Dark, but not too dark

I’ve never been much for using a web browser right out of the box.

The first thing that I do is add a few extensions that add some functionality and privacy for me.

One of the other things that I’ve typically done is look for a theme to change the colours of the layout of my browser screen. Out of the box, it seems that all browsers want to have everything coloured white … and I get it. We grew up with the metaphor of everything we read being text on a white sheet of paper.

The largest period of time that I spend on a computer is typically first thing in the morning when it’s dark outside. I find a white screen just too jarring at that time. There are a couple of experiments that I’ve been using. Since most browsers these days except Firefox are based on Chromium, the settings are the same. So, I’ll use chrome://flags or the equivalent of the browser to change things. Firefox handles it nicely with a dark theme.

One that I love and have kept is this one.

As the descriptor says, it converts a lot of the elements to dark. In ChromeOS, it enables a toggle that can be switched on or off at will.

Whenever I feel like I want to confirm that I made the right decision, I just tap it and see a whole lot more white light on the screen.

Recently, many of the services that I use regularly like Twitter or Flipboard have implemented a dark mode to their content. That lets me darken the screen and keep it dark. It’s so much easier on my eyes. Well, until I click a link to go somewhere to read something that has that white background and my eyes hurt as they adjust to the brightness.

There is another option though.

This seemed like such a great option and idea. It turns everything to dark shades no matter what the original was. I gave it a shot for a couple of weeks. It does work as promised but didn’t win me over completely.

It’s not that it doesn’t do as advertised. It does a terrific job of darkening everything. It also changes the actual colours of some things and screens that people have obviously spent a lot of design on contrasting blacks while some other colour adjustments just seem extraordinarily difficult to read. From my perspective, it’s a feature that’s roughly 90% effective. I love the 90% that works. It’s that other 10%!

Later in the day when it’s light outside and I happen to use the computer, the bright white doesn’t seem so bad and the dark mode is OK as well.

It’s just too bad that there isn’t a quick toggle like there is for the theme. It’s a feature that I would love and I’d use.

How about you? Do you tinker with colours and settings? How do you feel like a dark theme and dark web content?

3 thoughts on “Dark, but not too dark

  1. Good morning Doug!

    To be honest, I have never spent any time at all fiddling with dark mode on my computer or in any web browser or app. I count myself as extremely fortunate in that I’ve never run up against any serious vision challenges through the years, and so for now, I view websites as their designers have designed them, for better and worse.

    The macOS has a time-of-day setting that adjusts the interface to complement day/night light levels. I know that it has been toggled on (either automatically? by me?) following a system update some times, but it has been a difference – – if activated—that hasn’t impacted my use of the computer. To whatever extent it has influenced by use, it has been innocuous and imperceptible.

    I have taken to implementing a profile-based theme-colour approach for my various Google accounts within the Chrome browser. The associated theme colour provide a quick confirmation of the account attached to the profile window and works wonders in helping me work across multiple accounts. I try to keep the focus such that I don’t need to access more than two profiles at any one time, but there have been some instances where I have four on the go at once.

    Happy browsing!


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