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Dark Mode by Default – 95% of People Prefer Dark over Light Mode (getpolarized.io)
241 points by burtonator 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 222 comments





It seems that their data is mostly coming from their own user base (the discord data is biased as they admitted), which is mostly comprised of programmers and other techies. I don't know how far this generalizes to the rest of society.

I personally like dark mode during night time, but almost always prefer light mode by default. There's just something about dark mode that is... gloomy and depressing. It feels like an overcast day, whereas light mode feels like a bright sunny day. I've noticed that most techies do prefer dark mode, and I also recall reading that techies are disproportionately night owls - I wonder if there's a correlation there. I suspect though that this preference is reversed for the general population.


> I've noticed that most techies do prefer dark mode, and I also recall reading that techies are disproportionately night owls - I wonder if there's a correlation there.

If I may be mildly unflattering for a moment, I think it's just a trendiness thing. Dark Mode looks more like a terminal and signals "I'm a real big-boy hackerman" or something.

If someone has real data showing it actually causes less eyestrain or something, I'm willing to change that opinion.


I'm sure everyone has their own specific reasons. And what you suggest might be true for a subset of individuals. For me, I prefer dark mode for a couple of sight related reasons:

- It makes my eye floaters much harder to notice

- Light backgrounds on screens, especially white, tend to hurt my eyes more than darker ones


> Light backgrounds on screens, especially white, tend to hurt my eyes more than darker ones

It was (and still is, but read on) for me until I realised that it was not light mode but backlight that was too strong. It was actually initially better with dark modes, low contrast stuff like zenburn, or (solarize light or dark) but only got worse later.

The moment I realised that was a backlight (and ambient light, including temperature) issue I moved back to light mode.

The above mentioned solutions have the nasty side effect that people usually increase backlight, which just makes things even worse!


I usually have the brightness on all my devices very low (10-20% typically, but have to go 100% if I’m outside and it’s particularly bright).

I also use f.lux/nightmode on all devices.


I usually have my phone at 0% brightness, but that I can still see something is a clear indication it's not actually 0%. The screen is still too bright for me if it's the only light source. Same for audio; I basically only switch between mute and minimum volume because everything above is too loud for me.

I hate that there's no way to acess more fine-grained levels below the arbitrarily imposed minimum. I realize most people would think their phone is broken if they could get it into a state where it doesn't produce any perceivable output despite not being explicitly off. I just wish there were some secret handshake I could use to confirm that I'm okay with having to find the brightness control while not being able to see anything; I already do that when I'm outside in the bright sun.


On my phone running iOS, in addition to the brightness slider there is an option under Settings -> General -> Accessibility Display Accommodations to "Reduce White Point", which I can use to further dim the screen.

I think this is nearly identical to using a dark theme; it doesn't actually reduce the brightness of the backlighting.

I have been wondering for a long time what determines the backlight minimum, why can't we go darker? Surely phones can be expected to be used in pitch black?


If you're on Android, you can use Dimmer to go below minimum brightness:

https://f-droid.org/app/giraffine.dimmer


Thanks for the recommendation. Seems like it renders a partially transparent overlay to simulate a lower brightness setting. The notification bar remains unaffected, but I guess it's better than nothing.

Yes. Beware of two things:

1. It can block "Install" button when installing apks from outside of Play Store. Disable it

2. Latest commit is 4 years ago. But I've still chosen it over Red Moon because it's more than 10x smaller (336kB but still very configurable).


My biggest problem with my Surface Go is the backlight doesn't go low enough. 100% is brighter than my phone goes and 0% is still feels like looking at 75% on my phone.

My phone is currently set to 10%


I just recently took the LSAT (now administered on Surface Go) and I saw test takers use the "High Contrast" mode in the software much more frequently than I expected.

Low backlight usually implies bad contrast. I hate this, especially with the modern trend for various shades of grey being used and thus being indistinguishable.

White backgrounds make for so much distraction when it comes to eye floaters for me as well.

For me it's nice when I can use a pure black background on an OLED screen and just have that much less light being produced beyond just turning down the brightness on a screen.


Came here to say the same thing- had eye surgery a few years back and the floaters are maddening. I've got a few apps that use a white background feels blinding whenever I have to use them.

same boat here -- migraine / cluster / photophobia sufferer and need to reduce as much as possible the volume and amplitude of light coming into my eye --

in truth, I don't think I'd be able to do my job at all without dark-mode text editors / terminals


Agree on the trend thing.

Even older research supports the claim that black on white is easier on the eyes, this is why we switched away from white on black (DOS and UNIX). This applies to screens in well lit environments though, which would explain the rise of the dark mode in recent years: Smartphones in bed. But there it's more about the "less bad" solution.

The key part is having a well lit environment, so that the white background of the screen roughly matches the overall brightness of the surroundings. This way the pupils don't have to adjust all the time when looking around your room and then back at your screen, or when looking at code where the screen is mostly black with some text, and then some article with images.


I think the switch to black-on-white when GUIs first appeared was largely because the prototypical application was a word processor, where the selling point was that what you saw on the screen looked like what you were going to print on paper.

Other applications, like spreadsheets, ended up with a lot of the the same printer-oriented design. It showed up in things like font sizes in points (which are nominally length units, but were usually based on some fixed notional dpi rather than matching the size on the physical screen).


I suspect it's more about high refresh rate CRTs. On low refresh rate, blocks of colour really were very unpleasant to look at, but this went away over about 70hz. Of course, this was never an issue on LCDs.

There was also an intermediate period where backgrounds were usually _blue_.


In netscape the default background colour used to be black on light grey. I find that much easier on my eyes than black on white. Even a light yellow with dark green text. But given a dark room I like to switch the other way. See how you feel with a terminal/editor in different colour schemes. So bright room, bright scheme, dark room dark scheme. What I can't stand is flipping between the two modes. At night on a phone, some apps are incredibly painful to read. Even darkish flavours can be ruined with bright splash screens. There's just no consistency here.

White light gives me headaches.

I also work through the dark hours the night. Switching between bright white terminal/app/ide to pitch black, as I do every night, is jarring and, again, gives me headaches. Dark mode should be an option just like every site should be accessible to any assistive technology.


Disagree. I work remotely so nobody ever sees my screen except for me. I prefer dark mode because it's more comfortable on my eyes.

I kinda like dark mode on darker days, but if I'm jumping from the IDE to a light webpage like this one every few seconds, then a light IDE is much better.

Dark mode objectively is more straining on the eyes though, so it must be more of a psychological preference.

