Life is an endless circle of decisions. Every day you have to consider your options and challenges, and find solutions. And at the end of the day, each solution is a decision you make based on knowledge and preferences. This article will discuss one of the choices UI designers have to make when they create a new app. They need to decide between a light or dark interface. Picking the right colour scheme is often tricky because they have to figure out if it will match the user’s requirements.
If you want to develop an app for your brand, this decision may seem scary because it can make or break its success. Color schemes have a long-lasting impact on user experience, and many compare their effect to the one of a dating profile. When someone opens the app, they scroll through it and check its aesthetics as they would do with a dating profile. You want them to get Goosebumps and be fascinated.
So, should you join the dark side?
Factors that can influence your decision
There’s no one theme that works for all apps. Various factors influence the choice, and while some cover the market conditions, others focus on the brand’s goals and the latest trends. Here is a list you should check before embracing one of the sides.
Legibility and readability
These factors are directly related to the perception of the text you add to your app. Readability defines how easily users can read it, and legibility measures how quickly they can distinguish the symbols.
For apps filled with lots of text, these characteristics are crucial. The interface affects text perception. When you insert black text on a lighter background, the users perceive it as larger than if you put white text on a black surface. People should quickly scan data because if they struggle, they quit your app.
But it doesn’t mean that apps with a light background are always more readable than the dark ones. The secret is to use great contrasting hues for the background and text. Any color scheme can be legible if the app designer researches the peculiarities of text perception on different surfaces and experiments with font options.
Accessibility is your app’s ability to reach the public and serve needs without discrimination. Your users’ preferences and needs should tell you what colour scheme to use. It would help if you considered your audience’s age, special needs, disabilities, and preferences. Public research is an essential part of app design.
Clarity defines the ability to identify all details on a page. It focuses on the intuitiveness of navigation and simplicity because users should quickly scan the layout of the app, and identify the pieces of information and elements they want to interact with. When clarity is ignored or poorly tested, this may result in weak visual hierarchy and chaotic aesthetics. The color scheme is paramount for clarity, and it should contain contrasting hues to prevent the blur effect that discourages people from reading the text.
People should find the app easy to use and functional, no matter the device they use. The visuals may look appealing on a computer screen, but they may transform into a smudgy image on a smartphone screen. Some color schemes don’t respond well on all screen sizes. So, you must test the interface in all conditions you intend to use it.
When you research the audience, you identify the environments in which your clients use the app. For example, if they use it mainly during the daytime, a dark scheme would create an effect of reflection. A dark background is perfect for dark environments. Shades, contrast, and color combinations influence your decision.
Checklist for interface choice
An expert in app design will always recommend picking an interface that offers your clients a top-notch experience even if your personal preferences don’t match it. Now that you know what factors influence your decision check the steps you must follow in the process.
Determine the interface’s goal – the choice of the interface should be reasoned, so it’s wise to identify the core points of the UI and its problem-solving ability. For an app loaded with text, it’s best to pick a light background because it makes the screen look more spacious, and the user finds it easier to focus on content. But if you want to maintain the focus on images, a dark color scheme would work better. Usually, dark colors provide the impression of luxury and style.
Find out what your public wants – we cannot stress enough how important this step is. Defining and analyzing your audience helps you determine the features your app must include. Know who your user is, what they want to get from your app, and discover how your interface can provide it for them. Use a light color scheme for middle-aged and older users because they find it more straightforward and intuitive. Dark backgrounds work better for young people, mainly if you include engaging elements.
Research your competitors – your app is not the only one on the market, so you must find out what your competitors offer to their clients. The moment your app gets into the blue ocean called the App Store; it will fight for users’ attention in the conditions of high competition. The interface is one of the factors that make it stand out on the market and encourage interaction. It’s best to spend time exploring the competition before creating the app than having to spend money later to upgrade it.
Test it, over and over again – the tips above alone won’t tell you what the right choice is. Research may indicate that your audience would like a light interface, but you cannot be sure until you test it. The color of the background influences the attractiveness and usability of the app, so import all data and test it on different screens and UIX. Testing reveals how well the interface performs. Ask a small group of clients to check the app and provide feedback before launching it on the market.
If you don’t want to stick to a strict color scheme, combine them, because often a compromise solution works best.