Question

Do you prefer dark mode or standard/light mode on software? And what software has the best dark mode?

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aredridel's avatar
2 years ago

I hate the framing of this question because it frames it as a matter of preference, not context.

In the dark, in the middle of the night, on my phone, I prefer dark interfaces. When I'm saving battery power on an OLED screen, I prefer dark interfaces. When editing photos, mid-grey as a reference point is awesome. Interfaces built with that in mind are smart, not just showing off UI.

I like apps to look like themselves — right now the glut of dark mode apps are all charcoal grey with off-white, they all look like each other and rarely does their branding shine. It makes things hard to navigate. There's a lot more variety in light interfaces.

When it comes down to it, I prefer what's well thought out and not eyeball-searing in the middle of the night — I'm a huge fan of software that understands the use context not just treating dark mode as window dressing.

6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @aredridel )
2 years ago

That absolutely makes sense. It's like f.lux or other apps that make your screen colors warmer; they look crazy during the day, but are very helpful at night.

Dark interfaces look amazing on OLED, that's for sure. I started switching to dark modes more once I got an OLED screen phone.

This makes me think that timed dark mode that enables at night but turns off during the day would be popular (which seems newer Android supports). Some apps already do that; Instapaper for years has had an option to turn on dark mode if the brightness in the room is under a certain threshold which is brilliant.

To everything there a season, a time, and a place I guess 😃

2 points
stuartdsmith's avatar
2 years ago

Is it bad that I like light mode not dark mode?

3 points
elizabethdscott's avatar
2 years ago

Same - I prefer light mode ☀️

2 points
danielkang_'s avatar
2 years ago

Superhuman's dark mode is A+

3 points
irrvrntVC's avatar
2 years ago

I generally prefer light mode but really really like Google Maps which switches between the two based on sunlight - pretty amazing and intuitive.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @irrvrntVC )
2 years ago

That is a great feature—though slightly jarring when it first switches while you're driving.

1 point
alexjmedick's avatar
2 years ago

It really depends on the software I'm using. I prefer dark mode 90% of the time, but yesterday I opened up Apple Numbers with their new "black theme" and just couldn't handle it.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @alexjmedick )
2 years ago

Oh wow, that "Blank Black" spreadsheet template looks really weird—and the row/column bar is still bright white.

Seems like making a quality dark mode is harder than using the light mode defaults (or on the flip side, there are decades of experience making light modes and dark modes are newer and thus are taking time for people to do well).

1 point
just2jays's avatar
2 years ago

As @aredridel mentioned, I'm a big fan of Dark Mode if only for the fact that it can save a decent amount of battery life on OLED screens. So for my iPhone, I have dark mode on always.

For desktop/laptop I'll usually set it to follow the operating system theme, which allows it to change automatically based on the time of day. Certain apps, like Slack, handle this really well. However I will add that find dark mode on Google Chrome to be a little bit of a hassle as a developer. I'm used to a darker window theme signifying that I'm in "Private/Incognito mode" - which I use to to quickly test certain features without local cookies/storage. Chrome in dark mode is almost indistinguishable from the Incognito mode so you're forced to look for the little "private eye" investigator emoji to confirm!

3 points
loyaltyarm's avatar
2 years ago

Grafana has the best dark mode of most interfaces I use on a day to day basis.

2 points
MrMikeWaters's avatar
2 years ago

I like the new dark mode on Zoom!

2 points
fhiguera's avatar
2 years ago

I agree with @aredridel about framing the question in regards to context.
I set my mac to follow the progress of daylight as I move my working settings from open and well-lit places to my bedroom. My phone and tablet by default are set to dark mode since I want to squeeze all the juice that I can from the screen and if a true dark theme experience could give me lower power consumption (not very likely), then I will opt for it... battery life will always triumph in any mobile setting decision for me.

2 points
aredridel's avatar
@aredridel (replying to @fhiguera )
2 years ago

It can on an OLED screen. Not so much if backlit tho.

2 points
DCasha's avatar
2 years ago

On desktop, I have a mix of light and dark mode views. On mobile, I prefer dark mode - I definitely noticed less strain on my eyes too.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @DCasha )
2 years ago

Yup makes sense. I have some apps I much prefer in light mode; others like writing apps I've used in dark mode for years.

1 point
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