It’s easy to see why Dark UI designs have their appeal. They’re sexy, sophisticated and slick, and are very sought after when it comes to modern web design. Everyone from Facebook to Apple is using it in their designs, but just because something is trending, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you.

For years, web developers have leaned towards white-based UI, creating a user-friendly, bright and appealing design that can be paired with a wide range of colours. But for those looking to make a drastic change to their website, a dark UI can certainly make an impression.

Dark UI In Web Design
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Is Dark UI the future of web design? And what do you need to know to make it work for you? We’re turning to the dark side in order to find out.

Dark UI in more detail

Dark UI, while popular at the moment, is something that has been around for a long time. If you think of classic computer games and even classic computers, dark interfaces have been present within technology for many decades previously.

If you look at the evolution of dark mode, you’ll see that many people have longed for it due to its supposed benefits for readability, eye strain, etc. But there is still a relative lack of scientific evidence that supports this. Dark text on a lighter background – known as positive display polarity, continues to provide benefits over negative display polarity, especially when reading text on a screen for a long period of time.

Dark UI does, however, uses less light, which can be beneficial for your battery’s running time. It also has an appeal for people who tend to browse or watch things after dark, creating a more aesthetically pleasing experience.

Making effective use of dark UI in web design

As dark UI increases in popularity, you can be sure to come across a lot of requests for dark UI, or consider it yourself for your own website.

While a dark UI can add a new and exciting touch to a website, there is a lot to consider to make the most out of it and ensure it’s the right move.

Consider the brand, its audience and purpose

Firstly, every brand is different. Before exploring the dark UI route, it’s important to assess whether or not it’s the right fit for the brand, its audience and its purpose. A brand that wants to appear more sophisticated and edge may think a dark UI is the way to go, but if it risks alienating other users who could be turned off by this change, it may not be the best fit. Providing a choice (more on this below) could serve as a compromise.

Dark UI In Web Design
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

There are a number of ways a dark UI can provide effectively. Examples of effective dark UI show that it works best when content is minimal, where features need to stand out and make an impression, and of course, where the setting is appropriate. Apps like Netflix benefit from a dark UI because of their remit – an entertainment platform that can help create an immersive at-home viewing experience, but a law firm or even fashion retailers may not benefit in the same way.

Provide a choice

Dark UI In Web Design
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Providing a choice of a light of dark UI puts the choice firmly in the user’s hands. Nobody feels ‘forced’ into using the dark UI, whereas those who prefer it will be satisfied. It is important however that details are considered carefully, as a light UI may not easily translate to a dark UI, and vice versa. 

Companies like Google, Apple and others have sometimes struggled with this, leading to changes to be made following criticism that has made things far from the smooth launch that they had intended.

Dark doesn’t have to mean black

There’s a temptation to default to black when using a dark UI. Avoiding true black for backgrounds can leave some room for contrast while using blue or even grey tints can create a much more visually appealing design. 

Dark UI designs will need to undergo rigorous testing to explore how they work with different devices and platforms to iron out issues that could prevent some users from enjoying their experience.

Consider ways of adding depth

To make the most of a dark UI, depth is important. Establishing a hierarchy of different elements will help create the sleek, sophisticated style that’s the goal, while emphasising different elements through illumination and other tools can provide to establish that separation. 

Crossing over to the dark side no doubt has its appeal. Taking away the light can make you stand out, but it needs to be done in a way that is effective. Understanding more about the ways dark UI works can lead to more successful web design that could elevate your website and take it to a whole new level.


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