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Material Design Guidelines for Dark Mode(material.io)

277 pointskeyle posted 3 months ago162 Comments
162 Comments:
spectramax said 3 months ago:

I have a deep rooted issue with design and designers.

In 90’s, skeuomorphic trend was picking up steam reaching a climax in mid-2000’s. Web 2.0 design elements were springing up, taking advantage of css; while UI elements sought transparency and blur (Windows Vista). That trend passed and then we had the whole Material design boom in 2012-2015, the entire web was sabotaged by Bootstrap. Color themes and palettes were very popular. Cookie-cut banners, slideshows, carousels, headers, etc. Post bootstrap world saw some radical shift in small circles: monospaced fonts, brutalism, vintage homage and low-res shenanigans whilst the mainstream design kept on drinking the material koolaid up until 2016.

Boom comes in Stripe with sleek blue-purple gradients, smooth animations, Bumla-lizing the entire fucking internet. It is 2019 and every new Saas service looks like Stripe, following trends like a mindless herd. The rest unfortunate (or unskilled to match Stripe standards) are still catching up with single page scrolling websites with full-width banners, stupid jumbotrons and loud obnoxious typography.

Traditional graphic design has largely been “solved” by the 1960’s - aka, the International style or the Swiss style for majority of needs. Of course you’re not gonna have Univers on a grunge band poster. For the curious, google some posters by Josef Muller-Brockmann from the 50’s - they still appear to be designed in 2019. That’s timelessness (or cynically put, blandness). He exemplified great understanding of contrast, scale and hierarchy in design to convey information. I recently watched Dieter Rams’ documentary and he is just completely disappointed by majority of design in the world. I am not a designer but I feel the same way. Rams’ design will never be “outdated” because his principles of design weren’t based on trends.

Let’s go Dark Themes! Also, next year is the death of jumbotrons. Mark my words.

hbosch said 3 months ago:

I have a deep rooted issue with development and developers.

In 90’s, ActionScript trend was picking up steam reaching a climax in mid-2000’s. Flash websites were springing up, taking advantage of animations and sound; while UI elements sought transparency and blur (Windows Vista). That trend passed and then we had the whole ES6 boom in 2012-2015, the entire web was sabotaged by JavaScript frameworks. Frontend libraries were very popular. Cookie-cut DOM abstraction, one-page apps, launchpad dependencies, etc. Post JavaScript world saw some radical shift in small circles: Elm, Crystal, demos and hacked shenanigans whilst the mainstream development kept on drinking the JavaScript koolaid up until forever.

Traditional development has largely been “solved” by the 1960’s - aka, BASIC or C for majority of needs. Of course you’re not gonna have FORTRAN on a modern website. For the curious, google some books by Brian W Kernighan - they still appear to be relevant in 2019. That’s timelessness.

__

In all seriousness, it's a mistake to say that 1 style -- The International/Swiss Style -- can solve all of design's needs. You are purposely forgetting that design relies heavily on taste. Not the designer's taste, but the customer's taste. When I go shopping for organic shampoo, I have an idea of what "organic shampoo packaging" looks like. It's beige, probably has a plant on it, etc. Tastes change, and they change constantly and organically. Changing tastes are a moving target for designers to hit, or if they're lucky they can arrive there early. Also, it's a sign of "freshness" to update your design from time to time. People expect things to update and "get better", both visually and functionally. Similar to fashion, design does not always have to be rationale and objectively beautiful -- it just has to suit it's customer's tastes.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

I have to admit, this made me laugh more than I’m willing to admit.

It is a mistake to equate software development with graphic design. To compare C with International Style sounds promising on the surface, rings all kinds of bells but your analogy breaks down as follows.

Machine code > ASM > C > Java > Python > Django framework > Web apps > Saas. This is a hierarchical abstraction. So comparing C to JavaScript is comparing different abstraction layers. Writing C is not suitable for web apps so much as designing a font from scratch to put a webpage together is not a productive use of your time.

International Style is not a lower abstraction or “building” block for design. It is a framework of principles.

magduf said 3 months ago:

The other factor is that the human brain has not substantially changed in 50 years, and design with the goal of conveying information efficiently is going to rest on principles based on the way our brains work, and that isn't changing.

pjc50 said 3 months ago:

I've seen unironic versions of your parody argument posted right here, especially when someone posts an Electron app.

TeMPOraL said 3 months ago:

Well, s/BASIC/Lisp/ in that comment, and the critique is spot-on.

nbadg said 3 months ago:

> You are purposely forgetting that design relies heavily on taste.

Not only that, it ignores how culturally-dependent design is. Sometimes in really big, fundamental ways -- take, for example, the fact that in China, the color red is heavily associated with luck, joy, and happiness. A big part of design is understanding and incorporating these kinds of local knowledge; at the end of the day, design is a process, not a destination.

Much like art, it's impossible to truly separate design from the greater context of the world at large.

atomi said 3 months ago:

I do not envy frontend designers. Their code is transient by nature.

cam_l said 3 months ago:

I love it when people make authoritative statements about design. Because everyone has an opinion about design, it must mean everyone is expert.

Dieter Rams designs were absolutely based on trends, and trends which very much fell or of favour for twenty or thirty years. The fact that they are on trend again does not invalidate that. Nor does the fact that his designs in particular are remembered and copied because he was one of the best of the era.

He was one of the best because he used an approach which was exploratory, multi-disciplined and human focused. (Tellingly, he was educated in interior design and architecture.) To suggest that graphic design is solved, is like saying a radio is solved. Technological changes coincide with changes in human understanding, taste, response and feedback.

And then to use Dieter Rams as an example, because presumably you like his aesthetic, is to not understand design at all. Or certainly not his practice of it.

On the other hand, i totally think someone could start a Rams framework (if it hasn't already been done). An unholy mixture of skeumorphic dials and material backgrounds. It could be a beautiful abomination.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

"Dieter Rams designs were absolutely based on trends" - based on what observation? The trend at the time Mid-Century design with some influence from 30 year old Bauhaus movement.

"He was one of the best because he used an approach which was exploratory, multi-disciplined and human focused. (Tellingly, he was educated in interior design and architecture.)" - I agree, and that is my take as well.

"To suggest that graphic design is solved, is like saying a radio is solved. Technological changes coincide with changes in human understanding, taste, response and feedback." - I think I regret using the word "solved" (hence the quote marks), I think the correct take on this is that there are no major gaps to fill in International style. Vignelli, Paul Rand, Unimark International, Eliot Noyes, and countless others - they all explored the contours of design but only to realize that principles of International style serve almost every purpose and will continue to do so in future - with new technology, the principles don't change. Its application changes. Even today, design houses such as C&G&H continues to excel whist Pentagram is flopping around in New York trends. Paula Sher is an absolute disaster (See LOC redesign by Pentagram).