This is not true. If you are in a room at night with all the lights off and the only source of light is your computer screen, you want as little amount of light coming out of that screen as possible to reduce that contrast ratio between the computer screen and the ambient darkness. The only exception is res light due to the way the eye works. White backgrounds, which consist of all the red green and blue pixels, add more strain onto the eyes due to giving off more light. Given equal backlight, white backgrounds give off more light than black.

In fact the single greatest thing that computer manufacturers could do to improve the lives of night-time workers and people who use their computers with the lights off would be to switch to OLED screens, where the black pixels do not use backlight. As someone who studies human vision, I took special note of the improvement when I switched to a phone that uses an OLED screen in dark mode. There, with white on black text, the white text is the only thing in the room giving off light and it’s a drastic improvement.

However if the colors do not matter (you can deal with monochrome text and images), then using a true “red mode” will produce the least eye strain. Check out F.Lux’s “darkroom” color effect. You’ll feel the difference instantly. You’ll be able to comfortably see what’s on the screen in the dark with the screen as the only light source, as well as be able to quickly scan around the room without your eyes needing to adjust! You can even turn up the brightness much higher than you can without it.


It's a matter of practice. I find light backgrounds unbearable in thr nails on chalkboards sense. After looking at one the rest of the environment looks dark and off. I can't make the backlight dim enough for them to be comfortable. With dark backgrounds and light text, I feel the device to be a more natural part of the surroundings. It's not glowing nearly as much and is emitting only the light that's needed to communicate the information I need.

If you are talking about research based on modern oled devices then I'd love to read it. Maybe I'm weird.


> Dark mode objectively is more straining on the eyes

Can you substantiate this?


I'm another for dark mode. I've been doing it for years when it's been available and I switched my phone because my previous one didn't have it. Even with the backlight cranked all the way down it was physically painful to look at. Others have suggested turning up the lights, well you can't do this in vehicles driving at night. It's also difficult if you're sharing a room with someone. I suspect I may be outside the range of normal people as going outside without sunglasses isn't a pleasant experience for me and I've got added sensitivity due to chemo. I do happen to be night owl normally not sure if that really matters or correlates to anything. I don't have the same problem with books, just items with backlighting.

I like dark mode for simple practical reasons: I have a multimonitor setup and I hate it when a monitor shines bright light into my eyes from the side — this is of course purely subjective. I also work a lot with colors and I’d like to avoid bright colors on secondary displays for that reason as well.

There are studies linking the high blue light content of LEDs to health issues regarding eyesight and sleep. AFAIK the eyesight thing has only be tested with mice, but conduct your own research.

I use dark wallpapers for years now, and just yesterday when I wanted to try a brighter one for a change I instantly changed it back because the bright shine was so annoying.


Came here to say a variation of this.

Dark mode is "cool" right now because it's still a relatively new thing. In five years when everything is dark mode by default this same poll would yield a totally different, maybe even inverse, result.


Maybe people who spend most of their working lives alone, staring at screens, are picking dark mode because it's comfortable, not cool. There is no one around to impress. It's ok if you don't get it, but that doesn't mean it's just a fad.

It's cool to be comfortable, and now easier. OLED screens invert the default behavior of a screen from light to dark. It'd be absurd to fight the comfort that this can provide.


I WFH and can have pretty much any setup I want, and I prefer dark on light background. Certain colors are harder for the eye to see (blue is a big offender) and yet, we have UI designers putting blue on a black background. So, I use a lighter color background, dark-ish font color and I have a 15% brown tint on my glasses. Ahhh.. comfort.

So, I agree, it's cool to be comfortable.


CRTs were default black, yet we went from dark to light backgrounds during their heyday.

Text mode terminals used black background, so did XY displays which used memory tubes. When graphical, bitmapped high resolution displays arrived, they nearly universally were white background with black text - but trivially switchable (starting from late 1970s)

> Dark Mode looks more like a terminal and signals "I'm a real big-boy hackerman" or something.

I suspect this is a big part of it. The interesting thing is, terminal emulators flipped to light backgrounds when it became practical (for instance, see the Solaris X11 one, or, later, Apple's one). The reversion to white on dark was a later thing.

I'm inclined to blame Microsoft; their Windows terminal emulator never went dark on light (though, interestingly, their bundled telnet and modem clients did). I think they were afraid of breaking DOS software that made assumptions about the black background.


Generally early GUI systems were black-on-white monochromatic, but switchable (and easily so, for the whole system). The thing is, which one is really better depended a lot on personal preference AND ambient light - and original systems supported both, but often assumed brightly lit room.

bro you dont need "real data" to convince yourself that water is wet. if you have eyes you can get "empirical data":

go into dark room. read black text on white background. observe how you are squinting and its hard to read. enable dark mode. (you can use something like night mode for firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/night-light-m... if you arent sure how). profit.


This can be fixed by turning the light on.

Most work areas are not lit well enough. For my own home office I have about 19,000 lumens of light in a relatively modest space. Same brightness as a cloudy day outside. In that environment, a white background is very pleasing to the eye, especially with crisp displays.

One advantage of dark backgrounds is that it's easier to distinguish many colors against something dark, so for code that uses heavy syntax highlighting, it looks nicer. But the edges of characters render better against white backgrounds, so it's a tradeoff...

One area where dark mode shines is if the environment doesn't allow for ambient light, such as checking the phone or laptop when someone is sleeping in the room.


For some people with astigmatism this is a worst case scenario. As you try and read a light font on a dark background in a dark room, the pupil opens up, letting more light in, however opening up the pupil this way exacerbates the effect of the deformed cornea.

> go into dark room.

If you have a computer, you probably have electric lighting. Just use that.


I'm not a night owl. I prefer dark mode. It matters when you're staring at a screen for more than 12 hours a day

What we really really need is cheap, high resolution, fast refresh eInk displays.

I’m talking 27 inch, 4K resolution, color (even just 4096 colors might be enough for a lot of software development work) monitors running at 60Hz or higher, with eInk technology and backlight that can be dialed all the way from full brightness to no backlight at all, which should be sold at a price somewhere between the same and 2x to 3x or 4x the price of what LED displays of similar size and specs currently cost today.

I hope we may see that on the market one day.


Laptop in the sun outside. It’s the dream.

I used to use my OLPC xo-1 this way. It was a dream.

E-ink screens can make dark mode irrelevant. But the market for them hasn't been built, and the tech isn't effective at fast refresh. Yet.


I would pay good money for this.

