You spend days on the internet, starting from Google to look for new alternatives for your morning coffee and ending on Instagram to find marketing inspiration from your favourite influencers. Everything was light and smooth… Until the day when it all went dark.
No, literally. One day, you found yourself opening Google’s homepage and were greeted by the possibility of turning it all dark. Then other apps quickly followed. Sounds exciting, right? And it rightfully is. Yes, it’s incredibly classier than the normal, boring, light-mode. And don’t get me started on the visual impact it could have on your website’s design…
But why so suddenly all the internet has decided to join the dark side?
And how could you be using it to implement your graphics?
Bear with us while we tell you all you need to know about the latest big trend that made the internet go into a frenzy. And we’ll see if it’s time for you to ask your graphic designer to turn the switch off!
What Is Dark Mode And What’s All The Fuss About It?
Simply put, the dark mode -or dark theme, or black mode- is a simple display setting for user interfaces. By setting your apps and website’s design to dark mode, the first big thing you are going to notice is that it’s visually the opposite of what you are normally used to. The usual light screen with darker coloured features and text is replaced by a dark screen with lighter features and text. Visually, that’s it.
Despite the exciting name, the dark mode has nothing to do with mysticism or anything of that sort. You might be choosing it over the normal light mode because you find it visually appeasing, and that’s a perfectly legitimate choice.
As a matter of fact, it’s worth noting that dark mode is nothing new nor is it particularly technologically advanced. Many of you might remember that, in the olden days of computers, dark mode was actually the default setting for all devices. It wasn’t until the eighties that we started seeing the screens we are all familiar with: it’s important to be noted that light mode was invented specifically for writing processors, as it mimicked the effect of black ink on white paper.
Yes, if you remember dark mode computers and writing processors you are THAT old. Sorry to tell you!
Here’s The Good News…
The good news is that quite often things that were big in the past find their ways of coming back in other forms, like mullets, white sneakers… and dark mode. Like many things from the eighties, dark mode is big in nowadays fashion. But it’s far from being something that just the nostalgics are googling for! As a matter of fact, one of the top searched questions is if dark mode is available on the teenager’s most beloved social media, TikTok.
Far from being just a choice of aesthetic, this new, darker, feature which revolutionised the internet has many pros. It saves energy, for starters. But it can also be a better choice for your eyes and your biorhythm. Not surprisingly, the dark mode has some disadvantages as well, which might make it not the right choice for you. We’ll get more into that in the next few paragraphs!
Is Dark Mode Going To Improve Your Health?
This is a complicated question, but we’ll try finding an answer to that in the simplest way possible. The quick answer is yes… and no. It all comes down to your usual habits and if you happen to have certain eye conditions or not.
While many tech websites swear by it, the matter is actually extremely complex and requires a certain amount of research.
Let’s start by saying that the idea behind the dark mode is to lessen the exposure to blue lights and the strain caused by prolonged screen time. We all probably know a thing or two about blue light and how it can negatively affect almost every area of our health, as it has been well documented by a great number of researchers.
But if you don’t know much about the topic, yet, it’s worth saying that blue lights are capable of causing you more than an unpleasant headache and dry eyes.
It has been proven that blue lights can disturb your circadian rhythm causing sleep disruption, which can result in a higher risk of metabolic diseases and mental illnesses in turn. Hence, finding something capable of reducing -or even blocking- these unpleasant emissions would be a total game-changer.
Unfortunately, though, the dark mode hasn’t proved its effectiveness in doing so.
Don’t Worry, There’s Some More Good News…
But coming back to the positive effects that the dark mode might have on your sight, it is said that it could significantly help to reduce the strain that normal light mode has on the eye by increasing the contrast between written texts and screen.
Yet, the human eyes are not specifically made to be able to see in the dark and many users reportedly have had dismal experiences while trying to read with the dark mode activated. The most common effect is that the text appears washed out and that only increases eye strains.
It is also important to note that reading with the dark mode activated might not be a good idea for people who have astigmatism, as it is best for them to read black on white instead of the opposite, although it’s incredibly fancy.
In the end, the only thing we know for sure is that as trendy as the dark mode is, we don’t know its complete list of pros and cons. We suggest you try it and tell us how it went!!!
Can Dark Mode Make You Lose Weight?
Now, this is something else. In the previous paragraph, we discussed blue lights vs dark mode, introducing the many negative effects they have on our health. And that is true beyond the shadow of a doubt. But could the dark mode help you lose a pound or two? Well… It might!
And the secret might be lying in the impact of blue lights on melatonin production. Everything in our body is made to function provided that we dedicate a significant chunk of our time to resting. Our body is meant to regenerate and regulate hormones’ production through a healthy circadian rhythm and you already know what blue lights do, right?
