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How to Design Dark Mode for Mobile Apps in 2020?

The User Interface with Dark Theme has come in the limelight with the release of iOS 13 and Android 10. In the past year, both Google and Apple have used their resources to deal with this Dark Mode. In the present world of mobile app design and development, dark themes are the most desired features. Besides, when macOS introduced Dark Mode, Google made efforts to spread its popularity. While applied properly, dark themes in mobile apps can be highly advantageous. They lower the eyestrain and make the content easily readable. Moreover, they can reduce battery consumption levels.

1. Dark Mode for mobile apps- When it is unhealthy and when healthy

White text, written on a fully black background, can cause strain on iris. Your eyes receive a higher amount of light resulting in damage to the lens. Ultimately, you will have a Fuzzing Effect, one of the common reasons to design a Dark Mode for mobile apps.

Moreover, high contrast may be unhealthy for your eyes. But, a perfect design of this Dark Mode is highly essential for you.

Now, we have listed the most effective and reliable techniques to create the Dark Mode.

2. The distant surface needs to be darker for your mobile apps

For your app UI with dark themes, you have to focus on background colors. A surface area turns out to be lighter, while the layer seems to be intimate to the app user. When there is a distant layer, it receives minimal light.

Besides, most of the app designers may think of inverting the available light theme to create the light one. However, distant surfaces turn out to be light, while closer ones may be dark.

It is better to use only the major surface color of the light theme and reverse it for dark theme development.

3. Avoid choosing a fully black shade

Black background and white text- this combination creates very high contrast. Thus, your users may feel issues while reading the screen. For the major elements, you can choose a dark grey color scheme. We think it as the safest choice to avoid stress on eyes.

While done properly, the eyes of your app users will naturally flow through different elements on the interface. Besides, color is one of the effective factors to develop control. If the background differs from the tints of other elements, they have to work together harmoniously.

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4. Do not overlook the emotional aspect

Dark-themed applications and websites stimulate strong emotions among users. Undoubtedly, color psychology plays a vital role in connecting users emotionally. Every color can arouse different emotions and reactions. Thus, it can affect the feelings of users and directly control their decision.

Furthermore, researchers have noticed that we can relate black with strength, stability, power, and authority. We use it to represent mystery, elegance, drama, power, intelligence, and seriousness. In other words, black is one of the potential colors, and while blended with some high-contrast elements, we get stunning results. Believe it or not, it is the best way to set a beautiful mood. Thus, you can find it mostly in entertainment apps and product pages of your website.

5. Animations and illustrations need to have a dark theme

Your mobile app design company may have developed an application with heavy graphical elements. In Dark Mode also, you need to have an option to modify them for any purpose.

When illustrations in the app comprise a and a background, you have to desaturate colors in the background. It will cause the subject to gain a high focus.

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6. Let users control the mode based on their preferences

App users will feel amazing when they can turn on the dark theme and turn it off at any time. However, their decision may affect the overall experience. After all, it helps you to manage users and enables the system to choose the right option for them.

Thus, you can avoid integrating the auto-enabling feature for this dark theme. You can let your app users switch to the dark theme from a regular one with UI control.

Moreover, users have to be able to pick the theme manually as per their needs. Hence, your mobile app designer needs to create the mode changer rightly.

7. Go for elevation tool

When you prefer dark-themed app UI, your app developer will develop a hierarchy and arrange the layout components based on this hierarchy. It is similar to what we have found light-themed app design. Besides, professional developers use an Elevation tool to communicate the hierarchy of components. They may also rely on shadows of the light to convey elevation. With an elevated surface, you can find a wider shadow.

However, this method may not work for a Dark Mode because it is challenging to view shadows in the dark-colored background. Instead, you may add light to the surface of every level.

Other factors for developing dark themed apps on iOS 13

  • Semantic colors

To standardize the feel and look of the iPhone apps in light and dark modes, Apple has introduced semantic shades for UI elements. Besides, those shades have no accurate RGB value, and they can adapt directly to the interface of iOS devices. Semantic colors are useful for managing the overlay color and text in the dark theme.

  • Blur and vibrancy effects

In Dark Mode, there are 8 vibrancy and 4 blur effects adapting to the iOS interface automatically.

  • SF Symbols

Human Interface Guidelines presents 1500 symbols for app designers and developers. Besides, they look attractive in both dark and light modes.

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Factors important for developing Android-friendly apps with Dark Mode

The major motto of choosing the Dark Mode for mobile is to lower the battery consumption of your Smartphone. Thus, by reducing the light pixel usage, you can save battery life.

Based on Google’s Material Design principles, app developers have to find valuable properties to maintain the color contrast-related standards.

Also, designers need to avoid saturated colors to prevent the eyestrain of app users. Android mobile app developers should use de-saturated colors. The value of shades must range from 50 to 400.

The background and the text must have coordination, and the best contrast ratio is 15.8:1. Moreover, professionals need to maintain the opacity level.

What is not desirable for the Dark Mode of an app?

Dropdowns, data tables, videos, images, and fields- these are the long list of the type of content. However, while think of choosing all these types at a time for your app, Dark Mode is not for you.

Minimalism is always best for the dark UI of an app. When the background is light, most of the shades work perfectly. Conversely, for the dark background, you can reduce a range of shades.

In conclusion, we can say that dark themes have turned out to be a prevalent choice for app development these days. Still, it is essential to implement the right technique to create this theme. Reuse of colors and inversion of shades can cause visual issues. Thus, the best option for you is to look for a certified UI design professional to get the desired result from the dark mobile app interface.

Rushabh Patel

Rushabh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Siddhi InfoSoft, a leading web and mobile app development company focused on creating experiences that connect, perform & inspire. We believe in delivering perfect business solutions by adopting the latest and trending technologies for web and app development projects.

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