Agreed. Anything more than an hour or two and it's definitely nicer to have a dark mode.

I used dark mode in IDEA for YEARS and I can't believe I didn't push harder to have a dark mode in Polar earlier.

This is why it's good to listen to your users!


> It matters when you're staring at a screen for more than 12 hours a day

I stare at a screen for more than 12 hours most days, but I strongly prefer light mode over dark, so I'm not sure the amount of screen time is what makes the difference.


People are different. Some can't handle the light. Some can't see as well in the dark.

As one of the former, I find I am also very sensitive to light at night. Seeing a bright light within an hour or two of bedtime will push the point when I fall asleep back significantly.


Discord has one of the worst light modes I've ever seen. Until recently, the sidebar taking up 20% of your screen on the left didn't even change colors, it remained in dark mode regardless of if you swapped. Also note that the role colors most servers assign contrast way too poorly with light background (bright yellow on white). And dark mode is the default. Worst example to try to extrapolate from.

I like the light theme being split between dark and light, though it feels weird and unfinished.

I'd definitely take the Discord data with a heap of salt: I prefer light themes, but I use dark in Discord because Discord's light theme is terrible and hurts my eyes.

I haven't read the article but the Discord light mode is TERRIBLE. Terrible contrast and half the interface remains in dark mode. That's why I don't use it. Otherwise I would. So it's kinda forced dark mode for Discord. That stat can not be trusted.

https://i.redd.it/qre9cvey3r0z.png


Are you sure you don't have a custom theme installed? Mine looks like this: https://i.imgur.com/FBBh1tm.png

It's a screenshot I've found on the Internet. Perhaps they've updated it; I haven't used Discord in months.

They fixed it... I talked about it in my post.

I’m a night owl and prefer day mode due to the wakeful effects you described, but I keep Night Shift on 24/7 to reduce blues.

I'm a night owl and dislike dark mode. Prefer solarized light theme everywhere :)

> I recall reading that techies are disproportionately night owls

A "night owl" is someone who enjoys being awake and active at night more than the average person, but most people who describe themselves as "night owls" still spend most of their waking hours during the day, especially when they are working, especially if they work in software development at a normal 9-5 job.


Need better evidence to believe this stat too but I do prefer the dark mode personally. For what it's worth, I've been running the dark mode on my site for almost 3 weeks now. 60,000+ visitors since the change and no complaints for now.

If system-wide themes really worked, I'd probably be switching now and then between light and dark themes. Dark mode is kind of gloomy but it's also easier on the eyes.

System wide themes used to work, and we didn't need an explicit Dark Mode because of it. Sadly, computer interfaces have regressed significantly from 1995.

Latest releases of MacOS (and iOS) have it, and you can even set it to go into dark mode automatically at night.

Well, I meant something with more freedom of styling, not just some established light and dark theme. Like change the colors of system-wide buttons, text inputs, window title-bars, tabs, etc. Change the system-wide accenting color to Red, Blue, Green, Gold, etc.

You can also change the accent color on MacOS! If you want more customization than there’s Linux.

Thanks. I tried to find more data but it's scarce. I would love to get more data for more apps as I think it's definitely biased around people who spend a LOT of time staring at text.

I'm a programmer so spend a ton of time in my IDE. Polar is designed for people that read a LOT so dark mode really matters to them.

When you're reading 100s of PDFs having a dark mode is kind of important!

In retrospect I'm kicking myself not working on this sooner.


Most of the data that I've found suggests that dark text on a light background is measurably more legible than the reverse. This effect is increased for people with astigmatism -- which is about half the population, so that's not insignificant.

There's a lot of pushback I've seen when studies like that get cited: they're old, they weren't about programmers, etc. And, maybe, but even though we're staring at LCD panels now rather than CRTs, light is light light and vision is vision. It's not about how much light is "shining into your eyes" as much as it is about visual acuity, and it's at least worth trying light mode and just... turning down the brightness on your monitor a little. Also, turning up the ambient light in the room. If your environment is so dark that the backlighting on your keyboard is visible, then you've tacitly designed your environment to make light mode blinding and uncomfortable, so you're not really giving it a fair shake.

I'd like to see studies about whether alternating between dark and light mode occasionally will help prevent your eyes from getting tired as quickly; my suspicion is yes, because it certainly does feel that way to me. But a lot of things that seem intuitively true don't stand up to scrutiny.


I imagine you don't know the answer, but I'm curious as to if these studies were controlled for screen glare.

Dark themes/backgrounds have far worse issues with screen glare from badly configured room lighting than light ones do in my experience.

-----

I'm also curious why another area of design that is extremely concerned with legibility seems to have reached the opposite conclusion, pretty much worldwide.

Road signs.

Even though signs themselves can vary widely, the standard color scheme for road signs in every developed country I can think of, is a darker background with lighter text. I certainly don't have the studies in front of me, but I know a great deal of research has gone into fonts and legibility for road signs, and I presume what we see on the roads in the world is the result.


You are correct, I don't know if they controlled for screen glare. :)

The road signs are an interesting question. I know there's a lot of work, and occasional controversy, over the typefaces used. If I had to hazard a guess for the color choices, though, it might be the signs have to be very visible in the dark, too -- that's now generally done by using reflective paint for the light part of the sign, but older highway signs, at least in America, used reflective dots in the letters. So that might be a tradition born less out of legibility studies than practicality.


My astigmatism gives me doubles in any high contrast situation, whether light on dark or dark on light. Solarized/Zenburn type low-contrast palettes are the only thing that really addresses it.

I've noticed that when my eyes are tired as well. I think well-considered low-contrast color schemes don't get enough love, and I'm still a fan of Solarized, too. (Although my favorite schemes, both light and dark, are Spacemacs'.)

I would say you have an interesting article here, and your user poll is interesting too. But like you said you don't really have the data to back up this claim, so it just comes off as really click-baity. It worked, as I've never heard of your product and am clicking around the site now, but it's disappointing none the less.

I think it would be fine if the title just said "95% of our users prefer dark mode" rather than trying to generalize it to all people.

Well, one of the reasons to blog is to get other people who can submit more data. Further, I feel that if there was a specific demand for white that people would switch.

... It definitely would be great to get more apps to release their data. I reached out to IntelliJ about IDEA data but I didn't hear anything back.


The recent trend of introducing separate "light" and "dark" modes is a band-aid solution to the larger problem: modern interfaces lack contrast. Everything is either mostly-bright or mostly-dark, and I find both physically tiring.

