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The Dark Mode craze may do more harm than good – this is why


Karlston

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The Dark Mode craze may do more harm than good – this is why

Dark Mode in iOS 13
Dark Mode in iOS 13
(Image credit: Apple)

 

The hot new topic in terms of smartphone and computer software right now is Dark Mode, an optional system look that flips the colours of an app or operating system to make it, well, dark. Instagram has a dark mode, as does Chrome, WhatsApp, Gmail, and iOS 13, and it seems apps and developers are tripping over themselves to create a new dark mode for their software.

 

There's just one problem which none of these hard-working people seem to have considered that makes their work redundant, and the attention they've taken from other projects will be in vain: all in all, dark mode looks totally awful.

 

That's not a dig at any dark mode in particular, and no developers have implemented it particularly poorly (well, apart from Android 10). But in the rush for developers to see if they could implement dark mode on their apps, no-one asked if they should - and taken stock of how it might be reworked better rather than just following the trend.

 

Beyond that, there are legitimate reasons why developers shouldn't be focusing on Dark Mode. Here's why the Dark Mode craze is just crazy.

Dark Mode hurts to look at

Google Chrome dark mode

(Image credit: Google; Shutterstock)

Have you ever gone onto a website, typically an older forum page from back when web design really kicked off, and seen a black background with white text (usually in comic sans) and found it totally hard to read? 

 

Pure black backgrounds with white font can be really hard to read, and it causes halation or visual distortion for many people. Having to look at this for long periods of time can cause serious eye strain, which means it's no wonder modern society uses white backgrounds with black or gray font for... well, everything.

 

Dark Mode is dark with white text, and it can cause the aforementioned eye problems. More than that, it just looks ugly, and when smartphones are trying harder and harder to look beautiful in terms of design and software, it makes no sense to create a horrible-looking dark filter.

 

Sure, ugliness is an opinion – but this is an opinion article, so that's to be expected.

No good for low-light

missing-image.svg

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One of the main reasons behind Dark Mode (or excuses for its existence, if you're not feeling charitable) is that it's better for low-light settings, so you can use it in bed without blinding yourself or someone else. And there's merit behind that reasoning: the blue lights in phone screens have been known to stop people sleeping, as the brain misinterprets the blue light as daylight.

 

There's merit behind the reasoning, but not behind the execution, as Dark Mode would only be a useful way of cutting out blue light if functions to this end didn't already exist. But they do.

 

Many phones have blue light filters, which you can schedule to kick in at a certain time to reduce the blue light from your phone screens – typically this means between 10PM and 7AM, your phone display has a slight red hue. Some smartphones, like Sony phones, have more permanent options that let you customize the RGB makeup of your display to suit your vision.

 

Then there's the issue of bright lights in bed waking up your significant other (although if you're frequently using your phone in bed, that's a whole different issue). For years now, phones have had adaptive brightness, and before that you could manually change the brightness of your phone. In short, if your handset is too bright, dial down the brightness!

 

Dark Mode is a solution to a problem that already has a solution – and this second solution is just wasting time that developers could be spending on other projects.

Just turn it off

How to enable dark mode for Instagram

(Image credit: Facebook; Shutterstock)

There are some minor perks to a dark mode, such as its battery saving potential. But since Dark Mode is surprisingly hard to develop (as Chrome for desktop shows), it would be more efficient for developers to work on battery optimization tricks.

 

Of course, the obvious response to 'dark mode is bad' is simply 'just turn it off then', and I certainly will, but there's more to the issue than that.

 

With every developer around being tasked to create a hasty dark mode, seemingly just because everyone else is, that means manpower is going to be turned away from other tasks that are arguably more important for the longevity of operating systems and apps.

 

Operating system developers are in the midst of their own battles right now: Apple's MacOS Catalina is murdering nearly every computer it touches, and Microsoft's Windows 10 is tripping over basically every hurdle it gets near.

