Are we entering the Darkmode Age?

What are your thoughts on the darkmode frenzy sweeping the nation? What are your favorite examples of good (or bad) darkmode? How much of this is being driven by OLED screens, and how much is just that our eyes are constantly strained from crying? Will darkmode-first design be worse or better re: accessibility standards? How will darkmode affect the vibe and culture of various platforms (web and native)? Imagine how silly the endless blown-out white-on-cream-on-white Scandinavian x Muji minimalist lifestyle photos will look inside a dark chrome. Is this appropriating goth culture?

Discuss.

Comments

Fresh Top
  1. I've always been a dark mode user. Been on a mission to make every interface dark. I think apple's implementation of dark mode sucks butt tho. Seems really sloppy.

    It's funny how webpages started off bright because they were kinda skeuomorphs of PAPER PAGES... and everyone has just continued to use it as the default aesthetic.

    There's obviously a vibe and a mood to airy, bright interfaces... but if I'm trying to do any real creative work that requires judging color, composition, animation - turn the fuckin' lights off plz.

    I think internet legend Maddox (bestpageintheuniverse) sums my thoughts up pretty well:

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  2. I've been a fan of dark mode ever since I started designing for web, mostly because that was how Photoshop was set up by default. When Photoshop transitioned to Artboards I set the bg to even darker colors as I felt that was the best way to contrast my UI work, especially since most people's phones and desktop screens have black borders.

    When I had to transition to Sketch / Figma after joining Airbnb, that was the first thing I wanted to change and literally the first plug-in I searched for with Sketch. Also, it's just easier on the eyes aye?

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  3. pragmatically, white mode is so funny. turn on literally every other pixel at full intensity, so you can try derive meaning from the dark void of a few black pixels.

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  5. I'll write more about my perspective later, but I am not biased in either direction, it all depends on the context for me. When we redesigned Lightroom it made sense to go full darkmode, but I still prefer reading and writing with lightmode (Reddit, Twitter, Notion).

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  6. Something I've thought about: dark mode style interfaces seem like they'll be the default in AR, if not the only thing that makes sense for many applications.

    Will light interfaces become the exception to the rule as AR influences design trends on screens?

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  7. @boop I def do prefer light mode stuff when it's nice and bright around me, esp outdoors during the day

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  8. I mean, when building keyframes, we made it the light sister of dark/dank ass screenhole.com - there's obviously an emotional component to it too.

    Tried dark mode on it, and it felt too Alienware gaming computer.

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  9. There's a fine line between the "I want to look like I'm working in The Matrix!!" tacky dark-mode (see every OS X mod from ~2005), and well-thought-out dark modes. It's a lot easier for people to create the former while thinking it's the latter. Stark-white text on black is usually a bad sign.

    Related: I wish Kindle readers had a good dark mode. I want to put down my phone at night, but reading grey text on a black OLED is better than blasting myself with Kindle's backlight.

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  10. @pasquale "Alienware gaming computer" is perfect. Candy colored text on black with the tiniest possible icons is always the worst part about using some teams' computers at work.

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  11. @bk Oh maaaaaaaan, I'm sure you see some true turbo nerd rigs on the regular

  12. It was stressed in my design education a couple times that dark type on light backgrounds was usually a smarter choice than the other way round (specifically for body copy). I never knew a "why" behind that, but down the rabbit hole I goooo… https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/53264/dark-or-white-color-theme-is-better-for-the-eyes

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  13. @strawdogdesign I've read this too, and read a buncha texts all contradicting each other. There's such a strong debate about it... but at the end of the day, I look at my own results.

    I still have 20/20 vision, I get headaches when I stare at bright interfaces for longer than an hour, and I feel like I get distracted more.

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  14. Looks like im the minority here :P I definitely prefer light mode over dark mode... may be its because most dark modes are half assed?

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  15. I struggle with eye fatigue and dark mode is almost necessary all day in addition to blue filter glasses. I particularly love IA Writer’s implementation of dark UI. It helps me focus on the content instead of the container.

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  16. At my first internship about 7 or 8 years ago my first job was to redesign a CMS. My design skills were not up to the task back then but I did add a night/day switch and even in those days I couldn't explain why. Other weird functionalities included an idle timer that put it in some sort of sleep mode if you didn't touch your mouse or keyboard for 10 minutes. Kinda like the modern day windows lock screen. I'm quite sure the owner threw out my 'redesign' after my internship ended hahaha.

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