Admin Dashboard: Light Mode Vs. Dark Mode – What’s beyond the Look!

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Admin Dashboard: Light Mode Vs. Dark Mode – What’s beyond the Look!

Dark mode or light mode—this is a hot topic among users and product developers. Both modes have their supporters and critics for various reasons. Today, we’ll explore the pros and cons of these two modes in design, with a special focus on light or dark admin dashboard.

Is it better to use dark mode or light mode? A general overview

Recent studies show that more than 80% of users prefer dark mode because it looks cool and is easy on the eyes. And compared with the light mode, it’s so popular that more than 90% of all device users say they prefer dark mode over light mode! It is clear that it is going to be dark for some more time. Despite the limited popularity of light mode, we need to consider the pros and cons of both designs without bias.
When designing light and dark modes for your interfaces, it’s important to balance contrast and consistency. Ensure that the interface and content are meaningful to the audience.

Do users prefer dark mode? Advantages and Insights from Usage Data

Dark mode has seen a substantial rise in popularity and usage across various demographics, especially among tech professionals. This wave is supported by data showing its numerous benefits in both usability and design.

1. Reduced Eye Strain and Fatigue

Dark mode on websites as well as web applications decreases strain on eyes and fatigue, especially in low-light environments. Excessive light from white backgrounds can be harsh on the eyes during prolonged device usage. Transitioning to dark mode reduces this contrast, making a more comfortable screen time. The American Optometric Association reported earlier that 58% of the adults in the country have experienced digital eye strain, and nearly half of them prefer dark mode in the dark, which directly corresponds with its capacity to reduce eye discomfort.

2. Improved Battery Life for OLED Screens

Dark mode offers a considerable energy saving, mainly on devices with OLED screens. Since OLED displays brighten each pixel individually, using dark backgrounds activates fewer pixels, leading to decreased power consumption. Data shows that dark mode can save up to 63% battery life on AMOLED screens, with power consumption decreased by 67% at full brightness and 14% at 30% brightness. This energy efficiency is widely acknowledged, with 82.7% of users believing that dark mode saves battery life.

3. Aesthetic Appeal and Personalization

Dark mode is associated with a luxury, sleek, contemporary aesthetic that appeals to many users. Its refined appearance and the ability to personalize the digital experience contribute to its popularity. Users appreciate the customization options, with 64.6% wanting websites to switch to dark mode automatically, reflecting the high demand for personalized and advanced digital interfaces.

4. Popularity Among Professionals and Users

Dark mode is a favourite of tech people, with 88.6% of software engineers using dark mode while coding in 2019, increasing to 92% in 2020. This preference is not limited to IT circle; but almost 82% of smartphone users were reported to use dark mode by 2024. Its widespread adoption is reflected in market trends, with significant increases in job listings for ‘dark mode experts’ and the term “dark mode” earning popularity on Google Trends.

Do users prefer dark mode

Disadvantages of Dark Mode in UI/UX design

Readability Challenges

In certain situations, dark mode is often considered the best option for readability. However, it can be challenging in applications with heavy text or long-form content. People with minor visual impairments may feel overwhelmed by dark mode. For focused reading and writing, light or white backgrounds are better.

Accessibility Problems

As we mentioned in the advantages section, Dark mode is appealing. But who can enjoy that? People with specific visual impairments or conditions such as astigmatism or color blindness will not get the benefit of dark mode. Reading light-coloured text against dark backgrounds may prove difficult for some such users, resulting in reduced accessibility and potentially restricting their ability to engage with content effectively.

Design and Branding Constraints

Incorporating dark mode in UI/UX design can bring constraints to the overall design and branding of an application or website. Not all color schemes and design elements seamlessly adjust to dark mode. This transition may pose issues for brands striving to maintain visual consistency within their identity, as specific colors and visual elements may not actually translate to the dark mode color scheme.

Limited Compatibility

Regarding dark mode in UI/UX design, it’s essential to note that its compatibility may vary across various platforms, operating systems, or applications. Not all systems or software fully support dark mode, which means developers must reserve extra time and effort to execute and maintain this feature consistently. As a result, the availability and functionality of dark mode for users may be limited.

Is light mode good for the eyes? Advantages of Light Mode

1. Better Readability in Bright Environments

Light mode is particularly advantageous in well-lit environments. Here, the case is exactly the opposite of dark mode; the high contrast of dark text on a light background enhances readability under natural light or bright indoor lighting. This makes it easier for users to read content without straining their eyes, especially in offices, classrooms, or outdoor areas.

