Dark mode web design – Enhancing UX and Aesthetics

Dark mode web design – Enhancing UX and Aesthetics
Jun 12, 2023

Dark mode design has become increasingly popular across digital platforms, offering a visually appealing alternative to the traditional light mode. As users seek a comfortable and stylish interface, dark mode has emerged as a design trend that provides numerous benefits. 

We will delve into the advantages, considerations, and best practices of dark mode website design, exploring its impact on user experience and aesthetics and showing a few dark mode web design template examples developed with Webflow.

Rising popularity of dark mode design

Dark mode design, despite not being a recent concept and used earlier to describe a dark theme website or other products with dark design, its popularity started getting through the roof in later years.

A google trend graf or the dark mode keyword, showing its usage throughout the years
Dark mode keyword trend through the years

Particularly, its hype skyrocketed after it was introduced as a feature in various platforms like Twitter, Telegram and YouTube in 2016-17. However, its true breakthrough came in 2018-2019 when it made its debut on macOS, iOS, and Android devices, resulting in a massive surge in its adoption.

According to a study by JetBrains, within the first 24 hours of the macOS Mojave launch, approximately 39.6% of users enabled dark mode.

Numerous other studies are also showing the increasing usage of dark mode web design in different devices and platforms. A study made with participants on twitter showed that around 82.7% of participants stated that they use dark mode on their operating system devices.
Additionally, another survey made by Stack Overflow in 2020 showed that 91.8% of software developers prefer dark mode.

Dark mode web design and its benefits

Dark design is known and used in the industry with multiple names: 

  • Dark mode
  • Dark theme
  • Black mode
  • Night mode, etc.

Despite the different choice of names from different companies they all entail the same thing: a design that has a dark background as its main color in contrast to the default system operating settings with a light color in background and a dark text.

One of the main purposes of this choice of design, besides the elegant look, is also reducing the light emitted by the device screens. Selecting this way of design has also many other benefits:

1. Reduced eye strain and fatigue for users

A direct result of the reduced bright light emitted by the device, a lot of users have confessed feeling less fatigue and eye strain while working with dark mode activated. The softer, darker color palette reduces the contrast between text and background, making it easier for users to focus on content for extended periods.

Though it is important to mention that there are conflicting studies on whether that holds true. Some studies do confirm that, and some others say the opposite. Yet, in the end we can say that it depends on each individual to decide which is more comfortable for him or her.

2. Improved user experience and readability 

A preview of Webflow SaaS template - Aurora
Aurora - Webflow SaaS Template

The user experience also sees an improvement especially when it comes to readability due to the enhancement of contrast between text and background. Particularly using dark mode UX design is very helpful at night and in dimly lit environments - providing a smoother reading experience. 

3. Increased battery life

Another benefit that comes handy to users is the extended battery life as a result of using dark mode UI design. Though less in LED screens, the AMOLED and OLED devices can significantly benefit from dark design, that is because black pixels need much less energy to function compared to the other illuminated ones.

4. Aesthetic Appeal and Modernity

Webflow SaaS Template Vancouver+ aesthetic design - interface preview
Vancouver Plus - Webflow SaaS Template

Dark mode has gained popularity immensely also due to benefiting its users with a sleek, sophisticated, and modern appearance. A dark theme website, for instance, can create a sense of depth and prominence, making UI elements and content stand out. This aesthetic appeal often resonates with users and aligns with contemporary design trends.

Best practices for Dark Mode Website Design 

When designing with dark mode or dark background colors, there are only a number of colors which you can use as a contrast compared to the light mode that allows for a multitude of colors to be used with it. 

For this reason one should consider these useful practices:

Using the right color palettes

When selecting colors for a design it is crucial to consider creating sufficient contrast while minimizing eye strain. This rule  applies to all color palettes, including both for light mode and dark mode design. 

Because true white (#FFFFFF) against true black (#000000) produces high contrast, it can be uncomfortable for our eyes, that’s why to design a dark theme that is visually pleasing, Google recommends to utilize dark gray, color #121212, as the primary background color. This approach strikes a balance between contrast and eye comfort, ensuring an enjoyable user experience.

It is also recommended to use split-complementary colors. This color palette has one dominant color and two other colors that are adjacent to each other, providing a beautiful contrast that is more subtle and thus better for the users’ eyes.

A Split-complementary color palette image
Split-complementary color palette

You can use the adobe color wheel to explore more split-complementary color options.

Prioritizing content hierarchy and typography 

In addition to color selection, emphasizing the importance of content hierarchy is crucial for effective design. By utilizing appropriate typography and font sizes, you can establish a clear visual hierarchy that guides users through the content.

It is also essential to maintain readability by ensuring that text is easily distinguishable from the background. This can be achieved by selecting fonts with sufficient contrast, such as pairing a bold typeface with a lighter background or vice versa.

Adjusting images and illustrations

Adapting images and illustrations for dark mode is a crucial aspect of designing a visually appealing and cohesive user experience. When transitioning from a light mode to a dark mode interface, it is important to ensure that images and illustrations maintain clarity and impact on dark backgrounds.

To achieve this designers should adjust the overall tone, color saturation, and shadow details to align with the darker color scheme. This preserves key details while maintaining visual harmony. Also incorporating appropriate white space around images and choosing the right color palette helps them stand out in the dark mode environment.

Be consistent with brand identity

While adopting dark mode website design, it is essential to maintain consistency with the brand identity and existing design elements. The transition to dark mode should not compromise the recognition and familiarity users have with the brand. 

