Introducing a Dark Mode for our beta site

This summer, the Web Project has gone over to the dark side. Or dark mode, at least.

Users on our beta site can now choose to use a dark mode design option. Dark mode allows you to choose if you want to view the site using a darker screen mode with white or high contrast text. This is an alternative to the standard view of dark text on a white background.

You can turn dark mode on by choosing the dark mode toggle at the top of the screen.

Dark mode toggle

Dark mode has 2 main benefits:

  • on certain modern screens it uses less energy, making it better for the environment
  • it can be less tiring for eyes, so some users might use it all the time or in certain circumstances

History of dark mode

In some ways dark mode is going back to the future. Some of our older users will recall when computer monitors displayed green text on a black screen. In subsequent years, these were replaced with white screens with black text. Part of the rationale for this was to try and bring the digital experience in line with the paper experience.  

Environmental benefits and user preferences

Dark mode is a choice, but for some users it’s a default which they use all the time. Some prefer to turn it on in the evening to reduce eye strain in lower light.

On some devices it uses less power, reducing the impact on the environment, making it a good choice for people watching their environmental footprint. On Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screen types, each pixel is individually lit. When pixels are black or even dark grey, as is the case in dark mode, the display’s power requirements are less in comparison to a light mode.  

However, not all screen types benefit from dark mode in this way. For example, with LCD displays the screen is illuminated using a back panel that always lights up completely.

If you want to try our dark mode, please visit the beta website and try the dark mode toggle at the top right. We hope you like it, and welcome to the dark side.