What is Dark Mode?
Dark Mode or ‘night mode’ as it’s sometimes called, is a feature generally used to reduce screen brightness by inverting the text and background colours. A lot of us (definitely me) might use it to decrease the ambient light when lying in bed looking at our phone. You might be surprised to know that Dark Mode was around before what we most commonly use today, Light Mode. Before the modern operating system, DOS was used and generally featured white or green text on a black background. This then changed with the modernisation of the home computing system into a more familiar paper-like interface.
The innovation of Dark Mode
Dark Mode has increased in popularity throughout the last few years. In 2019, both Android and iOS released system-wide dark modes. Many applications followed the Dark Mode trend, including popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as an alternative to their original light-designed websites. Dark Mode is popular because it now looks modern and allows specific design elements to pop from the screen, increasing the legibility of the overall user interface. However, is this popular design element everything it claims to be? We’ll explore the pros and cons of the Dark Mode.
Pros of Dark Mode
- Great for Marketing: Black is a powerful colour associated with traits such as strength, sophistication, boldness, formality, and luxury. These are appealing traits that are frequently used in marketing. It’s particularly helpful when a company wants to highlight a specific piece of content. For example, Netflix is designed in the Dark Mode because your eyes should only focus on the colourful movie or TV show thumbnails.
- Energy Saver – Using a dark can save your phone’s battery life. Dark Mode reduces the display power up to 58.6% at full brightness, which can significantly cut down on the battery life used on specific applications or websites.
- Readability: Dark Mode will help to reduce the amount of strain on your eyes, especially when you’re in low light conditions, such as a dimly lit restaurant or if it’s nighttime. Whiter backgrounds can harm your eyesight because of the intense colour contrast in low light conditions.
Reduced Glare: Dark Mode significantly decreases the amount of glare on your phone because the majority of your screen is dark. This minimizes the potential blue light and flickering often associated with bright screens.
Cons of Dark Mode
- Washed Out in Bright Light: While Dark Mode is excellent in low light conditions, it makes the text look harsh and washed out in bright light conditions. This contrast will make your eyes work harder and strain to see the text.
- Hard to Read: If you’re reading short content on Dark Mode, it’s easy to digest. However, long pieces of content can be more challenging to read against a dark background.
- Reduce Sleep: Dark Mode is used more frequently during the nighttime, which encourages you to use your phone for a longer period because you are less likely to feel the strain of staring at your phone. This can reduce the amount of sleep because your body does not give you any signals to stop staring at your phone.
Overall, we know that Dark Mode is better in low-light environments but can strain your eyes during the day. A good compromise between Light Mode and Dark Mode is to set your phone to automatically switch between modes depending on the brightness of your surroundings.
Dark Mode is Here to Stay
Dark Mode is here to stay. It’s your choice whether you choose to switch over or stick with a brighter mode. Even with all of this widely available information, there is not necessarily one layout that is better than another. It boils down to personal preference and how you prefer to view your content.