Designers should carefully adapt the color scheme and apply consistent design principles to create a dark mode UI design that aligns seamlessly with the brand's overall visual language. Maintaining this consistency in design fosters a sense of trust and familiarity among users.

User preferences and the switch option 

Recognizing that users have varying preferences, it is important to provide them with the option to switch between light and dark modes. Some individuals prefer the classic light mode, while others find dark mode more comfortable for extended periods of screen time, particularly in low-light environments. 

By implementing a toggle or switch within the user interface, designers can empower users to select their preferred mode, enhancing their overall experience and satisfaction. 

Dark mode UI design in different industries

Throughout the last years, dark mode design, referred to also as night mode design, has become widely used in different industries:

1. Technology and Software: Tech companies like Google Chrome and Microsoft have implemented dark mode as an option to choose it during the night for restricting eye strain, or for full time dark design lovers.

2. Social Media and Communication Platforms: Twitter, Telegram, Messenger and other platforms have introduced dark mode for low-light usage scenarios.

3. Media and Entertainment: Websites, streaming platforms, and media apps like Youtube, Spotify and Netflix have incorporated dark mode for a better cinematic experience and reduced screen glare. Dark background websites allow content, such as movies, TV shows, and album covers, to stand out and provide a more immersive experience for users.

A picture of Youtube, Netflix and Spotify mobile dark mode interface
Youtube, Netflix and Spotify dark mode mobile interface

4. Design and Creative Industries: Dark mode has also found favor in graphic design, photography, and video editing, emphasizing visual elements against a dark background. Adobe with its products like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc, and also Behance and other companies have jumped in the wagon as well. 

5. Gaming: Dark mode enhances visibility and immersion in gaming interfaces and platforms.

Companies like Steam, Discord, PlayStation, Twitch, etc, have all implemented this feature, some as an optional and some as the default.

Inspirational dark mode design Webflow templates

As a Webflow design agency, we at Wedoflow often incorporate dark mode UI/UX design in our gorgeous Webflow templates. Be it Webflow agency templates, portfolio templates, SaaS templates, or other categories, we have brought out to our users different dark website design choices for their preferences.

Below we will present you a short curated list of our dark mode website examples:

1. Los Angeles - Webflow Portfolio Template

Los Angeles - Webflow portfolio templates interface animation
Los Angeles - Webflow Portfolio Template

Los Angeles embodies a sophisticated and contemporary dark mode UI design, specifically crafted for artists of diverse backgrounds to exhibit their artwork, interact with their followers, and market their merchandise. 

Its ecommerce integration and content management system (CMS) simplifies the management of products and transactions. This template exudes confidence and elegance, making it the ideal choice for unleashing your creative prowess and engaging your audience with captivating animations in every segment.

2. Avenue - Webflow Agency Template

A gif preview of Webflow Agency Template - Avenue
Avenue - Webflow Agency Template

Avenue is a remarkable Webflow dark mode template design that empowers your agency with limitless creative potential. With Avenue, you can demonstrate your agency's readiness to make a profound impact on the world. Engage your customers on a deep level through cutting-edge animations and interactive elements that captivate their hearts and minds. 

Avenue is fully responsive and covers all the essential features your agency needs, including portfolio showcase, informative about section, engaging blog, comprehensive bios, seamless contact options, compelling case studies, and integrated social links. Experience its transformative power and unlock new horizons of creative excellence.

3. Black Plus - Webflow SaaS Template

Black Plus Webflow template interface preview
Black Plus - Webflow SaaS Template

Black Plus, an extension of Black with added ecommerce and CMS compatibility, is an extraordinary SaaS Webflow template that embraces a captivating dark theme design and mesmerizing animations. Showcasing your app with a modern aesthetic, Black boasts a clean layout, striking imagery, and a distinctive dark mode web design style that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor. 

With complete responsiveness and optimization for all devices, Black Plus is the ultimate dark mode Webflow template design choice for launching a new app or revitalizing your website. Experience the power of Black and make a remarkable impact in the digital realm.

4. Naura - Webflow Portfolio Template

A preview of Naura Webflow Portfolio dark mode design template
Naura - Webflow Portfolio Template

Naura is a beautiful portfolio Webflow template that distinguishes your projects from the competition by emphasizing meticulousness and presenting visually captivating dark-mode design. It serves as an ideal solution for design freelancers and other creative experts seeking to establish a formidable online presence and exhibit their work in an aesthetically pleasing manner with dark backgrounds.

With its elegant animations, the template infuses an air of sophistication into the page design, giving your dark mode websites projects a timeless quality. The template has been optimized for seamless display on screens of all sizes, guaranteeing that your work appears impeccable across various devices.

5. Seoul

A preview of webflow saas template Seoul
Seoul - Webflow SaaS Template

Seoul Webflow SaaS template is perfect for showcasing SaaS businesses. With its sleek and modern design, user-friendly navigation, and contemporary dark mode style, it helps your website stand out. Carefully crafted with the latest design trends and user experience concepts, it guarantees a wonderful visitor experience. 

The template is optimized for search engines, cross-device compatible, and fully responsive. It offers dynamic page transitions, animations, and a clean structure. 


Dark mode web design has soared in popularity as a visually captivating alternative to traditional light mode. Its sleek aesthetic adds sophistication to websites and applications, improving user experience and even extending battery life. 

From technology giants to social media platforms and creative industries, black themed websites have found their place across various sectors. As we embrace this trend, with our dark website examples we create a visually immersive experience that combines style and functionality. Dark mode website design is here to stay, illuminating our screens with elegance and elevating the user experience to new heights. 

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