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Come to the Dark Side – Dark vs. Light Mobile Design in 20192 min read

Tired of bright designs with white backgrounds blinding you when you’re doing your late-night internet browsing or news reading? Maybe you find yourself predominantly looking at a computer screen for your job, with headaches looming by the end of the day. Either way, you’re in luck! Another evolution in digital design has started to gain steam the past couple of years and is about to explode: dark mode.

Websites and mobile apps with a darker aesthetic are nothing new, however traditional design usually goes with dark text on a bright background. This is for two reasons: to simulate physical ink-on-paper, as well as optimizing the site for maximum readability. As the digital world grows increasingly mobile, design trends are changing to accommodate that.

Why Dark Mode?

Dark background themes are becoming popular among mobile users because many people find it easier on the eyes since they avoid a significant amount of bright, white light – a problem that compounds when in a dimly lit environment. Beyond that, dark backgrounds increase battery longevity on phones that utilize AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes) display technology, which accounts for the vast majority of phones.

Starting late 2019, both Apple and Google will be releasing updates to their mobile operating systems, iOS and Android respectively, that include native support for a dark and light mode system setting toggle. Windows 10 and Mac OS already have this functionality. This has many implications, primarily in the app world for now.

Dark Mode and Your Site

We’ve talked before about progressive web apps becoming a more common alternative to native app development, so with user expectations now being set to count on both a light and dark theme in apps, it will be important to design future websites with both themes in mind as well. Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers have already begun adding support for reading a device’s theme setting and passing that along to the website so you can have a “default” theme with the option to honor the color scheme the user has set on their device.

With these design changes coming to both major mobile platforms, interchangeable dark and light themes are going to quickly become an expectation in the digital design world. Is your website ready? If you think you need a new mobile design, call the experts at Sharp Innovations for a free consultation!