I was playing around with a virtualized copy of Snow Leopard last weekend. Coming from modern macOS, what I find most visually striking is always the range of tones. The beautifully deep gray window chrome fades into the background, and pushes white content to the forefront without rendering it blindingly bright. Colored accents on interactable elements make the interface easy to scan. When I squint, I can still see everything.

You'd never consider adding a dark mode to this interface—or at least, I personally can't imagine what one would look like, because the interface is neither light nor dark to begin with. The result is far easier on my eyes.


That's a great point -- before Microsoft introduced "flat design" which everyone else then copied (both Apple and Google), there was both a lot more variation in background colors and varied usage of color generally.

I understand and sympathize with the philosophy behind flat design -- that it intentionally puts the interface in the background (low contrast, less variation), so whatever content you're consuming (photos, videos, book text) is the focus.

But I also sympathize with your point -- that when you want to use the interface to do stuff rather than merely scroll through content, it's simply harder now.


It's novel right now, just as dark-on-light displays were novel when Lisa and Macintosh were introduced. Also, I suspect nostalgia (or anemoia) is involved.

However, research shows that dark-on-light (positive polarity) displays are better for most people most of the time, with some exceptions.

For those who want to go deeper, several studies and papers are cited in the article The Dark Side of Dark Mode: https://tidbits.com/2019/05/31/the-dark-side-of-dark-mode/


I have cataracts just outside the center of my vision, and they are more visible against a white background. For this reason I prefer dark mode, as they are not visible, they just distort.

Personally I can't stand dark mode. It literally hurts my eyes. Strain after a few moments and interlacing ghost lines that linger in my vision for a minute.

Does anyone else have this?

Is it brain cancer?!

edit: Thanks, I'm pretty sure it's not cancer.

Question: But why me? Age? Staring too long at monitors? Drugs? It doesn't seem to effect too many others.


Dark mode can cause strain on eyes. Lower total brightness means your pupils open up to be able to take in more light. Wider pupils means lower depth of field, i.e. less stuff in focus immediately in front of/behind whatever you are currently focused on. You are more susceptible to having to refocus from subtle movements with a lower depth of field. The less of a steady state your focus, the more the muscles involved in focusing are engaged, which might be a cause of the strain you are feeling.

Similarly, this is why your eyes can hurt while reading in dimmer settings. It's not because low light itself is somehow harmful while reading, but because your eyes have a harder time staying focused as you naturally move while reading.

edit: I adopted light themes everywhere after reading this, probably https://ux.stackexchange.com/a/53268 . Knowing depth of field from photography helped this make sense, as well as understanding (from conversations with a doctor in my family) that the generic feeling "strain" is most likely associated with muscle activity than anything else.


I use dark mode with large text for this reason. It's definitely true that you can read smaller text with light backgrounds, but the comfort is higher for me with less light from the screen, so I'm ok with less info on the screen and dark background.

It's not brain cancer but rather an artifact of how the eye/brain system works.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterimage


Honestly, that's more of what I think. I figure I get a higher activation of my edge detection neurons. Somehow.

Astigmatism, possibly? IIRC, dark mode is worse for most users (though they may not notice it, and the placebo effect is powerful in this sort of subjective rating) but it's particularly bad for people with severe astigmatism.

I think I read it has to do with having astigmatism. Which I have, and I also prefer light mode for the reasons you state.

Dark mode makes me tired, I think. I don't mind normal black text on a white background.

Same here. I hate dark mode. Especially websites in dark mode.

It's not brain cancer

Everything is brain cancer if you look it up online.

I have exactly the same experience.

Same here too.

I don't know many people my age who can still handle dark mode.

It was easy for me many years ago. I looked at command lines all day and no problem.

Now I see blurry lines for 10 minutes all around me if I have to spend any length of time in a command line interface, or look at an article in dark mode.

This is, unfortunately, an accessibility issue, not a design issue.


I'm older, my eyes are getting pretty bad, and I have to have dark mode. This is why data on this is important.

I'd say this is why we need software to respect accessibility and configurability. We didn't need "Dark Mode" in Windows 95 because we could configure the crap out of our native widgets. Then using the web as an application platform became a thing, accessibility was jettisoned in the name of "muh design!" and all personal computing has suffered for it.

I'm the same way... 42 now and my eyes aren't the same. Definitely macular degeneration. Dark mode really helps me.

Second this. Aged. Dark mode and command prompt is less tiresome on eye than white.

Much of it depends on the room you’re in currently.

> in a command line interface

It's perfectly reasonable to use dark-on-light in a terminal emulator; Apple's one defaults to it, for instance.


I'm older and I prefer dark mode, whether for CLI or GUI. It reduces eyestrain for me.

I'm older and I strongly prefer light mode. Dark mode irritates me in part because it's harder for me to read and in part because it depresses me.

What contrast are you using when you get those problems? I typically use 80% grey on black.

I wish there were more "medium" themes.

I usually find light modes too harsh, but I think that's because the background is often pure white or close to it, as opposed to something softer.

I think dark modes look cooler and I like the aesthetic from an artsy perspective, but they're not something I enjoy working in all day. I like the lower contrast ones to an extent, but they're still not ideal.

My preferred Visual Studio theme has been Humane, which is one of the rare ones that fall somewhere in between. I tweaked it to make it a tad darker, but was fairly happy with it out of the box. In any case, I feel like these kinds of themes are underrepresented; there is an overwhelming number of dark and light themes out there (mostly tweaks of other themes, or just plain bad) and I really wish more would aim for the middle ground. Largely because I'm actually not a fan of the color brown and would like to see a semi-light theme based on something else, haha.

https://damieng.com/blog/2007/10/14/colour-schemes-for-visua...


I like Gruvbox for the same reason

The problem is, that many of the developers are mistaking the Dark mode with BLACK mode (like Opera GX, Telegram's night mode, Android's [MIUI's] dark theme, and similar themed applications). Dark mode - as with Discord - is really about having the contrast _reduced_ and overall making the whole experience more dark greyish, which reduces strain on the eyes. Try this with BLACK instead, and you'll start to cry after a couple of minutes (yes, I know, I'm old and grumpy..). The very popular dark themes, like Monokai are popular exactly because they respect these very simple rules: 1. dark does NOT mean black, 2. reduce overall contrast. I personally HATE the fact, that with Opera GX for example, you don't even have the _ability_ to choose if you would like to use the Dark mode (which is, again, BLACK mode in reality).

Contrast can stay, for me "dark mode" or 'night theme' is about reducing the overall luminous intensity.