Simply put, they stimulate our brain’s alertness, changing our circadian rhythms and causing a poorer quality of sleep. The latter has been frequently linked to an increase in metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. That’s right! The less -and worse- you sleep, the more likely you are to gain unwanted weight.
Supposedly, the dark mode is able to block – or, at least, reduce- blue lights’ emission and might potentially be a valuable ally in shedding a few pounds.
As we saw before, the research on the topic is still inconclusive, but who knows? Maybe the dark mode won’t be able to improve your sleep quality and give you the perfect body, but we think it’s worth a try!
How To Incorporate The Dark Mode In Your Website…
It’s pretty obvious. Even without any scientific evidence of the dark-mode being of any advantage to your health, this trend is visually extremely appealing. And users enjoy it for more than the supposed beneficial effects it could have on their sights: the dark mode is, quite simply put, more beautiful. But, if from the users’ perspective it’s just a matter of toggling with the settings, it isn’t as easy to introduce the dark mode in your website. While we are sure that your graphic team is up to the task, we’ll give you a few tips on how to switch off the lights without negatively impacting your users’ experiences.
Change Is Good But Don’t Overdo It…
Yes, everything needs to be updated to the latest trends, from time to time. But remember that, unless you are planning on a complete rebranding, which is going to take far more than a dark mode, your users are not going to like sudden changes. Remember what happened the few times when Amazon changed its logo? Yeah. We are, mostly, creatures of habit. If your brand palette won’t fit the dark mode, then, please, consider this also.
Go Dark, Not Black…
This is a notable challenge. When experimenting with the dark mode many of us may be tempted with the possibility of simply turning the back screen pitch black and playing with contrasts.
As a matter of fact, if you take a look at the most common dark themes, like Google and Windows, you’ll realise that the back screen is, in fact, dark grey. Using a pitch-black screen might be painful to look at and users would be discouraged to use your website. Go for an intermediate shade of grey.
Don’t Go Too Bright…
Yes, dark mode seems like an edgy thing to achieve. But, in fact, it isn’t. The only way in which it can work is only if there’s the right balance between colours and darker shades. As you don’t want to use pitch black as a back screen you should avoid using heavily saturated colours. If you are dubious about this, try it yourself. Set up a black page and try writing on it with a bright colour. What does it look like? Amatorial and painful, right? So, don’t. The beauty of the dark mode is that it makes everything look posh and refined, and you definitely don’t want to give the idea that you have an amateur working on your graphic.
Know When To Use The Right Colours…
This is something that you should always take into consideration. Some colours help us convey certain messages, while others say the exact opposite. Colours have an emotional aspect and you have to match them with the content of your message. Avoid using shades of colours that are normally perceived as cheerful if you want to communicate serious messages or if your brand is everything but cheerful.
Could you imagine if your bank’s dark mode theme included bright pink text? It would give you the wrong impression and possibly make you even question the reliability of the website.
Don’t Forget About Depth…
Depth is something that is usually conveyed through the use of shades. It helps underline certain things and establish a certain hierarchy inside the website.
With the dark mode you can’t do that, as shadows aren’t available. What you can do to communicate depth and importance is, actually, to use the exact opposite tool: illumination. Highlight the things you want to have more depth, and remember that the more you illuminate something the closer it will appear to the background.
What Are The Overall Pros?
And now, to serious matters: what are – or seems to be – the pros of this vintage and trendy new technology look? While all users have their own opinions and preferences, making it extremely difficult to determine the objective pros, we tried making a list to help you choose:
- Do you like to read in bed but your partner doesn’t seem to be a fan of your late-night activities? Then activating the dark mode might save your relationship by reducing light emissions. It’s also extremely useful in low-light situations, such as theatres and cinemas.
- Blue lights might be reduced, improving your sleep and life’s quality.
- In certain kinds of smartphones, such as the ones with an OLED screen, it might help you save some battery.
- Might help reduce eye strain.
- It’s incredibly beautiful to look at.
What Are The Overall Cons?
And yes, you can’t have pros without disadvantages. As sad as it sounds, it’s actually necessary! As you can see, pros and cons are somewhat complementary, and it all comes down to how the dark mode will develop in the future and what kind of smartphone you have.
- The effectiveness in reducing the impact of blue lights has yet to be proven
- With certain eye conditions, it might not be as helpful as it sounds. A particular phenomenon called halation might occur in people who have astigmatism or myopia.
- If you don’t have an OLED screen you might not be able to notice any benefits from turning the dark mode on.
Is It Time To Go Dark?
Certainly, new technological trends are fun to follow and users love to browse through websites that keep up to date. Whether the dark mode will be able to reduce your users’ eye fatigue or make them lose weight is still unclear, so the choice is entirely aesthetic.
If you feel like the dark side would fit perfectly with your brand, start developing a dark theme for your website or app. Follow our suggestions and be ready to have the trendiest website on the net!
What do you think: will you try the dark mode or leave it back to the past where it originally came from?