The benefits and harm of the dark mode on the phones

Dark Mode (Dark Mode) turned out to be one of the most requested features among mobile users.

devices. Knowing this fact, many manufacturers have included night mode in their operating systems (shells), but on the same iOS platform, for example, the function will only appear officially in the fall. It has long been known that the dark mode reduces the load on the eyes, reduces eye fatigue, contributes to more stable sleep at night. Is it true? Or is this another marketing ploy?

What is dark mode?

At its core, dark mode is a color scheme.interface that displays bright text and interface elements on a dark background. Light mode is a much more common color scheme for displaying darker text on a bright background.

Surprisingly, the dark mode precedeslight mode for a couple of decades. The function itself was not an intended solution, but only a by-product of technology in the early stages of the development of personal computers. In the early years of the personal computer, monochrome CRT monitors with phosphorus were used, and under normal conditions, the phosphorus inside seemed dark. Phosphorus caught fire only when an electron beam hit it. Being monochrome, early computer monitors could display only one color, which was determined by the type of phosphorus used - the most common were green monitors due to green P1 phosphorus.

Advantages and disadvantages

Now the dark mode is perceived by users.as a stylish and fashionable feature. Such an interface may seem less intelligible, but at the same time it is very sophisticated, bold. And if we are talking about marketing, then all this, of course, attracts the audience, because black is a very strong color, causing people to have strong emotions. Content on a dark background may look much different.

However, it is quite difficult to get a goodinterface in dark mode. One of the biggest problems is blurring. There is a visual decrease in sharpness. Dark text on a white background, as a rule, looks sharper for your eyes. It is also important to know that for users with visual impairments, this feature generally stands alone. Here a halo can become a big problem, because of which the white text appears more blurred on a dark background than it actually is. This is especially true for people with astigmatism and / or myopia. For such people, the interfaces of the dark mode may seem suboptimal and in fact can lead to more tired eyes. That is why people suffering from the unpleasant effects of astigmatism, it is recommended to use a light theme, not Dark Mode.

Scientific studies have concluded that the human brain works better when exposed to positive rather than negative polarity.

In the scientific field bright text on a dark background,which we now call the “dark mode” is “negative polarity”. Conversely, a dark text on a bright background, which we call the “light mode”, is known as “positive polarity”.

A study conducted by A. Buchner and N. Baumgartner in 2007, argues that the human brain is prone to positive, not negative polarity, when it comes to focusing on speed, concentration and corrective "performance". Buchner and Baumgartner believe that regardless of the ambient light (day or night), light-mode interfaces will allow you to focus more on text and displayed elements, while dark-mode interfaces will make it difficult to distinguish (text and visual elements of the interface), by reducing reading performance and eventually straining your eyes.

There is a completely compelling reason for this - the white text on a dark background seems unnatural to us, because it is very different from the text printed on paper.

Another study found that positiveDisplay polarity is especially useful when it comes to reading small text on displays. The study showed that this applies to all types of devices that use displays to present information, but mainly for modern phones, since they are naturally the most common means for using text and multimedia.

And this is not even all the studies in whichissues of positive and negative polarity were addressed. Tinker (1963). Radl (1980), Bauer and Cavonius (1980), Kushman (1986), Gould et al. (1986) and others found that the human brain perceives and prefers dark text and objects displayed on a light background.

In a scientific report titled "Reading andMyopia: Questions of Contrast Polarity, prepared by Andrea S. Aleman, Min Wang and Frank Sheffel, which was published on Nature.com, examines the effect of contrasting polarity on the human eye. The conclusion was that negative polarity (dark mode) is much less harmful to your vision in the long run than light mode. The report turns out that the light mode accelerates the development of myopia. “Dark mode”, negative polarity (bright text displayed on a dark background) suppresses myopia. So good or bad?

Dark Mode on the phone

Most modern smartphones already havedark mode or get it by the end of the year. It is difficult to indicate who was the pioneer in this area, but we can probably link the appearance of dark interfaces with the appearance of OLED displays. Being rare, these displays will now stand on 9 out of 10 flagships. It will take a little time, and OLED-displays will also stand in the phones from the middle segment.

One of the frequently cited reasons why darkThe mode is such a desirable feature for phone users, is one that is almost unrelated to the legibility of the content - this is battery saving. Of course, the energy saving potential of OLED displays can hardly be ignored - as you know, when OLED displays are displayed in black, the corresponding pixels are turned off, which saves part of the battery. This contrasts sharply with LCD displays that are always on, no matter what image is displayed, and consume the same amount of energy if you look at a bright white web page or something black.

Application of general system dark mode onyour OLED phone and coloring all the most used applications in the dark is unlikely to double or triple the battery life in daily work, but it will probably give you an extra hour for the battery, which can be vital in certain situations.

Conclusion

Use dark mode or not?

Yes, but you should also use the normal light mode.

Regardless of all available evidence andresearch using dark mode and light is ultimately the personal choice of each person. No matter what science says, if you prefer the dark mode, you will use it. Personal preferences play a major role here.

However, it is worth using the dark theme correctly. You do not have to simply activate this feature and forget about it once and for all. Dark mode should be enabled only at night if you use your phone to combat insomnia or in some applications that are more saturated with content and do not require a large amount of reading, where there is little text. When it comes to reading a large text or writing it during the day, it is preferable to use a light theme.

There is a simple experiment that will help you.To decide whether you need a dark mode during the day or not: just go outside under the bright sun and use your phone as you would like. Even at maximum brightness, the dark mode interface will be harder to disassemble than the light one.

Thus, we urge you to use the Dark Mode function for its intended purpose only, without neglecting the standard light mode. Based on your goals, choose the right path!