I don't mind good, well thought out constructive criticism, I would appreciate some more insight into your claims. "I love it when people make authoritative statements about design. Because everyone has an opinion about design, it must mean everyone is expert." is not the tone I'd like to see on HN. I shall also add that my initial comment was rather tongue-in-cheek rant, I should have been more objective and sound. :-)

cam_l said 3 months ago:

>not the tone I'd like to see on HN.

Fair cop, though my comment was in direct response to yours. To be honest, the bile against design is an opinion I see voiced quite a lot here and elsewhere and it riles me a bit, so I did not take your comment as tongue in cheek.

>The trend at the time Mid-Century design with some influence from 30 year old Bauhaus movement.

Absolutely! You don't think this was a trend? Art Deco was a trend for 30 or 40 years, Art Nouveau maybe a hundred. The Bauhaus was an expression of renewal against the old world of decorative arts, and for a functional, scientific aesthetic. But maybe only true to this until Mies took over.. and he was more an aesthete than functionalist, and perhaps the one responsible for its dissemination across the world as the international style - at least in architecture. Anyway, point was the Rams trend was a revival of the Bauhaus style, clean, modern, healthy, wealthy, and white, against the skeumorphic timberwork of his contemporary's electronic product design. All at the height of the popular dissemination of modernism to the world.

>I think the correct take on this is that there are no major gaps to fill in International style.

I took your use of "solved" to mean precisely this. I just disagree. Perhaps I am a little biased by my field (international style was less successful for architecture than graphic design, though far more widespread).

The thing is, sure, design is partially about the possibilities for composition afforded by the medium and the physical, ergonomic and responsive characteristics of the user, but it is mostly about humanity. A chaotic mess of social feedback effects, a constantly shifting base of understanding and recognition, a wide variety of sizes, shapes, outlooks and interaction patterns. Most of design is manipulating an unseen virtual world of the senses, experiences, social interactions and virtuality in the minds of the users. Small wonder when faced with the scale of the actual problem (not to mention the leanness of economic incentives), lesser designers occasionally lose track of some of the harder rules of design. Even excluding the issue of taste, or as I like to think of it, prejudice ;)

said 3 months ago:
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sizzle said 3 months ago:

For someone who claims to not be a designer, you sure are well versed in design. You are a great design critic, what is your background in that gave you all this knowledge? I'd love to level up my understanding of design...

sonnyblarney said 3 months ago:

The issue is the conflation of the form and functional aspects of design.

The 'Stripe gradient' on their home page, and a few other things are purely aesthetic, and frankly extraneous to the more functional aspects.

Most of the 'guidelines' from Material were reasonably pragmatic, although very picky, beyond what is necessary in all but the most comprehensive apps with big budgets.

There's nothing wrong with some aesthetic on a home page, and such things will always be trendy and evolving.

turbinerneiter said 3 months ago:

I think this is a great point.

Design has two layers.

The first one is based on science. Ergonomics (i.e. edge of the screen is fast to reach with a mouse, color contrast, size of fonts, ...). The second layer is style. In the given constraint of color contrast, you use _these_ colors, ...

The minimalist style often acts like it is on the first layer, but it is just style on top of ergonomics. It is a good design system. Because it is minimal, it is easier to not make first-layer-mistakes. It is timeless because the second layer is so thin as to not show the trends of the century.

A lot of people think this is good - but I don't think it universally is. As long as you get the first layer right, being more wild on the second layer adds character. Being timeless can also be interpreted as being boring.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

I have a particular fascination for "boring" professor websites:

https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/38619/why-are-p...

Particularly the following comment:

"In some scientific fields/cultures, a stylish website could be viewed as unnecessary or even pompous. In this view, the textual content of a website is the only thing that matters, and if you "need" to make your website stylish perhaps it lacks real substance. This is the same line of thought that supports simplicity in presentation with minimal graphics. I have encountered this especially in math and theoretical CS."

sonnyblarney said 3 months ago:

There's some reason behind this.

But - and get this - this is an aesthetic in and of itself! It's part of the subtle 'self branding' of academics!

Banking culture, academic culture, SV startup culture, punk culture - they all have their idioms, behaviours, signalling etc. in fact far more so than we'd ever like to admit.

turbinerneiter said 3 months ago:

There is also the old-school bare HTML hacker website, that encourages you to bring your own css with ?css=whatever.css

sonnyblarney said 3 months ago:

"Ergonomics (i.e. edge of the screen is fast to reach with a mouse, color contrast, size of fonts, ...)"

It's more basic than that - the premise of UI deals first core usability, the layout of information of components in a manner that communicates information and allows for basic interactivity, and then to make it all coherent across the app.

That alone can get pretty hard, there's all sorts of decisions that need to be made. Consider that it's as much about what you don't see as those elements you do.

Then you can get into the more granular aspects such as those covered in this article that I identified as 'picky' (for example, the specific contrast ratios among various elements - this is far beyond what 99% of UI designers have the luxury of addressing) and then of course broadening the scope of accessibility, corner functions, cross platform consistency.

Even the basics of UI can be pretty hard, let alone the aesthetic elements, and very specific things.

And of course, all of it 'cross cuts' with the aesthetic aspects, which is why the disciplines of UI and classical design are so tightly interwoven.

Design and UX is very poorly understood, and it's difficult to professionalize or measure given the abstract nature of the subject. As Engineers, we love to measure things, and much of great design defies the kinds of classical measurements we are used to. As the OP indicated, it's also a field wherein it's hard to be self aware i.e. to 'know what you don't know', and so 'everyone has an opinion'.

A great UI is almost like a great API - it's hard to measure and articulate, but generally we know it when we use it.

andrewingram said 3 months ago:

In the case of Stripe, a lot of their value hinges on being able to convince both developers and designers that the experience they offer is worth the slightly higher transaction fees. Their design aesthetic (and documentation) communicates this very effectively (in my opinion).

davidivadavid said 3 months ago:

Traditional graphic design cannot be "solved" and will always be ruled by more or less cyclical trends because graphic design is used (among other things) as a differentiating branding element for marketing and communication. And you can't differentiate a product when everyone has the same branding. Someone starts standing out. People start copying them. And then a new trend emerges, ad infinitum.

Industrial design is a different question, but nothing is ever "pure" industrial design. The reason you think Rams's designs won't ever be outdated is down to personal taste and what part of the cycle we're in. Apple dominates the design zeitgeist and thus Rams is fashionable. That too will fade, notwithstanding the validity of his design principles.

titzer said 3 months ago:

I totally agree with you. Unfortunately this triggers my rant mode:

When branding hits hammers, I think I might quit the human race. Designers fundamentally do not understand that software is a tool that people use to get things done. Constant reorganization and redesign for trends literally robs people of their skills in learning to use software to accomplish their goals.

I've been using computers since the early 90s. Essentially none of the things I learned early on apply anymore. Fuck, we don't even have menus that explain to us in native language what actions are available to us.

