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Light vs. Dark Website Designs

As all Star Wars fans know there’s duality in everything. With this particular franchise it’s the Dark Side of The Force versus the Light Side of The Force. And these two opposite sides are inextricably linked and at permanent odds with each other.

The same goes for website design. There’s been a long on-going debate about whether light or dark designs should be preferred. in the course of this debate various points of view have been analyzed from usability and colour theory to personal aesthetics.

As far as usability is concerned, there are studies and numbers that can be cited and the vast majority of them say that light themes with dark context are preferred. An overwhelming number of those queried preferred light designs, 47% to the 10% who responded that they’d rather have a dark design. Furthermore, studies have shown that people read black text on white background faster than any other combination of colours. However, 43% of people said that their preference depends on the type of website they’re viewing.

Which brings us to colour theory. According to the largely accepted view, dark websites inspire sobriety and seriousness, whilst lighter themed websites give the impression of openness and are a great deal more flexible. Sure, a dark theme is very good at showcasing a fashion photography portfolio, or a gallery of very diverse, bright designs, but its reach is limited. On the other hand, lighter themes can be used in various contexts starting with business and official websites and ending with informational websites and social media.

However, none of the above are really make or break rules. In the end, the decision largely depends on personal preference. Of course, dark themes aren’t recommended if you’re making a website for something that is intended to give visitors a cheerful, energetic vibe, but that doesn’t mean that if you choose a darker theme all the same, your website will be a disaster.

Here’s a list of amazing websites that employ either dark or light themes, browse through them and decide for yourself which look is better for your website.

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