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Why we spent a bunch of time stripping out dark mode

Reading Time

2 min read

Published on

December 20, 2022

We're no strangers to dark modes, we love them. They're great when it's late at night and we're on our last legs to push a blog post out... But, let me tell you where they suck.

Websites. Yes you read that right, you might have noticed the lack of button on the navigation that lets you switch from a dark mode to a light mode. We used to have one, but why is it gone now?

Why has your dark mode disappeared?

Good question, two reasons:

  1. It sucked trying to make sure images look great with both a white background and a dark background
  2. It stifled creativity, slowed development and ultimately lead to making our site looking like a block builder (which it technically is, but we don't want it to look like a block builder).

20/20 vision

Going back to the initial launch of the website, I'd tap younger me on the shoulder and ask: Does this really need to be done? Do I really need to show potential clients you can click a button and swap the colours?

The short answer is no

The longer answer is yes, the same thing we preach every time we make a dumb decision on our own website, or a side project we've built. We want to make sure that we've battle tested every single aspect of modern web development. See the value of something, and where that particular tool fits, and if it's a valid option for every website, or just some niche (but cool) functionality.

Where would you actually recommend using a dark mode

We'd always recommend actually using dark mode for any kind of information-first web app or website. We've already ragged on them once, but a website such as Wikipedia is a prime example of information-first. They are the dictionary definition of a "website that should have a dark mode".

To make this easier we've bullet pointed it

  • If you're planning to build a dashboard - YES
  • If you're creating a calculator app - YES
  • Are developers going to use it? - YES
  • It looks cool on a website - Hell no, don't do this

Shoutout to websites that do dark mode well

Just kidding on that last one...

Get in touch

Fancy stripping out dark mode?

If you're impressed with the amount of time and effort we spent refactoring dark modes, get in touch. Whether you're migrating data away from a monolithic CMS to trying to break Google lighthouse records, we've seen it all and done it all!



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