I hate UIs and I hate UI designers. Openly. I need zero innovation in the design of the menus for a word processor or image manipulation tool. I am sick to death of learning this iteration of a file manager or settings menu, dock, or toolbar. And god damn all the icons, they are freaking Greek to me, and if they don't come with a tooltip I am loathe to click on anything that will just go boom. UIs are in a death spiral.

But emacs works pretty much the same. I think I might stick with that another 20 years.

/rant

madeofpalk said 3 months ago:

> Designers fundamentally do not understand that software is a tool that people use to get things done.

I find this point of view - that designers are inferior to developers - to be incredibly condescending and yet very typical of HN. I'm a developer, and I would hate to work with you or someone who holds this view point. You seem like poison in a development team.

Regardless of whether you meant or not, that's what I see here. A bunch of developers telling designers that their bad at their job, that the devs know better than them, and devs know how to tell designers to do their jobs.

> I am sick to death of learning this iteration of a file manager or settings menu, dock, or toolbar.

You're literally just making stuff up. Apple, probably the most infamous capricious design company, hasn't changed their File manager, settings menu, dock, or toolbar in 19 years.

azdacha said 3 months ago:

Full stack dev : he didn't say they are inferior but that in his point of views most designers don't understand their design should conceived as a tool. Now that's discussable as it changes from project to project. A promotional website shouldn't be forcefully seen as a tool but cool be seen as a augmented poster. Now I understand his point of view when he says that designer use too much icons language, without any text Intel on it. I'd add to it that web.dev asks to use and display label on every input. Even tough they might have placeholders.

And no HN people are nice, it's just a matter of understanding the subtilities we might all disagree on.

Ps : a bas php.

madeofpalk said 3 months ago:

No, lets be clear here. OP said that Designers fundamentally do not understand their job, how OP "hates UIs and [..] UI designers" and how much they know better.

What OP is talking about is how sometimes there is bad design, in exactly the same way there is bad code, and using that to extrapolate out to an entire discipline. Imagine seeing someone's shitty very first Visual Basic project and just declaring that all developers fundamentally don't understand their jobs.

azdacha said 3 months ago:

Sorry but being clear here only provides an answer to who might be right to an internet argument. Nobody is really right, I understood what he meant and I might not agree with all of it but still take valueable feedback. You could do as well by avoiding the troll discussion. It's not because someone is literally crying in pain because of his team's cursy bad work that you got to end his opinion on the least interesting part.. It's only an opinion.

TeMPOraL said 3 months ago:

> I find this point of view - that designers are inferior to developers - to be incredibly condescending and yet very typical of HN. I'm a developer, and I would hate to work with you or someone who holds this view point. You seem like poison in a development team.

It's not about skills, it's about goals.

There are roughly two main conflicting goals when building a product. One, make a product that delivers value to users. Two, make money off that product. In a perfect world, these two would be maximized simultaneously - leading to fair exchange of value between the customer and the provider. In the real world, people sacrifice the first in order to get more of the second.

UI/UX design as it is today is almost entirely about sacrificing utility to boost sales. All the trends parent commenters are complaining about exist to convince users to spend money by means other than delivering a useful product to them - be it by differentiation from others, by looking like popular players, by reducing functionality to make it look simpler when purchasing decision is made. Addiction-inducing design trends like timelines and notifications and loot boxes are a part of this too.

This is not failure of intelligence of individuals, this is a moral failure of the industry. And being on receiving end, as a software user, it's fucking annoying. So is being upstream from it, as a software developer doing their best to deliver value to user, only to see it shat upon because the organization adopts user-hostile design trends.

madeofpalk said 3 months ago:

> UI/UX design as it is today is almost entirely about sacrificing utility to boost sales.

I think this statement is just about as true for design as it is for development.

TeMPOraL said 3 months ago:

It isn't, because development is upstream from UI/UX design. You can have a software product delivering value to end-user without UI design. Might not be pretty, but it'll do the job. Whereas you can't have a software product delivering value to users without development work. Moreover, it's the UI that's the direct point of contact with the user and the driver of sales, so the pressure to screw users over is higher there.

That's not to say developers don't make choices sacrificing utility for sales - they do, and I bitch about this here plenty (for instance: bloat, invasive telemetry, privacy-hostile solutions, addiction-generating mechanics). But it doesn't look like a trend that's essentially consumed the discipline.

Mindwipe said 3 months ago:

> UI/UX design as it is today is almost entirely about sacrificing utility to boost sales.

I don't think this is true. Many undesirable qualities in modern design are due to a cult like belief in them by designers rather than just listening to users. Excessive use of white space in virtually all design being the most obvious one.

That's not generally because it boosts sales. It's because they've really drunk the kool aid that it's better.

dragonwriter said 3 months ago:

> Many undesirable qualities in modern design are due to a cult like belief in them by designers rather than just listening to users. Excessive use of white space in virtually all design being the most obvious one.

IIRC, negative space is one of those things that lay users tend to think is unimportant or even undesirable as a design element, but every empirical study of usability/reasability shows that it is important, and that lacking it produces negative reaction to the end product even if users don't attribute the reaction to the missing negative space, and that this result has held up with online design but was well-known even in older studies of print design.

TeMPOraL said 3 months ago:

That's still just "looks prettier". Yes, there is a degree at which the design is so ugly it interferes with its intended function, but we've taken the opposite up to 11. Negative space in modern design constantly interferes with intended function. Take a listing on an on-line store. A design making copious use of negative space may look stunningly beautiful, but a design that just follows the Gestalt principles but otherwise crams in 5x the number of items on a screen will make it easier for the user to choose the right item to buy, and will consume less of their time.

(This is not an invented example; when I was building a PC recently, I wrote userstyles to remove most of the negative space in UI of a shop I was buying parts from, just to not be driven to madness when trying to compare prices and features among available components.)

titzer said 3 months ago:

> A bunch of developers telling designers that their bad at their job, that the devs know better than them

Another view on this is that a new set of designers suddenly deciding that the old set of designers were bad at their job and just doing it over can end up pretty terrible for users. Some stuff doesn't need to be disrupted, dammit!

titzer said 3 months ago:

> that designers are inferior to developers

My comment was ranty, but I did not say that.

But fundamentally, it is not about who is inferior. It's about who's subjecting whom to constant change, and who is not listening to whom.

The problem is that it isn't "the designers" versus the developers anyway. We're all a little of both. The problem is that the sum total of all the little changes, both cosmetic and fundamental causes a drift over time. You don't see it until the timescale is long enough. Eventually you drift so far that nothing is familiar. (case in point: last time I used Windows was Win2k. Windows 10 is nothing like it. I have no clue how to do anything, and it is hard as fuck to learn, because there isn't much in the way of all that ugly "text" to help me out. There's no manual, no printed documentation. You gotta google everything, or use the built in searches. )

I find all this really frustrating. I'm worse than a novice. I used to be good at this. Now I'm a dinosaur. I literally cannot use the tools that I was good at 10-20 years ago. While change is constant in modern life, software, and particularly The Web, have accelerated change to a point where we are, as I say in my OP, robbing ourselves of skillsets when using software as a tool.

