Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

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ChrisGreaves
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Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

The string "dark mode" is creeping into a great many online and technical discussion bulletin-board systems.
Why is this?

You are possibly passionate about dark Mode being added to your five favorite applications. I am not. Why do we differ?

To my untrained eye "Dark Mode" seems to be a screen representation where previously we had dark lettering on a light background, we now have light lettering on a dark background.

In the early days of web pages, some people would use dark red letters on a dark blue background, and I started using Select All Ctrl+A to flip the colours. After a couple of weeks I just ignored those web pages.
Untitled.png
Dear old WinAmp has supported Skins for ages. As, I am sure, have other applications.
Winamp offers double-size, and at that scale I still have trouble reading characters; if only they would have a "scaling size" option ...

But when all is said and done, I am always more interested in the Text Content of a screen than in the tricks with colours. It is true that a poor choice of colours (red/blue above) can lead to frustration, and my new HP laptop keyboard, with grey lettering on a silver background is, a mini-disaster for me, on account of my eyesight, but I find it hard to accept that, except in cases of truly awful screen design, light-on-dark is any better than dark-on-light.

I hope that at least one of you can speak up for this phenomenon of Dark Mode and explain why it is more than just "flipping the colours"
Thanks, Chris
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HansV
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by HansV »

If you sit in a darkened room all day, playing computer games, windows with a bright white background would probably hurt your eyes... :grin:

It's a matter of personal preference.
I don't use dark mode in Windows or Office, but for some reason I find it easier on the eye on my phone.
Best wishes,
Hans

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by stuck »

I think most photo editing applications use a 'dark mode' UI by default. This is because the way your brain works means that your eyes are automatically drawn to the bight areas of the screen, which is important when editing an image.

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by kdock »

Others have covered why Dark Mode is beneficial, but that's not what you asked. You asked "why it is more than just "flipping the colo(u)rs".

How uninteresting that sounds.

Seems to me it's just an agreed upon label and quick switch for something folks have been doing manually for quite a while.

Everything old is new again, they say. :shrug:

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by BobH »

I use it on my iPad because I lie abed at night with it and my TV playing. I find it useful for that purpose, especially since I can choose when it is applied.
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I don't use dark mode in Windows or Office, but for some reason I find it easier on the eye on my phone.
@Hans So perhaps it is the size/area of the device that makes a difference? I took a look at the applications on my smartphone; they seem to be evenly distributed between light/dark and dark/light. I confess that there the mode doesn’t worry me that much.
I think most photo editing applications use a 'dark mode' UI by default. This is because the way your brain works means that your eyes are automatically drawn to the bight areas of the screen, which is important when editing an image.
@Stuck So perhaps it is the type of application, graphic vs. text? My limited experience with Graphics is in MSPaint, where I place a blue border around edited PrtScr images in documents (and posts) to serve as demarcation lines between genuine text, and images of text.
Seems to me it's just an agreed upon label and quick switch for something folks have been doing manually for quite a while.
@Kdock So here it is a “trendy term”, perhaps trying to capitalize on the mysterious “dark web” and even “dark matter”.
I use it on my iPad because I lie abed at night with it and my TV playing. I find it useful for that purpose, especially since I can choose when it is applied.
@BobH Do you mean “watching TV on my iPad”? I think that I were doing that, I would maximize the TV window so that Dark Mode didn’t apply. I understand manually adjusting the brightness on my smartphone, but not toggling the colours.

At this time my biggest problem seems to be size-of-text rather than Contrast. Regardless of device, application, or even soft/hardware (my keyboard), My main problem lies in reading text, so being able to adjust the text size is a top priority, way above graphics, or what I think of as “fancy colours”
In the end, it may be that Dark Mode appeals to younger folks, if only because they have not yet run into problems with text size.
Thanks to all.
Chris
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by JoeP »

As I've aged, I find that all the white space in most apps tires my eyes much more quickly than dark mode. I've enabled dark mode as the default system mode on all my devices and make individual app exceptions if find one that does not work well with dark mode.
Joe

