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  • Leah Henderson

Dark Vs. Light

Woman looking
Photo by Talles Alves on Unsplash

Diving into this week’s curriculum we reviewed design principles and how to apply them effectively. Although this was more review, each time I read someone else's take on these principles something jumps out to me. So my first lesson this week is that even though we think we understand the material, it is always worth exploring from another angle. Although this less is an important one, the main comment that stuck in my head was one from another student who commented that dark mode is ‘so much easier on my eyes.’ As an instructor I hear this constantly, and since testing tells us that reading dark copy on white is easier, why are we hearing the opposite from this younger generation?

I did a little digging and came across a few articles. Anthony states in UX Movement1, “Research found that text and background combinations with too high of contrast can lead to eye strain. However, too low of contrast can also cause eye strain.”

So according to this and a few other sources, it seems that gray may be the answer. In my past designs, I felt I chose a gray type because I felt it helped the flow, but maybe it truly was the high contrast that just didn’t allow for the user to easily scan the information. Of course, there are more issues to look at when talking about screens which would be where we are sitting and what devices we are on while reading. A low lite room with no natural light will feel one way while a sunny outdoor space will feel another.

The good news is, maybe just maybe it isn’t my ‘old’ eyes that prefers dark type on a white background and it is more the fact I like to work in a well-lit room.


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