I mean, talk to someone who used Excel for 15 years, like friends of mine in marketing positions. Every revision. Changes. New functionality, but scrambling the old. And then one day their corporate overloads mandate a switch to Google docs, which not only has way less functionality, but is also all different. It's constantly changing too. The damn thing scrambles itself every 6 months. Eventually, the unconscious brain unlearns what it knew. And, worse it learns that how it is now is not how it will be. The brain won't bother learning anymore. So we stop actually becoming experts. Because what's the point if it's gonna get scrambled in < 2 years anyway?

> You're literally just making stuff up. Apple, probably the most infamous capricious design company, hasn't changed their File manager, settings menu, dock, or toolbar in 19 years.

Mac is relatively stable in the core things (thank god for that!) but Windows definitely not, Linux definitely not, and the web is a total other animal. Mac also drifts a lot. Look at iTunes. But the one MacOS example in a sea of drifting, changing, usually breaking and getting worse, crapass apps isn't really worth much.

stickfigure said 3 months ago:

I'm going to play a bit of devil's advocate here.

When a developer adds a feature to an application, he/she generally reaches for the boring stock widgets in the UI library. It's a full time job just wiring together these components! You end up with an app that looks more or less like every other app. Good for usability, maybe bad for aesthetics.

When a designer adds a feature to an application, their mind is freed from the constraints of the toolbox. Their job is to imagine a better way! Their only constraint is Photoshop. You get... new ideas.

This is of course a cartoonish illustration of these roles, which overlap considerably. But I think there's a kernel of truth to it.

harimau777 said 3 months ago:

I see where you are coming from, but to play Devil's advocate: My understanding of Design Thinking is that the entire idea is that the people using a tool know better than the designers. Designers are supposed to interview them and develop a product that better meets their needs. Instead it seems like many designers make something that they think looks cool (e.g. the touch bar and ultra-thinness on Apple laptops) and expect the tool to adapt around it. It seems like in many cases (thin Mac-books, infinite scroll, UI animations) this actually makes the tool less well suited for the person using it.

cljs-js-eval said 3 months ago:

You can test this directly by asking what piece of user feedback prompted small visual features of the design. If half or more of the design decisions have some kind of backing in experimental data (including interview/qualitative data, that counts too!) you're good. If almost nothing about the design can be directly tied back to experimental data, the designer has gone wrong.

I've worked at several places where the designers made a big show of interviewing/looking at data, but then could not incorporate any aspect of it into their designs. Unsurprisingly, their tools weren't used or appreciated.

_Codemonkeyism said 3 months ago:

"I find this point of view - that designers are inferior to developers"

The parent didn't make that point.

madeofpalk said 3 months ago:

> Regardless of whether you meant or not, that's what I see here

kristianc said 3 months ago:

> Regardless of whether you meant or not, that's what I see here. A bunch of developers telling designers that their bad at their job, that the devs know better than them, and devs know how to tell designers to do their jobs.

It's exactly the same with marketers. Or managers. Or anyone who isn't a developer for that matter.

thrower123 said 3 months ago:

A sentiment that I have seen quite often, and seen work out in practice, is that you can take a developer, and make them into a designer or a marketer or a manager. The reverse process goes much less well.

sonnyblarney said 3 months ago:

"Designers fundamentally do not understand that software is a tool that people use to get things done. "

They understand.

Also 'UI design' and 'design' are separate disciplines, often conflated into the same thing.

'UI designers' 100% understand the nature of 'usability' it's the core of their job - they provide for the actual experience that users will encounter, and it's very hard.

Having done quite a lot of UI design and software, I think the former might be hard in many cases - there are just so many intangibles, and everything cross-cuts making coherency often difficult, moreover 'there are no perfect answers'.

Consider the Google home page, and how many features actually exist in Google search that the vast majority of people are not aware of. The 'google search bar' is the 'most used UI in the world' and my gosh do they have to worry about how to extend that to the range of 'barely literate' people, to regular users, to power-searchers.

Consider the other 'most popular UI': Windows. The Windows 10 release was a fiasco, consider that the richest company in the world struggled to map to a new UI paradigm for a variety of reasons.

At least with software we tend to derive an objective, and we 'solve the problem'. We can say 'it's done' (to a certain degree) and even test for completeness.

TeMPOraL said 3 months ago:

> how many features actually exist in Google search that the vast majority of people are not aware of

And why they're not aware of them? Google does an excellent job of hiding features sought by users (and then sunsetting them when they're not used; I wonder why they're not used). The design there does not serve the users' needs.

sonnyblarney said 3 months ago:

"When branding hits hammers"

Hammers were probably some of the very first things 'branded'.

You want a quality, reliable, robust tool, and surely blacksmiths and makers developed their own reputations for quality among other things.

Branding can be some flakey mumbo jumbo, but it doesn't have to be, in fact in shouldn't be. The three rules of branding are 'authenticity, simplicity and consistency' - and the better brands are good at '1' i.e. 'authenticity', meaning the brand truly reflects the nature of the product or organization.

kristianc said 3 months ago:

> I've been using computers since the early 90s. Essentially none of the things I learned early on apply anymore. Fuck, we don't even have menus that explain to us in native language what actions are available to us.

Yes, this screenshot of MacOS 9 from 1999 clearly bears no resemblance to anything we use today:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_Mac_OS#/media/File%3...

magduf said 3 months ago:

Mac is really a bit of an exception.

Try comparing Windows 98 to Windows 10.

Or some random website from 1999 to that same site now.

sb636 said 3 months ago:

I'm a UI designer titzer, do you hate me?

titzer said 3 months ago:

No, it's a rant, it's supposed to be over the top. But wait, are you planning on redesigning a tool I use every day? :)

spectramax said 3 months ago:

Good point about the differentiating factor in branding.

I think about design in same way, whether its web design, garden design or industrial design. For example, similar trends have picked up in Cars. RGB mood lighting - everyone is adding it now without fundamentally considering its utilitarian value. Or even if they realize it is "decoration", market forces and consumer choices are obliging car manufacturers to install RGB interior lighting. Same thing with brake light bars that span the entire width of the car. Even 2020 Porsche 911 had to add one!

rypskar said 3 months ago:

At least the RGB interior lighting is better than the "lets have all instruments in blue to ruin night-vision" trend

davidivadavid said 3 months ago:

Oh, to be sure, there are thoughtless design decisions that are made. Note that that kind of trend chasing to get to feature parity is often just bad product management rather than design per se.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

I wish there was more information about design in regimented and disciplined fields such as Aviation where marketing is deprioritized and utilitarianism, pragmatism and functionalism takes precedence. Cockpit design, radar screen layout, nuclear power plant control panels, etc are fascinating areas of design where lives are at stake. All the fluff in consumer design takes a back seat.

davidivadavid said 3 months ago:

I would certainly appreciate that kind of content too, maybe I'll do some research. But I can also see it both ways — applying functionalism to things like fashion is often a surprising source of insights and epiphanies.

reaperducer said 3 months ago:

I'm just not a fan of Material. I've tried to like it, but it just won't stick.