 

Similarly, apps and social media platforms have bigger issues that need addressing in terms of usability: YouTube needs to sort out the algorithm that its top content creators keep getting shafted by; Twitter needs editable tweets; Instagram needs to fix its auto-ban algorithm that many have ridiculed as overzealous.

 

In short, developers all have problems they need to face and address, but if they spend their time creating pithy dark modes instead of fixing problems, they're letting their platforms sink further down into the plughole that the internet is becoming.

 

 

Source: The Dark Mode craze may do more harm than good – this is why (TechRadar)

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Agreed. This 'gem' for example...     Perhaps the convention was established a long time ago because paper is white, or that a "little" less ink would be used than inking the entire p

The Dark Mode craze may do more harm than good – this is why Developers need to go dark on the feature Dark Mode in iOS 13 (Image credit: Apple)

The author is just jealous because he couldn't code his apps to dark mode.  It is a matter of opinion, but dark mode just looks better!

The author is just jealous because he couldn't code his apps to dark mode.  It is a matter of opinion, but dark mode just looks better!

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12 hours ago, dhjohns said:

The author is just jealous because he couldn't code his apps to dark mode.  It is a matter of opinion, but dark mode just looks better!

The author of the article is Tom Bedford. Claiming himself as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, speakers, wearables and more, but I guess he didn't do his homework first before writing that article anyway.

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Biased article in so many ways... Can't even find any valid argument expect subjective idiotic sentences like "More than that, it just looks ugly"...

Unbelievable... he didn't even mention impact on battery, especially on LED screens.

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3 hours ago, tiliarou said:

Biased article in so many ways... Can't even find any valid argument expect subjective idiotic sentences like "More than that, it just looks ugly"...

Unbelievable... he didn't even mention impact on battery, especially on LED screens.

That's why. I don't understand where he learn about journalism. Being a journalism means that one has to do their early homework first before making such opinions.

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i been using dark themes using on Linux for years only thing i dont like the fact i have to use  Text Contrast for Dark Themes  addon for Firefox current  and Waterfox classic to   make all sites readable  but that's a gecko  bug   Darkmode follows all my apps correctly except for Firefox based browsers  and a addon fixes that .  Its all in what your eyes are use too if you use dark pages in your browser  if you switch to light pages  it  will blind you . It's like night and day  your eyes have to get adjusted to light again . But the fact is you can still see better in the light once your eyes get adjusted to it . Saving battery power dont have nothing to do with it straining your eyes . Dark themes  are always plagued with bugs like me having to a use addon and like this site when someone copy and paste from chrome without removing format is not readable with  with this sites dark theme  so i dont use it  . But my system does use a dark theme  but i don't be staring at my desktop all day ether . Problems  with seeing webpages  and the theme a app  uses  is two different things .

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8 hours ago, Edward Raja said:

That's why. I don't understand where he learn about journalism. Being a journalism means that one has to do their early homework first before making such opinions.

I dont think you done your homework  hes not the only journalist to report dark mode is bad for you eyes .:hehe:

 

Dark Mode Is for Suckers  Sep 28, 2019

https://gizmodo.com/dark-mode-is-for-suckers-1838544708

 

Do You Really Need Dark Mode? Jun 8, 2019

https://www.wired.com/story/do-you-need-dark-mode/

 

Dark Mode Isn’t ‘Easier on the Eyes’ for Everybody  Jun 5 2019,

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywyqxw/apple-dark-mode-eye-strain-battery-life

 

Dark mode isn't as good for your eyes as you believe - Wired UK  Jul 30, 2019

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/dark-mode-chrome-android-ios-science

 

The Dark Side of Dark Mode  May 31, 2019

https://tidbits.com/2019/05/31/the-dark-side-of-dark-mode/

 

 

Most people only see the news they want to see and cry wolf when they see news that go against there opinion .  But opinions  are not facts  and opinions will never change facts like them  are not. :lmao:

 

I dont think this news is biased  old rehashed  from last summer yes  . Dark-mode hinders people ability to see clearly  were you  get done faster doing your work using dark text on a light background.  Saying anything else is not reality  and there plenty of research to back up that using dark-mode is not as productive it just looks cool but looking  cool dont  help  you make a deadline or quota faster so you will get paid     .

