Dark mode vs Light mode: The hot trend in interface design
By Eden Raymond on 25.07.2020
A general question came up: How should Youiks.com look? There were a lot of inspirational sites that attracted me, but in the end, as a designer, the decision must come from an intelligent place and not just from intuition. So I did some research that I will elaborate on in this article, on the dilemma of the decision: Light mode or Dark mode.
It all starts with the invention of the first computers – those massive instruments which are more like mini-bar than a modern PC. And yes, already there was a bright text interface on a dark background, but not by choice of course. In the 1960s and 1970s technological limitations could not change the perception that the interface would look different, until in the late 1970s, the technological breakthrough began and users gained the ability to enjoy color computer screens. The revolutionary technological innovation has brought with it an unforgettable design trend called “skeuomorphism”. According to the design of the skeuomorphism method, new objects will be designed according to an earlier object associated with it. In other words, text should be black on a white background (see newspapers, books, etc.) as a button should have three-dimensional visibility (the button that turns on the light in the room). With the advancement of technology came a new reality, in which the dark backgrounds of the 60s-70s disappeared and a new trend was created, a trend called “Light mode”.
In cinema and literature we can say that the forces of light will almost always defeat the forces of darkness, but the reality seems to be slightly different. The last century’s trends have evolved, and in recent years a new phenomenon has emerged in designing digital interfaces that are gaining momentum. The phenomenon is called “Dark mode” design, and as it seems now, dark mode is here to stay and many companies are making a way to get it to users as quickly as possible. In this article I will present the pros and cons of the designs and share some inspiring Dark Mode interfaces.
So which is better, Dark mode or Light mode?
The health aspect
The technological advancement has brought with it a lot of tools that have made our daily lives simpler. Mobile devices, modern computers and the internet have made us endless consumers of content that can change at any moment, depending on our wishes and needs. Today, more than ever, we are connected to the mobile device almost throughout the day and our health is affected. So from a health standpoint, which is better to use a light or dark interface? The answer to that is unequivocal – it depends.
Have you heard of the blue light? Blue light is a high energy light spectrum whose greatest natural source is in the sun. You will be surprised to find that our mobile devices also emit blue light, and using Dark mode minimizes these emissions. According to Harvard, too much exposure to blue light can suppress a hormone secretion called melatonin, which helps us sleep well at night.
However, when it comes to the human eye it is worth remembering that each of us is individual. This is not always the case, but in most cases people will have difficulty reading white text over a black background over time due to the physiological structure of the eye. When there is a white background, the iris (an eye organ) closes more and on the other hand, when there is a dark background the iris opens to bring more light into the eye, creating blur and lack of focus.
The economical aspect
We live in an age where every moment a big thing can happen, so we must always be available to watch, comment and share. At this time our availability depends on the mobile device that is with us 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. Big companies are making significant changes to their interfaces to adapt to the challenging realities, and the change is also reflected in extending the battery life of cellular devices. In 2018, Google admitted that according to tests it could be concluded that black pixels consume less battery than white pixels. Following the conclusions, Google will accelerate its transition to a dark design state and today you can see the tremendous progress made in apps like Gmail and Youtube.
The visual aspect
Most people are not aware of the advantages and disadvantages of Dark mode over Light mode and in the end, Trend is Trend – most people like to use Dark mode interfaces (probably if it wasn’t design wise, Dark mode would not Breaks into our lives so dramatically). The dark visibility gives a mysterious and unique feeling that makes the experience more attractive. From a design standpoint, the contrast of most colors on a black background looks excellent compared to a white background that makes colors like yellow and green almost fade away.