I know a lot of people think Material=Professional. But I think Material looks more like a small business using a drag-and-drop home page builder. Yes, that goes for the Android interface, too.

I never understood the hatred for skeuomorphism. It's intuitive. It's pretty. It's colorful. It's artistic. A bunch of stacked squares isn't any of those things.

Fortunately, I still have a launch day iPhone that I occasionally use for music, and it can't be "upgraded" out of its skeuomorphic splendor.

afiori said 3 months ago:

IMO, when well done, Material design looks like skeuomorphism for movement.

That is probably correlated with my taste for minimalist/stylized animation/graphics.

Arguably often it appears just low effort, empty and forgettable.

dpau said 3 months ago:

Although I really dislike the look of Material (especially when used on websites), design systems like it allow us to create consistent user experiences across applications. They might not be ground-breaking in terms of the history of graphic design, but we care more about usability and accessibility. UI design is not progressing in Hegelian fashion towards a utopic ideal, but rather it is continuously adapting to new formats, devices, and environments. Much of design is concerned as much with limitations as it is possibilities. (Anyone remember 256-color web-safe palettes?) I'm not entirely sure what you are not happy with in modern design- that it is not static? The constant exploration of design possibilities on new platforms, from phones to VR, seems quite necessary and important to me...

huehehue said 3 months ago:

What tickles me is that Google's designs (and re-designs) are so wildly inconsistent between products that any benefit of a unified design system is negated. Maybe it's too optimistic to expect universal consistency for a company or Google's size anyway.

Opinion: I also find that, while each Material component seems intuitive in isolation, systems layering many if them together usually end up very difficult to use.

sonnyblarney said 3 months ago:

Google's products don't seem to have any kind of consistency whatsoever, it seems it's rather a function of their culture. The designers I guess have more influence in some areas than others.

I cannot find my way around YouTube creator after all these years.

reaperducer said 3 months ago:

allow us to create consistent user experiences across applications

The problem is that they are consistently bad. Web design has stagnated because of Material. There's little innovation going on because Material is "good enough" and "everyone else is doing it." That breeds mediocrity, not advancement.

acct1771 said 3 months ago:

For breathing life into outdated industries, Material is more than "good enough".

For lack of better (less charged) phrasing, it's revolutionary.

sbr464 said 3 months ago:

Swiss/International Style Grunge/Punk Posters:

https://www.swissted.com/

spectramax said 3 months ago:

Wow, Josef Muller-Brockmann and the rest of the 60's swiss clan is rolling in their graves. Very cool.

In 2025, we will see a resurgence of GNU.org style websites. Times New Roman fonts, no css only tables, <3kb markup sites. Baskerville is going to make a huge comeback! Most code will be in Computer-Modern fonts and dot matrix printers will be prized on eBay. Future is gonna be fricking amazing! We are going to have APOD style posters!

sbr464 said 3 months ago:

I feel like we would get along. I keep a Dieter Rams and Adrien Frutiger book next to my keyboard, and also gladly own a dot matrix printer, for nostalgic reasons, (with fresh ink and a box of paper, drivers installed, ready to use at any time).

Edit, photos:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/leumkzmi0xzvuy7/AAB3V76Y4OSSJQ9nC...

spectramax said 3 months ago:

Super cool! If you want more suggestions, I have hundreds of Design books, my email is on HN profile.

acct1771 said 3 months ago:

The reasons we'll revert to low bandwidth sites/files won't be amazing, though (decentralized meshnets = freedom).

KON_Air said 3 months ago:

I don't find these things really work as well as a real misaligned offset printer.

notjustanymike said 3 months ago:

You sound just like a baby boomer complaining about how all music is bad these days. There's no new pattern here: good design, like good music, is remembered while bad design is forgotten. There were repetitive design patterns and lazy emulation ten and twenty years ago, just like there are now, but we don't talk about them much.

I personally coded way more table based drop shadows, tickers, and splash screens than I wanted to. Those ideas then, just as now, came from lazy product managers, small budgets, and general mediocrity.

blitmap said 3 months ago:

I found his commentary constructive. I didn't realize we had gone through several periods of "this design is the most popular". I think he's expressing that people hop on bandwagons rather than understanding the concepts or disciplines behind the design. Design taken as seriously as architecture.

toiletfuneral said 3 months ago:

No, he’s not expressing that “people jumping on bandwagon” because he literally opens his comment with “I have a problem with designers” specifically.

And it’s a strange ignorance to only attribute trendiness to a single discipline.

atoav said 3 months ago:

Beeing a designer is not easy. Other than in programming or e.g. in sound mixing, everybody has (strong) opinions on design. Ever met a boss who came into the room looked at you code and told you to use library x instead of the thing you used the past three weeks? Stuff like this only happens to designers, because everybody believes they can judge design. The client that makes a design in MSWord and wants you to do exactly that still exists — why they hired you when they already have it remains a mystery.

On top of that you have so many free templates and drag and drop website designers, as a designer you can’t really afford making good design unless your customer is a multinational company, because customers will always compare you with the cheap online service. This means most designers are basically forced to use something fast, that looks halfway decent by economic reasons. Of course there are always those who really think what they do is great, but I don’t think they are in the majority.

That beeing said, I love the interfaces of old professional electronic gear (and lately I have been working in some myself). I don’t think you can transfer that in a good way to the flat screen without adjustments. Let’s not forget the abnominations bad skeuomorphic design produced, every trend will consist of a lot of cheap trash always.

pault said 3 months ago:

I started my career as a designer and this is why I migrated to software engineering. If you're a designer, everyone with a pair of eyeballs thinks they know how to do your job. If you're a developer, everyone thinks you're a genius if your code doesn't crash.

filoleg said 3 months ago:

>If you're a developer, everyone thinks you're a genius if your code doesn't crash

This hurts on a personal level. While it is a very convenient thing if you are a solo developer, it can easily become a pain on a team, where some engineers care about code quality noticeably less than others and non-developers (e.g., PMs) get involved.

atoav said 3 months ago:

He is probably talking about the perception regular customers get of your profession. You could be a graphic design god, unless you really play the role of such god and demand a god's salery, every incompetent middle manager will believe they have more expertice than you, bike shedding all over the place.

This rarely ever happens if you are a developer interacting with similar people (e.g. as a freelancer). They think you are some kind of magician. Similar when you are a good audio engineer or something, they will just let you do your thing.