2. Traditional and Comforting Aesthetic

Light mode offers a traditional and familiar look that many users find relaxing and more effortless to navigate. Since most printed materials and older digital interfaces employ light backgrounds, this mode aligns with long-standing user habits and expectations, making the transition between physical and digital reading more smooth.

3. Simplicity and Clarity

Light mode contributes to a clean interface design. Light backgrounds’ simplicity helps reduce visual clutter, ensuring that interface elements are distinct and easily recognizable. This clarity is particularly beneficial for users who prefer plain and uncomplicated design.

4. Color Representation

Light mode delivers accurate colour representation, which is crucial for tasks involving colour precision, such as graphic design, photo editing, and online shopping. The neutral background guarantees that colours are displayed without the influence of dark surroundings, leading to more authentic and true-to-life visuals.

5. Reduced Risk of Overemphasizing Elements

Light mode is ideal for brands that need consistent branding elements. Unlike dark mode, which emphasizes specific elements, light mode offers a balanced representation with no single element dominating the interface. This results in a more unified and less distracting user experience. Users can evenly consume information without being overly drawn to certain areas of the screen.
light mode good for eyes

Major Disadvantages of Light Mode

While light mode is appreciated for its traditional and familiar aesthetic, we cannot say it has notable disadvantages. Anyway, following are the few drawbacks of using light mode in UI/UX design.

1. Increased Eye Strain in Low-Light Environments

Eye strain is the major issue with light and dark modes. In low-light conditions, like at night or in dark areas, looking at bright screens can be hard on the eyes. The high contrast between the bright screen and the surrounding darkness can be tough on the eyes, causing discomfort. This problem is particularly noticeable at night, as the brightness of a light-mode screen can overwhelm the eyes over long periods.

2. Higher Power Consumption on OLED Screens

On OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screens, light mode results in higher power consumption compared to dark mode. OLED displays light up individual pixels, so a bright background needs more pixels to be illuminated, draining the battery faster. This makes light mode less energy-efficient, diminishing the battery life of smartphones and other devices with OLED screens, which is a drawback for users who depend on prolonged battery performance.

3. Visual Noise and Distractions

For some people, being in light means creating visual noise due to the bright background. This may distract users from focusing on the primary content. This is problematic in applications with more content, where users need to process information quickly and efficiently.

Real-Life Examples of Light and Dark Modes in Digital World

Let’s check some of the most prominent cases where top companies globally have expressed their preferences for either light or dark mode or both:

Spotify

Spotify, the popular music streaming service, has adopted a dark mode interface by default across its platforms. This choice aligns with their immersive music listening experience and minimizes distractions for music lovers. In 2015, Spotify introduced a light mode option for its desktop app, giving users the flexibility to swap between light and dark themes based on their choices and visual comfort.

Amazon

Amazon is one platform that takes trends seriously. Initially, it provided a traditional light mode interface across its platforms. But, realising the growing favour of dark mode among users for its reduced eye strain and improved battery life, Amazon introduced a dark mode option for its mobile app in 2020. Even then the default preference remains the light mode. Users can manually switch to dark mode through the settings whenever they want.

Light mode or Dark mode, which is the best option for ADMIN DASHBOARDS
Light or dark admin dashboards

Deciding between dark mode and light mode for admin dashboards needs evaluation of functionality, usability and user experience. Admin dashboards, which are essential for data management and analysis, require interfaces that are comfortable and efficient for prolonged use.

As we mentioned in previous sections, dark mode reduces eye strain in low-light environments by emitting less blue light, enhancing visual comfort and focus. The point here is that it can make charts and graphs in admin dashboards more visually appealing with high contrast. Nevertheless, it can cause readability issues in bright environments and requires careful design to ensure text and interactive elements are clear.

Meanwhile, light mode offers better readability and clarity in well-lit environments, making it easier to view detailed data and navigate the dashboard. It aligns with traditional user expectations and supports clear differentiation of colors and other components.

Given the various use cases and preferences, offering both dark and light modes can significantly enhance the usability of admin dashboards. Most of the ready-to-use admin dashboard templates these days has both modes so that users can switch between both. Providing a toggle option allows users to select the mode that best suits their environment and comfort, providing the dashboard effectiveness across various scenarios. Dark mode and light mode adaptability in admin panel dashboards improve overall user experience by catering to different contexts and needs.

Conclusion

In the light vs dark mode discussion, is there a clear winner or loser? I doubt it. Each has its own pros and cons, making the choice dependent on user preference and context. To repeat, dark mode is popular for its sleekness and energy-saving benefits. Light mode offers clarity and focus. For admin dashboards, offering both options ensures usability across different scenarios. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual needs.

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