Hello dark mode my old friend

Google Trends: Dark mode (copied in light mode)
Hey Simon & Garfunkel, no need to be so dramatic

What would you gain from adding dark mode to your web application?

Around a trillion words were written on the subject of whether or not users should use dark mode, but not nearly enough was written on why vendors should add support for dark mode to their apps or what vendors would gain from it. I set out to write what we gained from adding dark mode to our applications and here are the main findings.

Cron To Go, light mode

Personalization

Our apps are primarily used by developers and given the technical nature of our audience and apps, you’d expect most of our users to switch to dark mode immediately. The results proved that this is not always the case. At the time this post was written, about 60% of our active users have switched to dark mode (either manually or in accordance with their system preferences). This suggests that personal taste is a factor, and in the eyes of many users (pun intended), it actually makes as much sense to add dark mode support as it is to build a responsive website.

Cron To Go, dark mode

Redesign

Everybody fears this concept and for a good reason too. It consists of tons of work and unknown ROI. However, when you go about adding dark mode to your app, you can also use the opportunity to rethink your design. Dark colors are associated with luxury and elegance and can help you to stand out from the competition, but that means you have to do it well and not just simply invert the colors on your website. Here are some tips for successful redesign:

  • Re-evaluate your color palette — generally speaking, in dark mode, desaturated colors work and look much better to help achieve that classy feeling.
  • Make sure to measure the contrast ratio and adapt the colors you use for better readability. Think of buttons, tags, notifications, but don’t forget about your logo, mascot and images used across your app and website.
  • Choice and defaults — once introduced, it’s good to start with the user’s system default mode: a nice surprise for anyone who has dark mode already set up. However, some people prefer the previous design even if they use dark mode in their OS, so it’s a good idea to let your users make a choice, which, in turn, may help you learn something about them too.

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