The funny thing is: this perception is completely independent of the quality of your work. They will always have something to say – sometimes even stuff that makes sense, but very often just for the sake of it, with no real reason. Everybody thinks they have a good taste and a great eye and what kind of graphics are needed, while in fact often they have none of the above.

pault said 3 months ago:

Or to put it another way, it's easy to (think you can) micro-manage a designer, but a non-technical person is incapable of micro-managing a developer.

harimau777 said 3 months ago:

This may just be me being a grumpy old man, but it seems to me that part of the problem might be that most people with the job title "designer" aren't really designers they are artists. What I mean is: my understanding is that design is supposed to be a rigorous discipline based on principles such as color theory, proportions, psychology/culture, and usability. Instead it seems like the focus is on looking pretty and functionality is an afterthought.

To be fair, I think you see the same thing with "software engineers". Many don't have any interest in disciplined engineering or the principles of computer science, they just want to write code.

Zak said 3 months ago:

While the other trends you're mentioning are primarily aesthetic, dark themes have a significant ergonomic motivation in that they allow sufficient contrast at much lower luminance. I've long thought pervasive dark themes were overdue given smartphones greatly increasing the number of users looking at screens in environments not resembling brightly-lit offices.

They also save power on OLED as the guidelines and other commenters have mentioned.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

Also, how easy they are on the eyes - most popular IDE themes tend to be dark. My rant was venting about "trends" in aesthetics. When trends emerge due to underlying technical reason (DPI/resolution, power savings, etc.) they add a tremendous value. I remember writing php backend to process 1x and 2x images when Retina screens had just released in 2012. That led to responsive images and many other advancements on the Desktop UI side - all good things.

keyle said 3 months ago:

You've highlighted all very well. The reason I posted these guidelines though is because I found they at least reasoned really well about it. Their guidelines follow a logic that's hard to deny.

And OLED surprisingly saves a lot of power on Dark Mode, so it's kind of our duty to follow suit.

The saddest part of the (pseudo-)loss of the skeuomorphic design was the fact that many very talented designers found themselves underused, tweaking gradients, while their icon design was an art.

gdubs said 3 months ago:

Dark Themes and features like Apple’s Night Shift are accessibility features. People need the option of working at night or in dark rooms (like a film editing bay) without being blasted by bright blue and white light; and they need the text to remain readable without causing eye-strain.

kristianc said 3 months ago:

> Traditional graphic design has largely been “solved” by the 1960’s - aka, the International style or the Swiss style for majority of needs.

This makes about as much sense as saying music was ‘solved’ by Radiohead or Nirvana. Trends change as culture and tastes change. People deride ‘hipsterism’ but without them we would all be drinking lousy beer, eating crappy burgers and drinking low quality coffee. Trends change, challenge what’s gone before and make things nicer.

chrisweekly said 3 months ago:

I hear you, but I also think it might be a bit myopic to focus too much on aesthetics / visual trends, when the primary value provided by a thorough design system like Material is its coherence and consistency. Building UI on such a foundation can help to prevent some of the unjustifiable, trendy or arbitrary decisions that inevitably arise when there's no underlying system at all.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

I agree, frameworks provide a consistent basis to build and retain the same coherent aesthetic + behavior. iOS design docs, Material.io, Brand guidelines, etc... are all valuable.

My rant is rather a lofty take on the entire culture of design. I had to let it out. :-)

pen2l said 3 months ago:

> It is 2019 and every new Saas service looks like Stripe, following trends like a mindless herd.

Huh, really? I'm still seeing Bootstrap everywhere. I wish I was seeing Stripe everywhere.

Can you give some examples of Stripe-inspired design? I'm curious to see some examples of execution of that.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

OpenAI.com, Ghost.org comes to mind.

"Is it just me or do all new tech websites look like stripe?"

https://www.designernews.co/stories/94103-is-it-just-me-or-d...

Here is a quick run down: https://www.pages.xyz/

Fnoord said 3 months ago:

> Traditional graphic design has largely been “solved” by the 1960’s - aka, the International style or the Swiss style for majority of needs. Of course you’re not gonna have Univers on a grunge band poster. For the curious, google some posters by Josef Muller-Brockmann from the 50’s - they still appear to be designed in 2019.

A documentary touching that subject is Helvetica [1]. It is about the Helvetica font.

[1] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0847817/

tlrobinson said 3 months ago:

In other words: get off my lawn.

Seriously though, I like the Swiss/International aesthetic, are there any CSS frameworks / design systems / whatever that implement it?

spectramax said 3 months ago:

http://tachyons.io comes to mind.

vector_spaces said 3 months ago:

http://tachyons.io/docs/themes/skins/

Love this page in their docs. I constantly refer to it when I need to think about colors even in non-web/technical endeavors

dugluak said 3 months ago:

Not everybody gets the luxury to afford a good designer. Frameworks like Bootstrap/Bumla help developers with poor aesthetic sense or simply not having time to deal with design nuances across different browsers a way to deliver better looking applications.

nkozyra said 3 months ago:

I'm missing something - Stripe appears a pretty textbook example of Material Design.

said 3 months ago:
[deleted]
ipsum2 said 3 months ago:

It seems like you know a lot about design, so what's wrong with Stripe-styled websites? I'm a big fan of their design. Also, what does "Bumla-lizing" mean? When I Google it, I get this comment.

alaskamiller said 3 months ago:

He thinks homogenization is bad. You're a big fan of a design that's now copied over and over again, at digital agencies, it's a default client ask. They see x and assume x is expensive and wants x, then thousands of Indian devs and designers spend their man hours to replicate it, therefore we further pollute the internet with the same regurgitation of perceived good taste.

It's like saying you like a pop song that broke through, it's okay to like a pop song. But then you have to live through a dearth of similar pop songs over and over again for awhile.

He also made a typo, he meant Bulma CSS.

lessclue said 3 months ago:

Homogenization is not limited to software UI design. Consumer electronics and appliances, retail fashion etc. are globally homogenized. That's just how the world works.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

I was referring to Bulma CSS framework: https://bulma.io/

anoncake said 3 months ago:

> For the curious, google some posters by Josef Muller-Brockmann from the 50’s - they still appear to be designed in 2019.

I disagree, it's quite obvious they were designed in the 50s/60s.

spectramax said 3 months ago:

Are we looking at the same posters?

https://i.imgur.com/BJzS7aw.jpg

No way you can say this is 50’s, can you? If so, what gives it away?

anoncake said 3 months ago:

They really look like 60's posters. I just included the 50's because some of the posters are actually from the late 50's. In fact, the left one you linked advertises an event happening on "dienstag, 5. mai 1959". The right one seems to be from 1959 too but I'm not sure.

hulahoof said 3 months ago:

The colour palette for me has a bit of a dated feel, although I assume these are scans of the originals and would probably look right at home if freshly printed.

anoncake said 3 months ago:

I think it's the writing too. All-lowercase writing was more common in the 60s and the font[1] is not that common today.

