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Dark Mode Chronicles: A Developer's Journey

· 3 min read
Steven Schkolne

Greetings, MightyMeld community! Today, I want to take a moment to share with you the story behind a recent addition to our platform: the much-anticipated dark mode. We’ve received a lot of user feedback that has really changed how I think about this topic.

A Light-Mode Only Approach

From the first days of MightyMeld, dark mode has been on our minds. However, as we dove into the development process, setting up color schemes turned out to be a bit tricky. Our roadmap at MightyMeld is ambitious. Features and bug fixes seem to always take priority over things like dark mode which end up in the “nice-to-have” bucket. Consequently, we’ve had light mode only for quite a while.

Functionality vs. Aesthetics

Over time, as MightyMeld evolved, discussions about dark mode kept circulating in our team and developer community. This brings us to the core question: why invest in dark mode if it's primarily an aesthetic preference? Let’s explore the significance of dark mode beyond its visual appeal and its impact on user experience.

The Lean Startup Mentality

In the early stages of product development, there's a school of thought that advocates embracing friction. The belief is that if users persist despite encountering friction, it signifies a compelling product. This philosophy played a role in our decision-making process - delaying dark mode left a tiny piece of friction. Was this a good reason? It’s hard to know looking back.

Dark Mode as a Game-Changer

Through our interactions with developers, it became clear that dark mode wasn't just a minor preference for some; it was a game-changer. Some developers expressed a strong reluctance to use a product lacking dark mode, turning it into a serious barrier for adoption.

This sentiment was challenging for me to grasp initially. While I prefer dark mode, I don’t need it! But it all started to click when I realized this was exactly the same as my frustration with another aesthetic choice: the notorious iPhone camera notch. I am so strongly averse to this notch that I delayed upgrading my iPhone 8 for way too long, only to switch to an Android phone without a notch. While the notch does not impede functionality, it still greatly diminishes my experience.

A Design Decision Unveiled

With our growing user base voicing a strong need for dark mode, we decided to make it a reality. The frustration of dark mode fans became overwhelming, it’s quite emotional to hear frustration and disappointment in developers’ words. We hear you. Dark mode is really important.

Dark Mode: More Than Meets the Eye

Deciding to integrate dark mode in MightyMeld is more than just a visual choice. It brings together considerations from the realm of user preferences, psychology, and the intricate balance between functionality and aesthetics. The community feedback and this whole experience has turned me into somewhat of a dark mode freak. As the sun sets and MightyMeld transitions seamlessly into dark mode based on my OS settings, I can’t help but smile. As always feel free to share your thoughts on our Discord or choose an option from our support page.