My own belief is that when a sea of white is removed the need for 'crisp black' to stand out against it is also reduced; this might relate to a different perceived contrast due to the lowered noise floor (far less photons being rejected, so it's easier to pick out the desired ones).


At least some of us prefer a Dark mode that especially uses real black in backgrounds because of OLED and other HDR screens. Real black on many OLED devices is an entirely unlit pixel. That's very plainly less light being forced at your eyes from that screen, and absolutely will reduce certain forms of eye strain. Black backgrounds literally fade into the background of the screen. Grays and dark grays don't do that, they need at least a little lighting.

As with almost all aesthetic preferences, your mileage and your hardware may vary.


I don’t use any of those apps but I concur with the point: dark mode that benefits the eye doesn’t use a black background.

Which of course contrasts with the “dark mode” for OLED devices, which do use black.

“Good” implementations I’ve seen allow a couple of choices.


how does lower contrast reduce strain on eyes?

I think this article sums up pretty nicely the reasons. Go to the chapter 'Do dark themes help your eyes?': https://www.maketecheasier.com/are-dark-themes-better-for-ey...

Dark mode is great when you're using a screen casually close to bedtime and don't want a painful bright light.

It's also great when you're doing image or video editing and need to be able to see full contrast in the dark areas, without being overwhemlmed by bright light surrounding.

But it's objectively far worse if you're reading significant amounts of text, for the simple optical reason that light bleeds inside of lenses, including in your eyes -- that white "pollutes" black but not vice-versa.

Thus with black-on-white text, letterforms stay separate, clear, and legible. Any light spreading simply makes the letterforms appear, say, at 10% brightness instead of 0% brightness. Zero problems with legibility, still plenty of contrast.

But with white-on-black, letterforms glow with blurry edges and connect into each other. Not on the screen, but on your retina. The same way streetlamps at night appear to have a halo. Words take more effort to read. Now granted, if you're 15 years old with perfect vision, it may not be particularly noticeable or objectionable. But the older you get or worse eyesight you have, the more it becomes a big problem.

So dark mode is nice to have, but for most apps going dark-only is objectively bad for accessibility, and legibility generally.


> But with white-on-black, letterforms glow with blurry edges and connect into each other. Not on the screen, but on your retina. The same way streetlamps at night appear to have a halo. Words take more effort to read.

I, uh, don't see a halo. Never have. I see streaks/starbursts, kinda like this quora post [0], except I've seen streetlights like that my whole life (so I don't think it's an eye problem like they suggest). Maybe that influences why I find dark mode easier on the eyes? No blurring, but it's also not sharp enough to cause the starburst.

[0] https://www.quora.com/What-are-those-peripheral-rays-of-ligh...


Objectively, your vision is a subjective thing. The default is dark on light. After trying the opposite some people decide they like it better. Are they wrong? Maybe they feel better, and the demand for configuration over color and hue in UI is a normal response.

A reasonable approximation for the primary optical effects would be a gaussian blur and it will produce a visual effect like "dark bleeding into light" just as well as "light bleeding into dark". Total energy is conserved under the blurring function, so light spreading out to the neighborhood leaves less light to perceive as being at its true source location. So, the light source seems darker at the same time it makes its neighbors seem brighter. Without uniform reinforcement from its all of its neighbors, the light area will seem to dim.

I think that several other comment threads get closer to the truth of the matter. Your experience will be quite different depending on the dilation of your pupils. Most people have better acuity in bright environments where their eyes behave more like pinhole cameras. Not only does the pinhole have better depth of field than a larger opening, but most people will have more higher order aberrations in the periphery of their cornea. That is why they will see artifacts at night more than in broad daylight.

With a properly balanced viewing environment, you will have the same acuity for light on dark or dark on light, because the ambient lighting should dominate your field of view and set your pupil dilation. The screen should then be bright enough to fit comfortably in the same dynamic range as this environment.

Another factor is screen surfaces, and what people perceive in the dark/black areas. If you use glossy screens, you are more likely to notice distracting and non-uniform reflections in the darker areas. With a matte screen, you will mostly just have reduced dynamic range with the environment affecting the whole screen as a more uniform noise floor. Smudges on touch screens may also affect someone's perception of solid colored screen areas.


Pixmap / raster fonts, with no antialiasing, at a somewhat large size are great light on dark.

White on dark with fuzzy fonts on non hidpi screens is terrible indeed.


I second this

95% of what people? I know people of both persuasions in about equal numbers, which makes me question the 95% number. Personally I hate dark mode except late at night as staring at a dark screen and then walking away from my desk makes me dizzy.

This isn't 95% of the population. This is 95% prefer dark becausw the light version is awful.

More of a click-bait title than necessary. 95% of discord users prefer dark would be more accurate.


I talk about it in the post but it was Discord users but also the users of Polar. They prefer dark mode and it is one of our top requested features.

I'd love to see more data though.


I'm definitely in the camp that light / dark mode should match the time of day or ambient light level. I love having "light mode" in the morning, but at night I always prefer dark mode. But this is because I have a huge amount of ambient light in the room in the day, and at night I have none. Dark mode is unreadable to me when the bright sun is shining on a monitor. Not so with light mode.

In the old days, apps simply used the system color scheme. That allowed one to globally choose what they wanted. Now everyone has to implement light and dark “skinz.” Color me not impressed.

Users also expect prettier designs than the standard GUI widgets from the OS nowadays. Custom themes also could lead to ugly visuals in apps and accessibility problems.

Not really. Designers expect prettier designs than standard GUI widgets, I'm not convinced users have ever wanted non-standard widgets. In fact, more than a decade of bitching-about-java has taught me that users hate non-native widgets. But hey, developers love them so fuck users.

Native widgets play significantly better with all accessibility tools, in part because native widgets are so customizable. You didn't need bespoke "Dark Mode" that was some designer's wet dream of what an interface should look like, you could just customize your widgets for what you needed: https://66.media.tumblr.com/19cb7fe3e0eef36debbd0167d6e6e0ea...


Do they though? I've had several family members buy Windows 10 PCs and they specifically requested I 'install Windows XP on it' (install Classic shell + a few other utilities to make the shell look more like Luna or Aero depending on the requestor)

I'd say users expect things to look like what they are used to, whatever that user-specific preference is.

Anecdotes not data etc.


I wish HN would get a dark mode, and I don’t know why major apps like WhatsApp etc. are still dragging their asses over dark mode support while smaller apps with more complex UIs have already supported it for months.