[1] https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/castletype/standard/medium/ according to Whatthefont

cphuntington97 said 3 months ago:

It reminds me of Broadway Boogie Woogie which is from the 40s…

Kiro said 3 months ago:

So you're not a designer but somehow is an authority on the subject? No, you have opinions. Which are just subjective as any designer's opinions.

caprese said 3 months ago:

> google some posters by Josef Muller-Brockmann from the 50’s - they still appear to be designed in 2019

these would make for a kickass site and app designs

Randomswiss said 3 months ago:

I agree and I don't think following Swiss/international design "guidelines" would constraint designers about creativity

_pmf_ said 3 months ago:

They need to keep things moving to keep their employment; there really is not much more to it. As to why Google can not find more pressing things for them to work on, I don't know.

glup said 3 months ago:

Dark mode comment: in the last week of traveling, I have been asked twice by strangers in airports what programming language I am using. In both cases I was writing an email in OS X mail in dark mode.

benatkin said 3 months ago:

Are you a developer? If so, you may have unintentionally provided subtle hints to them that you're a developer. Everyone seems to be able to guess that I'm a developer regardless of what I'm doing and whether or not I'm wearing a tech-related t-shirt. If they think you're a developer, it's not surprising they would be quick to leap to the conclusion that you're writing code.

komali2 said 3 months ago:

My off the cuff guess: Someone saw a young person in casual clothing in an environment that made it obvious they were non-local (i.e. a white dude in a Chinese airport or something) in an off-season for tourism, and thought "well they're either here for business or pleasure, and one of the few people that can afford a pleasure trip in the middle of the year like this (money + time off) is a developer."

Kinda fun to think about all the subtle clues we're giving off without even realizing it. Of course any of these observations could lead to a totally wrong conclusion, which makes me start to think of all the fun ways you could "disguise" yourself in modern society.

filoleg said 3 months ago:

It might be even simpler than that. Add to the mix a Macbook with some conference or software-related stickers and glasses, and there you got it.

localhostdotdev said 3 months ago:

you were programming in text, a very popular programming language that i'm using right now :)

here is a peg grammar:

    text = $.*
you can try it at https://pegjs.org/online :)

edit: sry to disappoint but this matches binary files too :(

nine_k said 3 months ago:

In a modern IDE, syntax highlighting is quite important, and varied. On a light background it's much harder to distinguish differences in hue than on a dark background. With a couple dozen highlight types this easily becomes a problem when you can't tell two different but similar hues and lose the syntax highlighting signal. An attempt to reduce eyestrain by making not all colors garish makes this task harder yet.

gnicholas said 3 months ago:

The author suggests using dark gray instead of black, but then also says that when pixels are completely deactivated on OLED, it saves energy. These seem to be contradictory pieces of advice. What am I missing?

the_gipsy said 3 months ago:

They also suggest to another reason to avoid black: it makes scrolling laggy on OLED screens, from turning pixels on and off.

Perhaps instead the UI could just slightly bump everything from black to the darkest gray, until the scrolling has finished?

owenwil said 3 months ago:

In the accessibility section[1] they discuss the problem of using true black: OLED Smudge. If you turn off OLED pixels and the display suddenly needs to turn them back on, they usually are too slow to do so, and cause a visual artefact that appears to the user as smudging up the screen—which can feel like the display itself is broken. This occurs on most OLED displays, including high end ones in devices like iPhone XS and Pixel 3, and is largely why true black interfaces should not be used.

> "On OLED screens, turning pixels on and off can cause a delay when the screen is scrolled, making the pixels blur."

[1] https://material.io/design/color/dark-theme.html#properties

ganzuul said 3 months ago:

People also dim their displays to save battery, making it look like the backlight is broken.

Win some, lose some.

Kamshak said 3 months ago:

I think they say this specifically, grey is better to distinguish shadows but if you want to conserve energy you can go with true black.

> UIs that require efficient battery usage can use true black. In these cases, some devices (such as wearables with OLED screens) can turn off any pixels that display black to conserve battery power.

soulofmischief said 3 months ago:

...I feel like all UIs should require efficient battery usage, and UIs that don't are an anti-pattern.

marcusjt said 3 months ago:

Yes but whether dark is more efficient or not depends on screen technology, plus there's battery level, viewing conditions and user preferences to factor in, so ultimately it's up to the phone OS / supporting software to make smart decisions about what's the right theme to show at any given moment.

soulofmischief said 3 months ago:

That seems a bit orthogonal to my statement.

Regardless of specific hardware implementations, it can be agreed upon that patterns which can cause some non-negligible amount devices to be less energy efficient are anti-patterns.

said 3 months ago:
[deleted]
seanyesmunt said 3 months ago:

Using black saves the most energy, but using gray still uses less energy than white. For a gray pixel, OLED devices just lower the power output for that pixel.

I'm pretty sure it works a little differently, but that's the idea.

mattdeboard said 3 months ago:

> Dark themes reduce the luminance emitted by device screens, while still meeting minimum color contrast ratios. They help improve visual ergonomics by reducing eye strain, adjusting brightness to current lighting conditions, and facilitating screen use in dark environments – all while conserving battery power. Devices with OLED screens benefit from the ability to turn off black pixels at any time of day.

Why is light UI the default if dark theme confers so many advantages?

otterley said 3 months ago:

I'm no UX expert, but my guess from experience is that most people use their computers in bright environments; and dark backgrounds combined with glossy screens have much more glare in bright environments than light backgrounds on such screens.

bondolo said 3 months ago:

The brightness of the UI should match the ambient light in the environment. Light UI in daylight, Dark UI at night. Brightness adjustments applied to both based on the ambient light. Some people may also prefer hue adjustments (blue reduction) for low ambient light along the lines of f.lux, Night Shift, Night Light, etc.

WorldMaker said 3 months ago:

I rolled my eyes when the top of the page said that Dark Mode was "supplementary". On a modern OLED the advantages of Dark Mode really should be obvious to everyone. True Black, entirely unlit pixels are great. (It's also why my pet peeve is so many designers using lit dark gray pixels in Dark Mode designs for background elements that don't need "depth" at all.)

I know people that prefer light themes for very reasonable aesthetic reasons (dark themes can seem "moody" or "gothic" to some), but I've still convinced some of them on the battery life arguments.

flamtap said 3 months ago:

I imagine it's a lot to do with history, going back to black-on-white being the way that people were used to seeing text on paper.

It's also more effort to develop a dark theme, in my experience. Most frameworks and project templates just start you off with a light theme.

gnicholas said 3 months ago:

> Caution: On OLED screens, turning pixels on and off can cause a delay when the screen is scrolled, making the pixels blur.

