Is Dark mode just an Attractive Feature or Is it a Must-have in new Apps?

Introduction

Nowadays, Dark mode, also known as “night mode”, has become one of the most popular features in the modern user interface and one of the biggest trends in digital product design, from apps to operating systems, Apple, Windows, Slack, Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Viber and more applications offer today a dark mode experience.

It’s defined as a software option in which the bright backgrounds are substituted with a dark color and writings are changes from dark to light. The result is a pseudo-inverted interface that isn’t exactly the opposite of the “light mode”, but mostly less bright.

A light and dark theme UI

A bit of history on dark mode

It can be said that dark mode interfaces have become a trending feature in the digital industry in 2019 but It is not entirely a modern invention. For example, Adobe Creative Suite has been using a dark interface for years. Furthermore, the first Macintosh computers used monochrome screens that display green text on a black screen which changed to white and black in the 1980s to match the appearance of ink on paper.

An IBM computer with a green monochrome monitor

Why Do We Need It?

These days, we spend more time in front of our screens than anywhere else, we sit in front of our laptops later at night, and nearly 60% of people check their smartphones before bed, so it’s necessary to take precautions in order to protect our eyes, especially with something as simple as turning on a dark mode feature which can be very helpful for people who have sensitivity to brightness, because it reduces the overall intensity of the screen.

Using dark mode can also extend your battery life by up to 30%, which means you won’t need to charge your phone as often. This power-saving ability is limited to OLED screens, so phones, monitors, and laptops with LCD displays don’t really benefit from it. That’s because LCD screens illuminate using a back panel that always lights up completely.

OLED panels

Some people think that dark mode is less distracting and more comfortable and some consider it nothing more than a reasonable aesthetic option, one of those things that we never thought we wanted it until we realized we didn’t have it, and when we got it, we thought: ‘‘okay cool we have a dark mode’’.

Dark mode and Designers:

Folks often think that dark mode is designed by switching a white screen to black, but this feature is more difficult than it looks, it requires to follow some indispensable rules, otherwise the user experience will be much worse.

Here are some tips to remember when designing the dark mode UI:

  1. Avoid using vibrant/saturated colors (100% black as an example)
  2. Stay true to core product identity
  3. Make sure you have enough contrast
  4. Follow accessibility standards to make sure your text and components are readable

Dark theme is an only supplemental mode, smartphones and laptops provide the option to switch between standard mode and the dark one, since opinions usually differ and there will always be people who are unconcerned about light sensitivity or energy efficiency and prefer the ‘light theme’ look.

In the end, we can say that the dark mode is still new, and it’s great that lots of big companies like Apple and Microsoft are still developing this feature and improving for us to have a friendly experience with our devices.

If you enjoyed this blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

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Baghrous MouMen

Baghrous MouMen

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Full stack JS Developer, Passionate about Software, Design and Business.