Dark style web design has become something of a trend over the last few years. It goes hand in hand with dark mode, which has been embraced and is highly popular with mobile apps. It is a contentious area as many people in the web design world feel dark coloured websites are not appropriate. However, the general public seemed to disagree, and dark mode and dark styling are considered easier on the eyes and preferable. But before you rush out and develop a website in shades of black and grey, there are some rules you should follow when using dark style web design in 2021.
1. Careful with White Space
If not done well, you risk your dark styling creating a website that feels oppressive and closed in. You can counter this reasonably quickly by cleverly using white space to create elements on the page to give a natural flow. For example, a white textbox can pull the eye to vital information, so it is not missed. White space gives you an enhanced user experience making them more likely to stick around.
2. Limit Bright Colours
Using a very bright colour against a dark background certainly catches the eye but needs to be approached with caution. A design rule that you should follow is to never use more than three bright colours on your dark background. If you are hoping to have a rainbow of bright colours, you are better off using a white or light background and not creating something that looks busy and cluttered.
3. Keep Headings Visible
When it comes to your titles and headings, it is essential that the font you choose is visible, in bold and uses a colour that is easy to read. White is one of the best colours for standing out against a dark background and is often favoured by web designers. However, it can be slightly heavy on the eye for long paragraphs and therefore, after using a white heading, grey fonts are often used in these elements.
4. Simply Animate
In order to lift some of the potentially oppressive nature of a dark background, animations are often favoured. These must be kept simple as this is more appealing than complex effects, which easily become distracting and the user gives up on the site. Again, if long involved animations are a key part of your page, then it would be better to keep a light theme in your web design.
5. Test Thoroughly
Finally, when you think you have come up with the perfect dark design, it is time to test it. Grab every different device you can find and check how the site is running. Ask for people’s opinions and pay attention to things like jumping colours as this can be a real issue with dark backgrounds and is certainly not friendly for the eyes. Make sure your screen reading alt tags are in place for people who simply turn off dark websites.