 

Is Dark Theme in IDEs actually worse for you?  June, 12 2016

https://blog.dripstat.com/is-dark-theme-in-ides-actually-worse-for-you/

 

Quote

Night mode may be useful by reducing the overall screen brightness and improving screen contrast, but there is little published evidence available to say whether it is effective at reducing eyestrain.

https://lookafteryoureyes.org/media/headlines/2019-2/does-dark-mode-prevent-eye-strain/

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Yep, it's so biased. The reason why: because the author hates dark mode 🤣

 

Anyway, my best practice is simple, if there's enough light, use the light theme, if it's not, use the dark mode (dim light, etc.). Work's best for me.

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59 minutes ago, x3r0 said:

Yep, it's so biased. The reason why: because the author hates dark mode 🤣

 

Anyway, my best practice is simple, if there's enough light, use the light theme, if it's not, use the dark mode (dim light, etc.). Work's best for me.

It dont matter if he don't like Dark Mode it's not going to go away because of his opinion .  But the fact is  the internet is not coded in dark by default  you have to install stylus or another addon  like OWL  to make all websites dark regardless , only some sites have themes   and its up to end user to change  them from default , what theme you use on the web  and what  your device uses  is two  different things .  In the Linux  world when you change to dark mode everything goes dark  expect for the web .

 

Apps that dont even have a dark theme on windows are dark by default on Linux there are some exceptions like Snaps and flatpac  but any dev that's any good will fix it were they  is dark mode theme in the container. But like my email app were  i use all the time for reading the dark mode is hard to read  so i keep it switched to light mode  but the border is still dark because my system theme is dark . Same as this website  i cant read every thing that posted in dark mode so instead of complaining i dont use it. Now Pigeon  IM  I use it  in dark mode with white text and it dont have no bugs.

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We don't argue apps and website needs to be developed with dark mode in mind to be effective, it was more to point that the author does not develop the proper arguments and uses his personal bias to write the article. "More than that, it just looks ugly" is just a childish sentence with no proper backing afterwards...

I would not argue on the productivity but more on the visual relief in dark environment and battery saving on phones. Dark themes can be counterproductive, you are right.

 

Regardless of blue light and melatonin trigger, keeping a bright white screen will be worst than keeping a bright dark/black screen.

For daylight use, it really depends on preference and how the app text is rendered.

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47 minutes ago, tiliarou said:

We don't argue apps and website needs to be developed with dark mode in mind to be effective, it was more to point that the author does not develop the proper arguments and uses his personal bias to write the article. "More than that, it just looks ugly" is just a childish sentence with no proper backing afterwards...

the article source  says  opinion  Its not against  the rules  here to post opinion pieces . The Author is not on this website so he can't hear you . Go tell him https://twitter.com/bytombedford?lang=en

But it want no good because

 

Quote

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

 

47 minutes ago, tiliarou said:

Regardless of blue light and melatonin trigger, keeping a bright white screen will be worst than keeping a bright dark/black screen.

For daylight use, it really depends on preference and how the app text is rendered.

 

That's your opinion does that make you biased against light themes ? A person who dont like dark themes would never agree with you .:rofl:

 

Edit : As long as source says opinion i dont let it bother me , they are some editors i cant stand like  Bogdan Popa  but there really nothing i can do about if they decide to post his stuff on here because he hes not a  opinion editor but i dont consider his articles news  i consider it spam so what i did  when they was posting his stuff was avoided those topics  tell it stopped because complaining never done a bit of good .

Edited by steven36
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