How To Increase Engagement by Designing for Dark Mode

Jan 10
Designing for Dark Mode

Design preferences for websites, apps, and other digital media options are changing to meet the needs of users around the world. While there are many different design trends changing the industry, one of the most prominent trends is Dark Mode. It is becoming available on every platform, and many apps and websites are embracing it as well. The potential benefits for users and the new design aesthetic make it an important option for every designer and platform owner to consider. In this article, we discuss how and why you can increase engagement by designing for Dark Mode.

What is Dark Mode?

Dark Mode is a design style that takes a much darker (in terms of light and color) approach to design. Most digital assets are designed to be bright and well-lit with white backgrounds being the most prominent option. Dark Mode takes the opposite approach by removing a lot of the color options and replacing it with a dark-colored (usually black) background. This results in a dramatic shift in the look and emotional impact of the web page.

Dark Mode is Essential for a Better User Experience (UX)

Even though it is a relatively new feature, Dark Mode is proving to be essential for a better user experience (UX). This is because of the potential advantages they can get users. Not only is dark mode and aesthetic choice that suits the case of specific target audiences better, but it also provides benefits to people with visual impairments. Plus, dark mode is often used around nightfall and after dark to improve visibility for everyone. Some research also shows that staying dark all the time is an effective way to reduce the amount of power that the screen uses, significantly improving overall battery life.

Because of the widespread benefits that Dark Mode provides, developers are including it in their apps, websites, and software. In most cases, using dark mood is optional and users have control over when or if it is used. Essentially, it is the same process being a new skin or theme for an application.

4 Factors in Dark Mode Design

Methodologies for designing Dark Mode skins for applications are varied, but there are several factors that the proven to be important in the design every time. The four factors that you should focus on in your Dark Mode design include:

Color Contrast 

Dark Mode designs replace the usually bright or white backgrounds with a much darker color. Although the background loses much of its color, that does not mean that the rest of the design has to. You can still use color to great effect in Dark Mode to catch your attention and deliver a unique user experience.

An effective way of using color in Dark Mode is to choose vibrant colors that can stand out against a dark background. This will help you in several ways. It will create a higher level of contrast between foreground and background elements which makes it much easier for people to read even if they have visual impairments. If done correctly, you can also create a design aesthetic that is full of energy without needing to use a lot of colors. Dark colors also sharpen the look of different elements, which can give you an overall cleaner and more attractive design.

One thing that is important to note is that the dark background used in many cases is far less stressful on human eyes except for the darkest shades of black. When you choose the background color for your dark mode, consider moving up a few shades away from pure black so that you will not place an unnecessary strain on viewers’ eyes.

User Experience (UX) Elements

When you are picking design elements for your Dark Mode design, is important to think about the user experience throughout the entire process. The elements that you choose for your user interface (UI) will significantly change how users interact with your overall design. Choosing the right elements to make your system easier to use while providing an attractive design.

In many cases, your Dark Mode becomes a component of an already existing system. This means that your focus should be on creating a design that changes the aesthetics of the application without decreasing the usability are impeding functionality. This does not mean you are limited to simple color changes. It is possible to change the structure and other elements of the design to fit the new theme. However, a lot of time and effort goes into making sure that user interfaces work in a variety of situations, they want to make sure that any changes you make will not make all or part of the application unusable.


In Dark Mode, you may find that changing the structure of the application’s user interface can be advantageous. Depending on the reason why your users will be using a Dark Mode, you may be able to modify the structure of the application’s interface to make it easier to use. However, it is important to make sure that structural changes do not remove elements that are commonly used for necessary for operating the device.


Changing the theme to Dark Mode will significantly change the vibe of the application. Dark themes are generally associated with different types of aesthetics that are uncommon. For example, a dark background with gold writing can easily be seen as elegant, while changing that writing to read it indicate a horror theme. Pay special attention to how your dark theme comes together and the overall message that it sends.

Work with Designers to Get It Right the First Time

Unless you have extensive experience in the design field, coming up with a Dark Mode skin for your application can be a challenge. However, you can get help from skilled designers to get it right the first time. Call KitelyTech at (800) 274 2908 to discuss how we can help you develop the Dark Mode for your next application.

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