There are plenty of user-written styles that will give you a dark HN. I'm using this one [1] right now, using Stylus[2] (Chrome extension) to apply it.

[1] https://userstyles.org/styles/22794/a-dark-hacker-news

[2] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stylus/clngdbkpkpe...


Cool, TIL - thank you

You can use the Dark Reader extension for Firefox on computers & Android, which makes all sites dark, or the Stylus extension which allows you to load custom site-specific stylesheets. Stylus allows access to a big repository of community-made themes and there are surely some dark ones for HN.

These both are likely also available for Chrome.


Maybe because the small apps have a very targeted audience that enjoys dark mode. If you ask 10 random people on the street only 1 will probably know what “dark mode” is or would think about actively switching to it.

Dark mode is a talking point for both iOS and Android imo.

After trying both light and dark themed interfaces for a few years, I concluded that for me there's only one setup that works: light theme with low brightness (monitor setting) and 'flux'/'night light'. That way, my monitor looks just like everything else in my office, like reading a newspaper. That's one of the many ergonomic improvements that help me stay alive.

Yes, I think that's the sanest choice. Also doesn't require a lot of theming (and some applications don't have themes) or other weird stuff (inverting colors on pdfs?).

Also reducing the backlight saves battery.

But I still think that a little bit more low-contrast would be nice.


While I also prefer dark mode overall, the majority of dark editor color schemes strain my eyes more than light ones. Primarily this is because they use really bright saturated colors or solid white text on dark backgrounds, which makes my eyes strain as if they are looking at LED headlights during a night drive. OS X uses nice muted yet distinct colors on both ends of the brightness spectrum. I wish I could find an IntelliJ theme that matches the same spirit.

Yes. SOLID white #ffffff on black #000000 is a rough scheme. The whites need to be muted a bit so they're light grey basically.

I used grey on black for many years but recently switched to pure white. It is much easier to read.

I have my monitors set fairly dim, about 120cd/m^2. This is what most colorspaces expect the whitepoint to be, but it is very dim compared to the maximum amount of light a monitor can put out. It is about 12/100 on my monitor.

https://hub.displaycal.net/forums/topic/what-monitor-brightn...

Anyway, my point here is that #ffffff is not any sort of color you can see, merely a number that represents the maximum possible amount of red, green, and blue. If that's too much light, you can turn it down. You can also play with gamma curves to change the relative intensities down to pure black. Some people use 2.2 in dark rooms and 2.4 for "normal" indoor illumination.


I've been a huge fan of tomorrow night eighties for the same reason. You may like it too.

example: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ChrisKempson/Tomorrow-Them...

JetBrains compatible version: https://github.com/chriskempson/tomorrow-theme/tree/master/J...


That's why I try to use the Solarized theme basically everywhere. It focuses on low contrast, and that works well enough that I can also handle the light variant without problems. Both black on white and white on black are horrible in my opinion.

People like novelty. Dark mode is something new in UX design. I'm not sure I'd read into it any more than that until a few more years pass.

New? Never used DOS, a terminal, or a custom dark theme on Windows XP?

Dark mode toggles in applications and websites is kind of new (not really, but it's been popularized recently), but system-wide theming with dark themes has been around for a long time.

Dark modes are a lot easier on the eyes if you spend a lot of time infront of screens and to greater and lesser extent everybody spends lots of time infront of screens nowadays.

That being said, I have pretty good luck with browser plugins that auto dark mode websites reasonably well. I'm not sure I'd go redesigning the entire web with darkmodes in mind when plugins can do a good enough job.


> Dark modes are a lot easier on the eyes if you spend a lot of time infront of screens

[citation needed]. Why do people keep making these general statements. Every time they do counter-examples immediately appear in replies. Why can't we all agree that we're all different and it's largely a matter of preference.


> Dark modes are a lot easier on the eyes if you spend a lot of time infront of screens

For some people, yes. For others, no. That's why this should be a configurable option.


I wouldn't be so sure, I used dark mode winamp and litestep themes back in the winxp days. It could have originally been that crt white was not that nice, but I still find a largely white lcd screen a bit much.

I prefer light mode + f.lux or Redshift.

There's no need to stare at cold blue light all day long.

Fun fact, there is actually a CSS media query for selecting dark/light themes:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/@media/pref...


I far prefer dark mode for "chrome" and OS theming, etc. but not for documents. So the idea that just because I have dark mode selected means I want every site to look like a porn site and my emails to all have back backgrounds is very wrong. I want normal documents, just as they were, but with a dark theme around them.

This seems like something where 'cheap talk' is a serious problem. You're not even surveying or polling users, you're hearing from self-selected ones. And even if you get a representative sample, what people say is different from what they do: users may not even know if they genuinely prefer it. Lots of design is subconscious, and there are measurable effects like additional milliseconds in loadtime where I doubt anyone would ordinarily be able to notice without sitting down with a stopwatch - it just feels worse.

If it is really impossible to support more than one theme in the long run, this seems like a perfect use-case for an A/B test: randomize half your users into dark-mode and half into light-mode, and track total attrition and activity over the next few months (and not some proxy variable, switching to dark mode is too important to use some unreliable intermediate measurement).


this is frustrating because I have diplopia and so my life looks like: https://i.imgur.com/IHWBflS.png when you have white text on a black background. This affect doesn't happen on "light" mode systems...

Funny. I thought that's how bright on dark text looked for everyone. Couldn't see the shadow until I tilted the screen.

Do I have diplopia or do people with diplopia see more of the effect?


I just switched back and forth from vi in my terminal to that image a couple of times. I see the blurring on that image immediately, every time. I don't see anything like that on the terminal.

As a person with an eye condition that also makes things look like that (and worse), it took me a while to see what's wrong with this image.

I only have a few apps on my old Mac that have a dark mode UI. Pixelmator is one of them and the small tool windows blend into each other and it's hard for me to discern their boundaries. And I strain with the tiny text on them. I really wish it had an option to turn that off and rarely use it because I can't.

I don't like it at all. Makes me wonder if it's because I'm getting old and my vision isn't aa sharp as it used to be.

My main monitor has a "low blue light" setting that I do like though. It took me a bit to get used to it but I can really feel the difference if I turn it off now. I've since adjusted my two peripheral monitors to lower the blue light settings and that's helped reduce eye strain a lot for me.


The Dark Side of Dark Mode https://tidbits.com/2019/05/31/the-dark-side-of-dark-mode/

"To summarize, a dark-on-light (positive polarity) display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and at least some older studies suggest that using a positive polarity display results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort. The benefits apply to both the young and the old, as that paper concludes"


I hate dark modes, but I don't actually care what the default is -- as long as I can still set a light mode.

