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Consider this situation: I have an iPad (or other tablet) app, and I can assume that all devices that are using my app have a black bezel. Should the color scheme of my app be dark (to match the bezel) or light (to stand out from the bezel)?

In the same way, what should be done with a white bezel?

Should my app 'blend in' or 'stand out'?

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What is the question here? Are you looking for a good color scheme, or do you want to know if you should consider the tablet bezel in your color scheme? In either case, please provide additional information on the type of app you are making and who the target audience is, etc. –  rk. Jun 5 '13 at 2:13
    
@rk. I want to know if I should include the bezel in my scheme, and if so, what should its impact be? It's a utility app. –  Undo Jun 5 '13 at 2:20
    
Still a bit vague without the details of the app. –  rk. Jun 5 '13 at 2:21
    
A screen shot of the app would be very useful –  icc97 Jun 5 '13 at 7:48

3 Answers 3

It depends on the application. A light background will be framed by the dark bezel (i.e. standout) while a dark background won't be as strongly framed. Sometimes (usually?) a frame is advantageous, sometimes it's extraneous.

For reading text I prefer a frame, among other reasons so I can place my finger close to edge to scroll. If the frame was less pronounced it would take more effort to find that edge. For other applications the frame may be distracting.

There's also the visual aesthetic: some pictures look good with a heavy frame and some look better with a lightweight frame.

But I think taking into account the color of the device bezel when designing is not very useful because you can't be assured that new colored bezel won't be introduced and there are more important things to consider when deciding on light or dark background.

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It's hard to depend your application's color scheme to the device's bezel color. One thing is that, devices these days aren't always "naked" and are most likely covered in protective cases of different shades and color. In that case, you would also consider the colors mostly available on such cases.

Now, you may also consider the target audience for your app and its purpose/nature.

For me, I would go the "stand-out"-way in choosing a color scheme.

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Unless you are developing a "native app" (which these days needs some justification) - the idea of designing for a particular color or frame to the device seems like a fool's errand. Phones come ottb in many colors and shapes, tablets, etc.... all have some flavor of color twist to set the hardware apart - and just when you might have thought you considered all of that and provisioned your application (somehow) for that?

Cases / wrappers / stands come into play.

Your time is better spent focusing on how to present information "within the device view-pane" rather than how that view might look against a periwinkle rubber bumper someone has wrapped it in.

Thats not to say you shouldn't consider device nuisances, interface, tactile appreciation, etc.. that you should design for.

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