In many respects 2020 has been a pretty dark year, so perhaps it is fitting that one of the prevailing web design themes has been “Dark Mode”.
Dark Mode basically refers to an app or web design layout that features a black background with white text and light coloured graphical elements in the foreground. This first came to prominence when it was introduced by apps, websites and operating systems as an option that users could select. One by one Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp, and Chrome, as well as the latest releases of Android and IOS, each gave their users the lights out option.
Those that favour the Dark Mode option find that it is easier on their eyes. Most of us are staring at screens for longer than we should each day so reducing the glare certainly help in this department. Another major benefit is the reduced energy consumption. Lighting a screen uses more energy than a Dark Mode screen and as a consequence a laptop battery will last far longer if you make the switch.
Web Design Benefits
However there are aesthetic motivations for Dark Mode as well as practical ones. As well as setting a darker more gritty mood, which would be more appropriate for edgier brands, the white text and graphics have a stronger contrast and pop off the page. As a result, using Dark Mode can increase the dramatic element in any design.
Typically Dark Mode design incorporates a lot of negative space usage. This is to emphasise the boldness of the design feature itself rather than it becoming merely a dark background colour. With this point in mind it is worth considering that Dark Mode is perhaps not best suited for data and copy-heavy interfaces as it can easily start to look like a bad blog from 20 years ago.
Black backgrounds are great for making colours look super vibrant. The darker moodier feel can also help to generate more emotion from the user. For this reason it can also work well for prestigious or luxury brands.
In conclusion Dark Mode can be a great way to make your web design stand out if used appropriately and judiciously.