best practices for dark mode design

6 Best Practices for Dark Mode Design

If you spend a lot of time staring at screens like me, you would know how uncomfortable it is to look at a bright screen for long periods of time, it can cause discomfort and even headaches.

Dark mode is a popular feature that has been implemented in many websites and apps in recent years. This best practices for dark mode design makes a website both visually appealing and easy to use.

Dark mode is a display mode that inverts the color scheme of your website or app, making the background darker and the text and other visual elements lighter. It’s a way to reduce eye strain, save battery life, and give your users a different visual experience.

In this article, we’ll explore some best practices for dark mode design to help you create a great user experience.

6 Best Practices for Dark Mode Design

Best Practices for Dark Mode Design

When designing for dark mode, it is important to consider color and contrast as well as typography and readability. Here are some best practices to help you create a visually appealing and user-friendly dark mode design.

1. Choose Colors with a Good Contrast

One of the first things to consider when designing for dark mode is color. You’ll want to choose colors that work well in both light and dark modes. This means avoiding colors that are too bright or too dark, as they can be hard to read or look washed out.


Instead, choose colors that have good contrast and are easy on the eyes. You can also use color to convey information, such as highlighting important elements in a different color. For example, use a lighter color for text on a darker background to make it easier to read.

To ensure that your color choices are accessible, use tools like the WebAIM Contrast Checker to check the contrast ratio between the foreground and background colors. Aim for a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text.

2. Typography and Readability

Another important aspect of dark mode design is typography, it is important to choose a font that is easy to read and doesn’t strain the eyes. Sans-serif fonts like Arial and Helvetica are good choices for body text, while serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia are better for headings and titles.

Typography in dark mode design

To improve readability, use a larger font size than you would in light mode. This is because the contrast between the text and background is lower in dark mode, making it harder to read smaller text. Aim for a font size of at least 18px for body text.

In addition to font size, also consider line height and letter spacing. A larger line height can improve readability by making it easier to distinguish between lines of text. Similarly, increasing letter spacing can make it easier to read individual letters.

3. Use Icons and Imagery

Icons and imagery should be designed with high contrast and clarity to ensure they are easily distinguishable in a dark mode interface. Consider using white or light-colored icons on a dark background to create a visually appealing contrast.

Avoid using images with low contrast or dark backgrounds as they may be difficult to see in a dark mode interface. Instead, use images with lighter backgrounds or add a white border around the image to make it stand out.

4. Buttons and Calls to Action


Buttons and calls to action should also be designed with high contrast and clear typography to ensure they are easily distinguishable in a dark mode interface. Use bright or contrasting colors for buttons and calls to action to make them stand out.

In addition, ensure that the text on buttons and calls to action is legible and easy to read. Use bold font or increase the font size to improve legibility.

Finally, ensure that buttons and calls to action are placed in prominent locations on the page to encourage user interaction. Consider using visual cues such as arrows or icons to draw attention to buttons and calls to action.

5. Toggle Switch for Dark Mode

Toggle Switch for Dark Mode

Another aspect i highly recommend is to provide users with a toggle switch to switch between light and dark mode. This is because sometimes when the user is outdoor, using the light might be the best option for them.

This not only respects user preferences but also provides a more personalized experience. Make sure the toggle switch is easily accessible and located in a prominent place on the page like the header or in either of the bottom corners (make it float).

6. Adapting to System Settings

Another way to respect user preferences is by adapting to their system settings. If a user has their device set to dark mode like mine, your website or application should automatically switch to dark mode. This can be achieved using media queries or JavaScript.

This enhance the user experience, ensuring a more comfortable and personalized interaction with your platform.

The Main Benefits of Dark Mode Design

While having a dark mode design may seem like a small change, there are actually many benefits to using dark mode design. Here are some of the advantages of using dark mode:

Helps to Improves Visual Ergonomics

Dark mode reduces the overall screen brightness and minimizes eye strain, particularly in low-light environments. By using dark backgrounds with lighter text and elements, it enhances visual ergonomics and makes it easier to read text on the screen. According to Bootcamp, dark mode can reduce eye strain by up to 90% and improve visual acuity.

It will Enhances your Focus and Concentration

Dark mode also enhances focus and concentration by reducing distractions. The decreased intensity of light emitted by the screen in dark mode helps prevent the harsh glare that often accompanies bright interfaces. According to an article on LinkedIn, dark mode can help users stay focused and reduce distractions, leading to improved productivity.

It Reduces the Blue Light Exposure

Blue light exposure from digital screens can disrupt sleep patterns and cause eye strain. Dark mode reduces blue light exposure and makes it easier to use devices in the evening or at night without disrupting your sleep patterns. According to RedAlkemi, dark mode can reduce the amount of blue light emitted by up to 70%.

It Saves Energy on OLED/AMOLED Screens

OLED and AMOLED screens use less energy when displaying dark colors. By using dark mode, you can save battery life and reduce energy consumption on devices with OLED or AMOLED screens. According to Made By Speak, dark mode can reduce energy consumption by up to 63% on OLED screens.

Overall, dark mode offers a range of benefits that can improve your experience using digital devices. By reducing eye strain, enhancing focus and concentration, reducing blue light exposure, and saving energy on OLED/AMOLED screens, dark mode can help you use devices more comfortably and efficiently.

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