I have using VI for years now and I prefer black background with green text, and I'm sure most people do. When I transitioned over to a modern IDE Atom/Code/Sublime, the first thing I wanted was to have a decent dark theme. I did try few of them but it was hard on my eyes(maybe because my eyes have adjusted to what I have been looking at for years) I finally settled on Code editor and its been ok so far.

Badwolf is my personal favorite dark theme: a nice black with orange and red.

Dark mode is my favorite and I appreciate more apps and websites adding support. Recently I've seen Slack and Perforce finally get official dark themes.

For websites that don't have good dark themes or user styles, you can use the Dark Reader browser extension to toggle it on any website - https://darkreader.org/


The main problem with this being a “mode” is that I don’t want it in 100% of cases. For instance, on the Mac it was originally possible to darken only the menu bar but now that is only allowed if everything is dark. Frankly, in many cases it makes more sense to mix these effects, e.g. it might also be nice to have darkened sidebars in lighter windows.

Another reason I don’t want it on all the time is because a lot of things still have really terrible Dark themes, to the point of being eyesores. It is amazing how much more the choice of colors matters in dark themes, and if this is wrong it is almost unusable.

Some web sites had long used primarily-light or primarily-dark themes, and it is now weird that some of them try to “adapt” to your dark/light “mode”. Frankly, it usually looks worse when they switch to their less-refined alternative and I would rather they either put a lot more effort in to both themes or just keep the original look in all cases.


Can someone post some links to studies? I remember reading that your screen brightness should be close to the ambient light level, and it does help my eyes when I do that adjustment, but I don't know why. White screen = brighter screen, so dark screens at night would make a less-bright screen, and vice versa, which seems to back up the theory.

I wonder if there's a correlation between how lit people's environments are and their dark/light mode preference.

I usually prefer light themes, and I keep my computer room pretty well lit and I never use my phone in bed, so I never find light themes to be blinding. The brightness of the screen matches my environment.


URL goes to Localhost, assuming they meant o have https://getpolarized.io/2019/11/25/Dark-Mode-Should-Be-The-D...

The canonical URL in the meta data is wrong, points to localhost:4000.

Dark mode turns laptops into mirrors, especially if they are glossy. Any office that has overhead tube lights is a poor match for dark mode apps. I even go with light terminal schemes in this case, and I have a strong preference towards dark console apps.

It's even worse with laptops where screens are angled slightly towards the ceiling.

Same goes with IDEs - I use dark in the evening, when there's low light, and light schemes in offices - just to reduce contrast between screen and rest of world, and to eliminate mirror effects on the display.

Mobile apps however, light mode all the way! I just turn the brightness down. Glowing text is painful on small screens.


Am I the only one where "dark mode" interfaces really screw with the eyes?

No, you are not. :) People have been looking at dark words on white paper for quite a while now with no ill effects, and I’ve never felt an inclination to invert the relationship. Even in 1980 I preferred the very few CRT terminals that operated in “light mode”.

Translated to actual, y'know, facts, 95% of people don't change Discord from the default, before most stop using it at all.

This has exactly zero usefulness as an measure of what any group (even Discord users) prefers.


The funny thing is that Dark vs Light mode is actually not an absolute.

Personally I prefer dark modes.

Currently I use light modes.

Why? Because when there is a possibility of glare, light mode dominates. By far. At work there is a high probability of glare. My quality of life improved drastically when I switched to light mode for everything. Even my terminal.

When the room is dark, dark mode is way easier on the eyes.

So really what we need isn't one preference, but a variation based on lighting conditions of the room. A color sensor on the monitor could easily determine which of the two to use.

Not practical ATM. Oh well.


I think most tend to want dark mode because as humans a sea of white or some off shade of white requires so much attention from our brains to constantly scan/identify things that stand out (much like a blinking red button). I try to use light yellow/orange/brown and depending on overcast/night I'll switch to a shade of purple/green. I can't stand super dark themes.

Been using dark reader addon in both chrome/firefox, and love it. Bright white in the eyes when your trying to relax and read is amazingly offensive. I use it on HackerNews too.

Thanks for this recommendation. Just installed it.

I think the rise of dark mode is mostly related to really good displays. Dark mode looks like shit on CRTs and even older flat panels with poor contrast.

Light modes were arguably worse on CRTs, especially if the refresh was 60Hz or less. I couldn't take Word for Windows at all seriously until Windows NT and 85Hz CRTs appeared.

I currently use both light and dark themes on Emacs, with a shortcut to toggle between them. Solarised is a great theme for this, as the text colours are the same for both modes. I originally started using a light theme during the day, as so many other apps already do and I disliked the sudden change in brightness when for example switching between Emacs and a web browser.


I used to dislike dark backgrounds, but now I have several apps set to dark mode. But going way back to the 80s, terminals were mostly dark mode. CRTs mostly looked terrible with bright backgrounds until the Mac.

I don't know if my own change in preference is due to underlying change in screen technology, or something else. Screen time might affect it too -- maybe people prefer light mode when they're only on-screen a few hours a day, but dark mode is better when using it all day?


I think about the default IRIX UIs from the mid-90s[1, 2]. These were embraced by a professional subset of users that likely paid attention to detail and wanted minimal distraction from their work, however subtle it might be.

Dark UIs likely made ghosting more prominent on CRTs, either because of crosstalk on a D-SUB cable or because of "spillover" of bright elements of a UI into a nearby dark field. I agree with your sentiment that technological change has made this possible.

Tangentially, I wanted to mention a hue shift that I've noticed that that all UIs seem to flow through. I will take the evolution of Aqua for example. UIs seem to start off with some variant of lighter blue or green (10.0) that eventually iterates into a darker but more saturated form of itself (10.4). Eventually, we start getting hints of purple (10.5, 10.6). When purple starts to come through, there are really no colours to introduce and designers usually decide it's time for a UI overhaul. I would love to hear others' takes on this.

[1] http://i.imgur.com/Lzlbyp9.jpg [2] http://retronet.altervista.org/retronet/ss/ss_irix_shake.png


There was blue mode for a while. I remember using of Norton Commander, Turbo Pascal, where blue mode was the default and quite popular.

I suspect a lot of that happened because people started adding color when color monitors became a more common option, and blue being the least offensive of the alternatives available if you wanted to add a background color...

And classic Word Perfect 5.

