Dark mode is a popular feature of many apps and websites. Both the traditional light mode and new age dark have vocal fan bases, as shown by the sheer number of memes produced by fans of each setting. Light mode has been around for as long as mobile devices and websites have, but advances in display technology and improvements in our understanding of UI/UX design have made dark mode increasingly popular. Here are three reasons why we think it’s worth jumping on the Dark Mode bandwagon:
Reason #1: Enhances Visual Hierarchy and Focus
A well-designed dark mode can help accentuate colors and graphics, producing a clearer visual hierarchy. Brighter elements or text will stand out against the dark background, helping designers direct the user’s attention to the most important UI elements.
Dark mode has become the default option on many devices because so many people find it more comfortable to use. According to recent usage statistics, more than 80% of people have dark mode enabled on their devices. If you haven’t invested in developing a good dark mode, now would be the time to do so!
Reason #2 Improves Readability and Comfort
Many users find dark mode is easier on their eyes, especially in low-light environments. According to nngroup.com, a world-leading research-based publication for user experience, “applications meant for long-form reading (such as book readers, magazines and even news sites) should offer a dark mode feature.” Allowing users to tailor their reading experience reduces the strain on their eyes, making it easier to focus on large blocks of text. If you want users to do a lot of reading in your app or on your website, anything you can do to increase readability is a plus.
While it’s true that exposure to blue light late at night can make it difficult to sleep, a 2019 study looking at the Night Shift mode on Apple iPads found that adjusting the brightness of the screen appeared to be equally, or perhaps more, important than reducing blue light exposure. Using dark mode simultaneously helps reduce blue light exposure and cuts the general brightness of the screen, offering the best of both worlds.
Another major benefit of dark mode is that it reduces glare while making it easy to read the screen in low-light conditions. The popularity of e-ink devices such as the Kindle is partly down to the ‘paper-style’ screen being relatively glare-free. Not everyone wants to carry around a second device to use for reading. Dark mode offers a similar feel to a device the user already has.
Reason #3 Saves Battery
Dark mode can help save battery power on devices with OLED or AMOLED screens. On these screens, black pixels are ‘off’; so, they don’t consume power. The battery-saving benefits are particularly useful for portable devices. Changing to dark mode can reduce the power consumption of a phone by as much as 42%, assuming the screen is set to 100% brightness. Reducing the brightness minimizes the power consumption in both light and dark mode, but dark mode still offers power savings.
Embrace The Darkness and The Light for Maximum Accessibility
Done well, dark mode can improve usability, guiding the user’s eye to key interface elements and improving readability. While Dark mode and light mode serve different groups of users, offering both modes is important for maximum accessibility. This sentiment is echoed by AppTech’s UI/UX Designer, Lydia Jin. As she explains, “Dark mode in UX/UI design isn’t all about aesthetics; it’s a game-changer for accessibility. It’s like having different lighting options in a room.”
If you want to ensure your app is usable for as many people as possible, it’s important create a well-thought-out design for both modes. Lydia Jin, AppTech UI/UX Designer explains it at best on the significance of dark mode in modern UI/UX “, By offering this feature, designers let users tailor their digital experience to what’s comfortable for them. Whether you’re sensitive to bright screens, prone to headaches, or just love the cozy feel of darker hues, dark mode ensures that everyone can enjoy digital content without feeling left in the shadows.”
In a nutshell, providing both dark and light modes reflects a step towards comprehensive user-centric design, ensuring everyone can navigate the digital realm comfortably and efficiently – that’s a wagon we’ll happily join.