Web Designing, User Interface, User Experience

Why Is Everyone Switching to Dark Mode

Jul 15, 2020

Umesh Kumar

The dark mode is the latest hype among the millennials whether it's in a literal sense or just for their application screens. To be honest, the current situation and rapidly declining economy stats, the dark mode has taken over lives in general though keeping aside the metaphors, we are going to talk about why everyone is switching to dark mode for their technology-driven applications?

Since the dark mode has strategically shunned the white pixels, giving them almost zero screen time, the black background for all the applications is now easy on the eyes as well. 2019 was the era of the dark mode and judging from the increasing trends graph, it is here to stay for long.

The dark mode was quite famous a few decades ago when the computer screens were recently introduced though the trend changed in the 1980s and the brighter white surfaces made it to the world. Extensive research on the side effects of the flat white screen thus made giants like Google, Apple offer their products in dark mode and thus the history repeated itself with the population following closely behind the new trends, just like always.

Understanding the advantages of a dark mode:

It’s not just that the darker screen makes it easy to read and is soothing for the eyes, the bright illuminating blue screen hampers the production of melatonin that is the most important hormone, allowing the human body a good night’s sleep. Since the human generation has found solace in spending almost 11 hours a day glued to their phone screens, a dark screen mode is just the solution to avoid those itchy and irritated eyes that are usually a result of the bright white screen.

Another advantage of the dark mode is the increased battery life. Since all the latest technological products including smartphones, laptops and more now make use of OLED screens, the dark mode for them can subsequently save 60% of battery life even with the 100% brightness. The dark mode has been introduced to the Android devices making use of OLED screens while Apple is next in the game to use OLED screens for their upcoming products. The power-saving capabilities only work when the pixel is entirely black, thus termed as turned off and not drawing power from the battery.

In literal terms, the dark mode used on the screens looks exceptionally mysterious and interesting to look at when compared to the illumination white screen that actually hurts the eyes. The concoction of multiple colours on a dark black background actually makes a presentation or a report interesting to look at while is easy on the eyes as well as easy to comprehend.

Take pictures, graphics, for instance, they all look wonderful with a dark background when compared to the white and that thought is literally backed up by the millennials switching to the darker screens just for the sake of health benefits or as a mere trend. The colours actually tend to pop more naturally on a dark background while at the same time offers a soothing contrast when compared to the white screen or any other coloured background.

For the people who love reading literally all the time and are addicted to the screens before going to bed, the dark mode is the ultimate solace that can help them pursue their reading passion without affecting their eyesight much.

Why white screens are not in trend any more?

Since the dark mode is the talk of the town when it comes to its multiple advantages, the authentic white screen is the ultimate cause of low melatonin levels which can further induce insomnia and several other health issues. For the ones not understanding its side effects, digital eye strain through flat white screens is the real cause of dry eyes which is the most common issue faced by the people that use screens endlessly or have to use them just for their work ethics.

According to the thoroughly researched statistics, more than 59% of the mobile phone/laptop addicted population with bright white screens complain of dry eyes, irritation, neck and shoulder pain, headaches as well as affected eyesight.

The Dark Mode Trend:

From Twitter to Instagram to Facebook and several other MAC or Windows products have now switched to dark mode just not for the sake of following the latest trend but also for offering a little relief to the eyes of their users. Coming to the other wonderful products that allow the UI to be switched from white mode to dark mode depending on the requirements is another boon for the tech-specific population out there. When one requires excessive expansion of the pupil to adjust to the reading screen, the dark mode comes as solace in other conditions. The light mode is preferably good during the day time.

The tech giant Apple on the introduction of macOS Dark mode back in 2018 stated: “Dark Mode makes it easier to stay focused on your work because your content stands out while darkened controls and windows recede into the background”.

The dark mode is further preferred by the individuals influenced by trending aesthetics, or the ones just trying to save their precious battery life. Furthermore, lesser the blue light, lesser the hue and less is the strain on eyes. Being visually pleasing makes it further desirable and going with personal preferences helps in boosting efficiency and productivity by great measures.

Some of the downsides of the Dark Mode:

Since everything comes at a price, the dark mode is not exactly the saviour that every individual needs in their life. For instance, when you are trying to read in a well-lit room with sufficient sunlight, the white screen is a good option for reading or working without causing any harm to the pupils of the eye. When the night ascends, the dark mode is preferable that’s why multiple devices now have a toggle feature to switch between light and dark mode whenever necessary or the person can just change the settings to change the background mode according to the outside light conditions automatically. This is one of the most prominent features a modern UI requires.

Certain constraints also point that reading a lighter text on a darker background often leads to astigmatism which is a syndrome that can cause blurred vision in both or one of the eyes. Since solace doesn’t last long, adjusting your eyes to bright light after reading for a long time in darker mode certainly causes eye strain. On the other hand, excessive time spent on the screen in light mode can cause myopia.

To sum up, compromising between the light mode and dark mode is a debate for another time though one must agree that both the background modes have their downsides that depend on personal preferences. A person must adapt to use the light mode during the daytime while the dark mode must be switched on during nights. Being context-sensitive is the key here.

For the people with minor visual impairments or Computer Vision Syndrome, the dark mode is a better choice since it won’t cause any further long term side effects, and will help them see better.

Another good compromise between choosing between either background modes would be simply choosing a mode with a light grey background and dark black letters. This will average both the modes equally, causing the iris to rise just at a mid-level and thus lesser strains on the eyes.

Thus, understanding if the dark mode is overhyped just as a trend or is actually necessary for the person depends on their personal preference, their day to day screen routine, their visual aspects as well as the mood. Jumping to the dark mode without analyzing the daily habits is a bit extreme since it may cause visual strains if the person suffers from astigmatism though the devices must have a dedicated way to change the background from dark to light mode and vice versa depending on the user requirements.

Umesh Kumar