Some devices, e.g. televisions, are designed to have dark menus. What about leaflets, posters of films? Or about a black remote control on which the buttons are yellow and red? In theory, the principle is the same – strong contrast, dark background, lighter elements. But the term dark mode refers to virtual space, i.e. the interfaces of computers, programs and applications.

Dark Mode – a Temporary Trend or Returning to the Roots?

Modern users of electronic devices have become accustomed to bright mode. The night theme, therefore, may seem like a technological novelty. Somewhat more experienced PC users can remember the early years of computers. They are well aware that the screens of the devices of those days worked in the dark mode.
The display of an image on the – once popular – kinescope screens was made possible by directing a beam of electrons, magnetically deflected, onto a luminator. The electron beam stimulated the chemical compound and, as a result, it glowed green, sometimes white, amber or blue. The background remained black. Perhaps for this reason, the dark mode, on electronic devices, seems natural and pleasing to the eyes.
But whether or not the night theme is good for our eyes remains a matter of debate. Historians and linguists will tell you that dark characters on a light background are natural to humans. Their argument is that the paper has always been lighter and the ink darker. But a piece of paper and a smartphone are two different media. It is difficult to compare them.

Why Is Dark Mode Gaining Popularity?

The reasons why manufacturers are increasingly offering a night mode may be numerous. However, the most important are:

■ the desire to adapt electronics to users’ needs – we often use laptops and smartphones in the evening or at night. The bright mode can then be irritating to the eyes, the dark mode not so much;
■ marketing – a dark background perfectly highlights bright elements such as the company name or promotional graphics;
■ saving battery – in OLED or AMOLED screens each pixel lights up separately. In night mode, only the colored ones are illuminated. Dark diodes remain off, helping to conserve battery life;
■ popularity – a trend is a trend, and if a manufacturer wants their devices to be selected, they must adapt them to the prevailing fashion. There is nothing strange about this. We need novelty and variety of what is already known. This gives us the opportunity to choose, to break the routine, and to take a step forward. Today, technology is dominated by a nighttime theme, but what will tomorrow bring? Are you as curious as we are?

Is It Worth Investing in a Dark Mode Interface?

It is difficult to answer this question unequivocally. There is no doubt that many users prefer the night theme. But, on the other hand, many people are used to the positive polarity (whitebackground and black text) and do not want that to change. How to overcome this? Offer a choice! The user always appreciates that he or she can decide which mode to switch on.

Where Should You Keep in Mind When Introducing Dark Mode?

If the company logo is dark, it can easily fade into the background when the user changes to a different mode of the website. Fortunately, this is easy to overcome. All you need to do is lighten it up a bit or give it a bright outline! Graphics can also be a trap, especially if they have an opaque background. In negative polarity, the background of the image will stand out unaesthetically. But it can be removed! Background, of course, not graphics!

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