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

JoeP wrote:
19 May 2023, 18:27
As I've aged, I find that all the white space in most apps tires my eyes much more quickly than dark mode. I've enabled dark mode as the default system mode on all my devices and make individual app exceptions if find one that does not work well with dark mode.
Hi Joe. I find that Odd.
The older I get, the brighter the light I want.
My bedside reading light is a powerful halogen(?) light; ditto alongside the couch but now aimed at the ceiling and bouncing down to my book.
On top of that I go for maximum brightness here at my laptop desk.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by BobH »

I do not watch TV on my iPad as I lie abed. I watch TV on a 42" screen and use the iPad for searching and reading articles. Who says an octogenarian can't multi-task? :fanfare: :fanfare: :flee:
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
18 May 2023, 14:15
The string "dark mode" is creeping into a great many online and technical discussion bulletin-board systems.
Why is this?
Too, I recollect a period around the mid 80s when laser printers came out and the old dot-matrix CRTs were on the way out.
The big deal about monitors then was everyone running around saying "WYSIWYG" as if they had invented it.

It was, of course, perfectly presented black ink on a brilliant white background - on a high-resolution(1) monitor.

(1) Well, something beyond the original 80x25 screens that simulated 80-column punched cards.

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by JoeP »

@Chris, I too want bright ambient light. The bright white spaces on screens tire my eyes faster than when I was younger.
Joe

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

JoeP wrote:
28 May 2023, 03:37
@Chris, I too want bright ambient light. The bright white spaces on screens tire my eyes faster than when I was younger.
Hi Joe. I am more confused than usual ...

"I too want bright ambient light." Are you referring here to reading books and other printed material? I want bright light above every book-reading spot in my house.

"The bright white spaces on screens tire my eyes ... " but here you are obviously referring to computer screens, for which, I think, you invert and read white text on a dark background.

Have I go that right?
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by JoeP »

@Chris - yes, you've got it. I want bright sunlight and/or a bright lamp to read anything. I readily admit that I spend too much time on my PC. So, the bright white of many if not most web sites and apps tires my eyes more than dark mode.
Joe

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

To my mind, the screenshot shown below is a mis-use of Dark Mode, and perhaps increases my distrust of Dark Mode enthusiasts.
Untitled.png
I think that the background (black) is Dark Mode, but that dark blue on black is nigh impossible for me to read, and is reminiscent of dark-red text on dark-blue background in web pages of 20+ years ago.
Dark Mode in the hands of a competent web designer maybe, but raw amateurs who dabble in Dark-Mode should spend the rest of their lives driving a milk-float

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by HansV »

I agree that dark blue text on a black background is atrocious.
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by JoeP »

I agree that is terrible. Is that the fault of dark mode or the app creator for not adjusting to the mode in use?
Joe

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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

JoeP wrote:
02 Jun 2023, 19:49
I agree that is terrible. Is that the fault of dark mode or the app creator for not adjusting to the mode in use?
I know where the image came from (not me!) and the specific image may have been the result of someone playing around with colours.
I stand by my contention that if this was a professional job, then that person should spend the rest of their lives driving a milk-float.

I suspect that a great many people are jumping on the "Dark Mode" bandwagon as the latest Cool Technology.

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Dark Mode: Why all the fuss?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I have found a need (not a use) for Dark Mode.
For the past three days i have been using The Wrong Cable to charge the phone from AC power. net result: "15% remaining" or similar message.

In Settings I turned Battery; Power-Saving ON, and this switched on dark mode.
Screenshot_20231016-135136.png
Well, of course, fewer photons being emitted means less energy being consumed. My Battery life shot up to something like ninety-one hours on this new setting.
I am now using The Right Cable and life has returned to normal.

But a day of having Battery Saver in force taught me something. It's not bad. I can still listen to foreign-language podcasts and native-language audio books when i am out walking or gardening. The alarm still tells me to take the bread out of the oven, or set the washing machine to pause.

If nothing else, before I set off to St John's for an eye-examination next week, I should switch to Battery-saver for the day-trip.
Cheers, Chris
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