The Light Sides of Dark UIs. Benefits and Things You Need to Know

  • Product Design
  • 24 April
  • 5 min read

One of the primary responsibilities of a UI designer is to create both the look and the feel of a product. The initial design has to be appropriate and relative to the purpose of the product – its audience and overall situation.

Among the things which will have a long-lasting impact is the color scheme. Hence, it needs to be selected very carefully. Naturally, it all starts with the selection of the background as that’s where the design elements will be located. The usual choice and the one which is almost done by default is to go with a white background.

And there are good reasons for it. Contrast, readability, text, as well as the ability to work with a broader range of additional colors,  are just a few to name.

However, as an experienced UI/UX design agency, we at Fireart Studio also like to explore alternatives. Throughout our professional path, we’ve found out that being able to stand out in front of the crowd, could really get you ahead of the game.

Hence, we’d like to explore the topic of using a dark color for your background and creating an overall darker UI for your digital product.

Visual Perception of Dark Colors

Tandem App design by Fireart Studio

One thing that you have to understand is that it’s the overall composition that matters the most. In other words, a dark-colored background can easily be just as efficient, if not more, as a light-colored one. However, all the other aspects, which include contrast, as well as the legibility of the layout elements, have to be designed and tested appropriately.

If you want to go for a dark UI, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you. There are no rules saying that you should stick to the general perception of using light backgrounds. However, if you do go the darker path, you have to make sure that everything else falls in line.

People perceive darker colors with ease. They are oftentimes a lot easier on our eyes and they don’t pressure them as much. This is why they are commonly used in night-mode settings.

Readability and Things to Consider

We’ve recently explored some of the hot UI design trends to stick to in 2019. As part of them, we’ve found out that neutral interfaces and content-focused experiences are particularly actual.

As an additional consideration, however, it’s important to note that readability is one of the most important and incremental factors to keep in mind.

Readability of your design layout goes well beyond the limits of the simple copy. It means that every single symbol, including icons, letters, numbers, and everything you can think of, should be properly recognized and easily perceived.

Therefore, if you do go with a dark UI interface, you should carefully test different fonts, colors, and images. You should make sure that they stand out subtly yet definitively enough. Moreover, you need to do your testing across different devices.

Benefits of Dark UIs

The benefits of dark UIs are numerous. They include:

  • Style and elegance
  • Visual appeal
  • Depth when it comes to reflection and content presentation
  • Broader field of using contrast
  • A look of luxury and prestige
  • A mysterious appeal

Key Points to Remember

When it comes to using a darker UI, here are a few of the points that you ought to keep in mind.

  • Darker backgrounds tend to absorb some part of the light from other elements. This is why you should consider leaving enough empty space between these elements.
  • Dark doesn’t mean black. Hence, you might want to consider testing different types of dark backgrounds, as well as colors, to present the content appropriately.
  • The shades, glows, and gradients will definitely influence the readability.
  • In terms of fonts, Sans-Serif fonts tend to be more legible, while Serif fonts have a more elegant appeal. Choose wisely as this will impact the readability of your content.
  • The length of your lines can make your copy more digestible and readable for your users.

Emotional Perception

As a final point, we’d like to address the way colors are perceived emotionally. Color psychology is very important, especially when you are choosing your background.

Keep in mind that darker colors are commonly associated with power, prestige, formality, and elegance. This is why the majority of well-established and powerful brands tend to build up their visual presentation using a simple black-and-white color scheme where the dark is dominant while the light is used to inform and present.

Conclusion

Choosing the overall UI color palette is definitely something that needs special attention. If you need a hand in making the right choice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

On the other hand, if you just have a question that you need to be discussed, we are here for you!

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