If you had a low-resolution display with visible scan lines, as most text terminals did, then you had a stripy light background, which was pretty bad. But a high-resolution gapless display on a reasonably adjusted CRT was great.

> Dark mode looks like shit on CRTs and even older flat panels with poor contrast.

I think you got it backwards. I remember using black backgrounds and things like "mc -b" specifically because CRTs I used sucked at light colors, trinitron displays later were nicer though and using white backgrounds was pleasant. Nowadays led backlit displays suck again on light and bright colors and don't seem to improve, hence "dark mode" became a solution.


And OLEDs in particular, where black stops transmitting light at all. (And saves power, too.)

An OLED and a dark default would probably also reduce insomnia.

I don't know about you guys, but Night Shift at max setting is still too blue for me. I end up turning the brightness down. I just need to switch to dark.


Heck yeah. Totally agree. For my app I'm working on dark true dark modes and then try to do true dark/true black on mobile.

Black looks much better on mobile IMO ...


Neat tidbit that I learned while working on dark mode at my company. Don't use true black. It looks amazing on OLED screens at rest but it results in a weird sluggish appearance when scrolling. This is because there is a lag time between pixels going from off to on.

The material team at Google made a blog post about it which I recommend going through: https://material.io/design/color/dark-theme.html

The quote around the OLED: "On OLED screens, turning pixels on and off can cause a delay when the screen is scrolled, making the pixels blur."

As an example, the facebook messenger app uses a true black background and the delay is _very_ noticeable.


And non-OLEDs by exception, where black means shining a light at a black surface for maximum device heating.

Plus you can't burn in what you didn't turn on.

But you can burn in the turned on pixels can't you? Do the LEDs lose luminance with age?

They do sadly, which is why you wanna keep them off, or I suppose burn them all out at the same rate. I know my OLED TV actually does a burn-in balancing once I turn it off.

CRTs had way better contrast and brightness than the early LCDs. And since CRTs don't excite phosphors on black pixels you could literally extend the life of your monitor (and spare your eyeballs) by using dark mode.

OTOH, nowadays most displays are glary and dark mode in a non-dark environment lets these display act as a mirror. As a cynic I assume we live in a time of narcissistic personality disorder ;)

With the bright mode I can reduce the brightness of my screens and I can still read everything. I also never have the urge to put dark-mode code on presentation slides that are unreadable in all but perfect condition.


I definitely agree. I was thinking this the other day when thinking about how 'white' must have felt like 'paper' back in the day. Also, the issue WRT dark not really being dark.

You're right that without LCDs , especially OLED, dark mode wouldn't really be a thing.


Yeah I was going to mention that. Devs usually have Mac Books, XPS, X1 Carbons, modern screens blasting 500 nits. Most real people have sh8tty TN panels or old small monitors.

> Most real people have sh8tty TN panels or old small monitors.

And light text on dark background looks better on these too.


I prefer light mode by default. I think there should be an os level setting if you prefer dark or light mode.

And yes there is a certain level of fashion between dark and light mode which seems to move back and forwards every now and then. This reminds me somehow of the moves between Terminal(thin) -> Server(thick) to Workstation(thick) -> Tablet(Thin) -> Cloud(Thick) -> Client side(Thick).


Light themes are superior from a usability standpoint: https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/53264/dark-or-white-c...

It's not a problem of dark or light. It's a problem that choosing white @ 6500 K as background color is perfectly stupid. Default backgrounds for windows and internet sites should be sepia. That's what do Amazon with Kindle software, very successfully.

I was told long ago in the newspaper business that "dark mode" ( background darker than foreground ) was unprofessional / hacker looking, and "light mode" ( background lighter than foreground ) was the opposite, and I wonder if that generality still holds true in the corporate world?

As long as there's a choice between dark and light mode I'm happy. Heck I don't even really need a customizable interface color setup anymore, I've given up on that.

IMHO "Hot Dog Stand" on Windows 3.1 was the best it could ever be. Dear god don't let Hot Dog Stand be the default.


I find default dark mode all of the day super depressing but later at night I find it easier to use with the lights out. So the balance iOS uses for auto enabling dark mode to me is pretty good. It would be nice if more websites would allow me to use it but at least reader mode supports it.

Black text on white background may lead to myopia and white text on black background may be preventive. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28904-x

Instant 'dark mode' bookmarklet / scriptlet:

javascript:(function(){body=document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0];body.style.backgroundColor='black';body.style.filter='invert(100%)';})();

If only I could work out how to stop it from inverting the images too....


Maybe you can apply the invert property on images too?

But you might be interested in these browser extensions:

- Dark Reader

- Dark Background and Light Text


I wish I could make the general internet dark mode (and I've tried extensions, they don't work all that well). Give me a dark mode HN. White backgrounds hurt my eyes. I'm looking at screens upwards of 16 hours a day, let me reduce some of that strain.

> I'm looking at screens upwards of 16 hours a day

I wonder why white backgrounds hurt your eyes...


I like dark mode -- it has a sleek aesthetic.

The only time dark mode is bad is when you're doing a product demo in a darkened room, like at a conference. It's really hard to make out text in dark mode in a dark room.


When you open your app, It says we collect cookies for feature usage. There is only one button "Accept". Where is this button called "Decline" ?

System wide dark mode theme is only a recent thing. Browsers only recently added support for prefers-color-scheme to allow web pages to query system theme.

I switch back and forth from time to time. For a while I like dark until I get bored with it. Then I switch to light until I get bored.

Or for the Mac, just leave the machine in normal mode, and use the "invert colours" hotkey.

I've been doing that for years.


Anybody else find it ironic that this revelation was made on a blog with black text on a white background?

The first Macintosh UI was kinda the backlash to the default night mode of the original dos boxes.

Are there any efforts to standardize a way to default to a dark color scheme if a website has it?


I immediately thought of this article:

https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2019/11/10/just-putting-it-ou...

Just putting it out there: Fuck Callum Booth's opinion.


Ironic that this article was published on a website that doesn't use dark mode.

Does anyone have an iOS Hacker News app that respects the iOS dark mode setting?

I heard dark mode might not actually help in terms of being easier on the eyes?

This could easily just be a fashion trend.

I am the 5%

I don't like dark mode.

Take note, web designers.

Left shift + left alt + PrtSc = dark mode for word and all sorts via high contrast mode on Windows

High contrast mode is not dark mode.

It makes web pages like HN dark (in FF). I don't get why it takes so long to do it though, so toggling it is frustrating, and the side effects are pretty horrific as it throws boxes around everything.



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