Hello guys so I was wondering if there was a particular reason or study/research of why was Dark Theme created. What's the value for the user of having a Dark Theme UI?
Here are some positive benefits of dark mode.
- Dark UI is said to reduce eye strain.
- Dark backgrounds used in UI is said to consume less energy on OLED screens.
- When using Dark UI in low light environments it could minimise others nearby from getting disturbed by the glare from your phone (e.g. aircrafts and movie theatres)
What's the value for the user of having a Dark Theme UI?
There is not much value when it comes to user performance.
- Great article talking users performing better not using dark mode
- Dark mode isnt as helpful for eye strain as one might think
- Improved battery life on some screens
- Throwing off less ambient light in low light settings (dark movie theater, hospital at night, soldier looking at watch at night)
- Also, there may be longterm health perks such as avoiding myopia.
- In Legge’s study, each of the 7 participants with cloudy ocular media had better reading rates with dark modes. *from NG group article
Let's look at some misconceptions about dark mode performance.
- Users make quicker decisions (lower bar) with light mode whether its during daytime or nighttime as per the NG Group research.
- "In users with normal vision, light mode leads to better performance most of the time."
- Although light mode was better for older adults, too, they did not benefit from it as much as younger adults, at least in the visual-acuity task.
To add to Ameen Akbar's answer, Customization is another key benefit.
Allowing user's option to customize their products let's them feel in control and give them a sense of ownership of the product.
The question is really why was Light Theme ever created. Computer screens are (mostly) emitted light, not reflected light. Throughout all of history, emitted light technologies used Dark Theme, most notably movies and signage. Think how annoying movie credits would be in Light Theme. Initially computers used Dark Theme. Then someone decided that because most people were doing word processing, that the screen should look like a physical piece of paper, and bingo, Light Theme was born. Dark Theme is just a return to an appropriate form for emitted light technologies.