Preferred UI default:


80% dark mode eh?. Hmm. But how dark? Based on that result I'm thinking screen reader...

@dentangle I guess it should be dark mode since I miss the green and amber screens of yore, but I feel light mode is more modern and looks better. 😂

@goz @dentangle I guess that depends on a person, but in my experience neither necessarily looks better or more modern. For me light mode is associated with corporate software and ordinary computer users, while dark mode is associated with hacker culture and techy people. (Of course that doesn't mean that techy people can't use light theme etc., it's just how my mind associates it)

@themaxus @dentangle I think the hacker/techy view extends back to the early days of computer. Before the Mac, everything was essentially dark mode, and then the Mac came out with "light" mode. Combine that with the GUI and you get something that looks new and modern.

I prefer the high contrast possible with light mode vs dark mode, although all of my terminal windows have a dark background, so your mileage may vary. 🤣

From the results of the poll so far, I'm in the minority. I'd like to see the breakdown by ages...

@goz @dentangle I'm pretty young but I might be also biased because I like retro computers. Also amber/green displays had dark background because then it made the most sense from technological standpoint, then CRT technology advanced and you could use any color, now OLED becomes more and more popular, where it once again makes most sense to use dark mode, so I guess dark mode might become normal again?

@goz @themaxus Having a choice is ideal, but I was curious to find out what the majority of people prefer as a default when first visiting a site.

For any interfaces we build we're definitely planning to respect people's browser CSS options (there's an consideration here obviously), use the light/dark mode from the browser etc. and then allow an override/switch.

Of course, asking here is asking in a very tech-biased environment!

@dentangle I'd like to a have a switch to change all applications to light or dark mode. I usually decide based on environment + $time_of_the_day. Not all applications allow to switch themes based on some global setting though 😞

@dentangle Honestly, I sometimes switch between the two depending on how I'm feeling

@dentangle During the day, I prefer light mode due to the improved contrast, but when it's dark I don't want to be blinded.

@dentangle Just follow my OS setting (per-app/site overrides are cool, but the default should follow the OS). My OS is set to switch depending on the time of day.

On desktop, light mode is for GUIs and dark background for terminals; this helps me keep the right headspace, especially for keyboard shortcuts - dark mode means OG Unix commandline hot keys, light mode means modern GUI bindings.
On a mobile device, I prefer dark mode - but there’s no keyboard to get mixed up over.

@dentangle I started using light mode at work because it was during the day and I enjoyed having visual cues that the work PC was different from my home one. However eventually light mode stuck and I use it everywhere now.

@dentangle Light because of eyesight issues, so for me it's a question of accessibility rather than preference.

@ialja Do you use custom CSS settings in your browser/device to override site defaults, or do you rely on the website/app to do that?

@dentangle Generally rely on the goodwill of developers, though I sometimes do use Reader Mode in Safari or other browsers when I find myself on dark websites with longer texts. Giving users the choice or (even better) mirroring system settings is certainly a great accessibility feature because there are so many different conditions that respond differently to light/dark.

@ialja Agreed. A lot of sites have fixed CSS and don't respond to user settings. The major browsers also seem to have a nasty habit of breaking things in this area. One of our team uses fixed CSS settings in the browser, but various browsers and websites still manage to break that.

Thanks for your input!

@dentangle I prefer 50% gray for UI elements. Just like when I do artwork, I set the background to a neutral color. Everything else should be light or dark, but not the UI elements, in my humble opinion.

@thedaemon I was just about to say that a nice middle-of-the-road gray would be nice. Something along the lines of NeXTSTEP gray. @dentangle

@dentangle 80:20 in favour of dark is roughly what I'd have predicted. So why is light mode the default everywhere, and why has it been that way since the introduction of the GUI? Could it be because thin fonts show up better on CRTs when they're in dark on light, and we just never changed when we moved to flat-screen monitors?

@markusl I thought, given the high percentage of techies here it would be majority dark mode, but I hadn't expected 80%.

As you say, the default almost everywhere seems to be (blindingly) light mode. More corporate, I guess.

@dentangle I don't know if it's that. Back in the 1980s, when I used MS-DOS, everything was light on dark. When Windows was introduced, it was dark on light. WordPerfect 4.2 for DOS was light on dark in text mode but dark on light in preview mode. That's what had me wondering whether dark on light was a workaround for the limitations of old, blurry monitors with small, thin fonts.

@dentangle BTW, for Web browsing, the Dark Reader extension works surprisingly well. I use it on desktop and on mobile too.

@dentangle I have an eye condition and dark mode is really so much more comfortable for me.

@dentangle Being photophobic, light mode gives me literal pain, so for me dark mode is a necessity (). And dark means black, most "dark mode" seem to assume that a mid-grey is dark. No it isn't and it's still painful.
I would be perfectly happy if sites just respected my CSS, but many sites have ways to work around CSS even when the CSS says "this is absolutely necessary don't mess with this"; every new version of firefox and chrome seem to make things worse for not respecting preferences.

@dentangle preferring dark for everything but book reading (eink). Less stressful, less distracting for me. Not a big fan of so much light shining into my eyes.

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