When the web browsers first came into existence, it was possible to override the intent of the web designer. There weren't too many settings. You could locally control the color and font of text, unfollowed links, followed links, and the background. This was a continuation of a tradition of command line interfaces that allowed users to achieve settings they found comfortable. As web design developed, using these settings became impractical. I am not even sure if they still exist.

This page advocates for allowing uses turn off dark mode. However the added cognitive burden of doing so my be enough for the user to lose interest and move on. I am interested in exploring the idea that users could consistently view content in a palette they find most comfortable.

Are there any frameworks in existence or development that would allow a user to select a palette they are comfortable with and have it applied to all the content they view?


This is an interesting question, and I suspect that you should be able to find something like this for the Microsoft Fluent Design framework.

The reason I think there should be something in there is because the history of Microsoft providing customizing of various aspects of its operating system (e.g. menu colours, mouse pointer styles, file icons, etc.) and bundling this up into different themes is well-known. And it makes a lot of sense that they have carried over many of these features into their revamp of the cloud based applications.

For example, in the Web section of the Fluent Design site, it talks about the concept of theme slots. As it explains:

Theming is a mechanism by which a consistent look and feel can be applied to all the components on a page. For now, this means sharing a color scheme across the entire page.

As for theme slots, it goes into more details:

There are two kinds of theme slots: Fluent UI palette slots and semantic slots. Fluent UI palette slots are documented in IPalette. These are descriptive slots, it gives you an idea of what the color is, but you decide how to use it.

So this concept is definitely not new, but I don't see it as part of many design frameworks because it seems to be up to the designer and developer to define and work this out, rather than there being a mechanism or component specifically developed to support this. I might be wrong since I haven't scanned other major development frameworks, but it definitely exists.

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