Never knew this, but I do recall seeing the blur when scrolling iPhone Xs in-store.

theodorton said 3 months ago:

This goes both ways, so we should avoid completely black text. I might be wrong, but scrolling on HN on iPhone X seems to produce some weird effect as well.

komali2 said 3 months ago:

This makes me think of my favorite vscode theme: Default High Contrast. https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/editor/accessibility You can see it there if you scroll down.

It reminds me of old vector graphic games like Tempest. I don't know much about design, but I feel like it's "harder" to contrast with black than white, and so the bright lines of color against the black background actually give me happy feelings. Weird, but I genuinely think it improves my coding experience.

I like it so much I've been slowly porting the theme to Emacs: https://github.com/komali2/Emacs-VSCode-Default-High-Contras...

When I have some spare time I'd like to sit down and actually learn more about design concepts around these kinds of dark high contrast visualizations, and old vector graphics. Ideally I'd like to learn how to incorporate them into my own web and game design... one day!

tozeur said 3 months ago:

That’s also my favorite theme! I love the simplicity. If only they had a slightly less contrasty version of it, I’d use it 100% of the time.

Uptrenda said 3 months ago:

Is there anything like a web standard for theming? I.e. you have a browser that makes a query to some standard interface for supported themes on a website and it would automatically choose the type that you prefer. Values could be things like high contrast mode, dark mode, or even minimal (that was largely text-only.) Then there would be auto-magic dark mode on all major websites.

scotchio said 3 months ago:

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {}

Mixed with root variables

guessmyname said 3 months ago:

Safari Release 81 renamed “supported-color-schemes” to “color-scheme” [1].

But it seems that “prefers-color-scheme” is still, well, preferred [2].

[1] https://developer.apple.com/safari/technology-preview/releas...

[2] https://caniuse.com/#search=color-scheme

tambre said 3 months ago:

supported-color-schemes is a HTML tag indicating if the website supports dark mode (useful for auto-darkening support) and the media query is for actually implementing it.

Uptrenda said 3 months ago:

+1 this is cool

duxup said 3 months ago:

That little circle plus menu button always seems out of place to me, just really disconnected.

pcl said 3 months ago:

Doesn't load for me in Safari, but works in Chrome. From the JS console:

    ReferenceError: Can't find variable: IntersectionObserver
jhoh said 3 months ago:

That's just Apple not implementing modern web standards. Just wait a couple months or years and they might implement the IntersectionObserver. Until then you'll have to use polyfills to support Safari which Google obviously didn't do here.

fells said 3 months ago:

Or travel back in time a month. It was added in Safari 12.1.

https://webkit.org/blog/8718/new-webkit-features-in-safari-1...

jhoh said 3 months ago:

Wow, just two years after Chrome, Firefox, Opera and even Edge added it!

https://caniuse.com/#feat=intersectionobserver

thorgilbjornson said 3 months ago:

Does this mean that Google's disappointing lack of dark mode support will change? It's pretty disappointing, given that they themselves have admitted that their omnipresent white drains device battery life faster.

gipp said 3 months ago:

They announced coming dark mode support like 6 months ago. Android Q has it system-wide.

Kiro said 3 months ago:

I hate Material Design but this looks great. Where can I find a Bootstrap version?

del_operator said 3 months ago:

Working on a dark theme UI, currently. I appreciate our design team developing rules around this, many similarities, and creating easy to use components and types to rapidly develop new dark theme features. They also iteratively extract and standardize more reused and mature UI components into a design lib. It’s nice to be able see those in isolation with various states and config.

saagarjha said 3 months ago:

> The higher a surface’s elevation (raising it closer to an implied light source), the lighter that surface becomes. That lightness is expressed through the application of a semi-transparent white overlay.

This is a strange choice, considering that the guide has a very strong discouragement against emulating shadows…

Kamshak said 3 months ago:

What do you mean by discouragement against emulating shadows? As I read it the shadows stay the same as on the light theme. Are you referring to what they call "glows"?

> In a dark theme, components retain the same default elevation levels and shadows as components in lighter themes

It looks pretty good in the examples they give IMO. Considering that the default makes such heavy use of elevation it makes sense to keep that concept in the UI.

> Default themes use shadows to express elevation, while a dark theme also expresses elevation by adjusting the surface

saagarjha said 3 months ago:

I can't find it anymore, but the Material Design Guidelines had a thing at some point which warned against emulating shadows in place of actually changing elevation.

soulofmischief said 3 months ago:

Well, all CSS shadows are emulated. CSS doesn't have a lighting engine. The docs you are thinking of [0] suggest that elevation is suggested by shadow morphology. Actual elevation in CSS (3D translations along the Z-axis) is useful for scaling effects to create a sense of perspective, but Material guidelines dictate you should just keep it simple and emulate a light source from which you derive a set of emulated shadows.

What works for me in this case is a Sass mixin which accepts a layer as an integer in the range 1-N and casts a shadow based on that layer and the total depth N. Consistency is key.

[0] https://material.io/design/environment/light-shadows.html#sh...

[1] https://material.io/design/environment/elevation.html#depict...

dugluak said 3 months ago:

In the System Icons section they have this tagline "Simplify icons for greater clarity and legibility." below an abstract icon of a so called ship - [https://material.io/design/iconography/system-icons.html?ima...]

Which I think is ironic.

Because if you see just that icon it's really hard to recognize what it is, I bet many won't see a ship it (at least I didn't). Only because of a realistic ship icon shown next to it that one realizes that it is in fact a ship.

lowdose said 3 months ago:

Is it my perception or is the purple colour off?

It's almost as if Apple beat Google with their Mojave dark theme with shades of green. Now the material design spec cannot be associated with the same dark / green... except for the plus thumb button on the bottom left.

simplesleeper said 3 months ago:

Reds should be used instead of neon colours, to preserve night vision

chvid said 3 months ago:

Page is white and empty except for a top bar in Safari / Mac ... there is an error in the js console ...

huxflux said 3 months ago:

Ping @MicrosoftOutlookAndroid/IOS - Make this happen!

julienreszka said 3 months ago:

Probalem with dark themes are reflection on the screen

Zak said 3 months ago:

That can be an issue. I think dark themes are primarily intended for environments with lower ambient light and fewer sources of glare, though matte displays make them more usable in other conditions.

What this means is there should be an easily accessible, systemwide toggle e.g. Android's quicksettings that asks apps and websites for the theme the user wants at that moment. This is something I've wanted for years, and I'm surprised I haven't seen more people calling for it.

julienreszka said 3 months ago:

GPS automatically changes theme when you go under tunnel why can't we do this by detecting luminosity of the room?

Zak said 3 months ago:

We can, unless you're an app developer on iOS - Apple won't let you use the light sensor.

vince14 said 3 months ago:

Matte display

cloverich said 3 months ago:

God I hope that the rising popularity of dark mode will in turn raise desires for resurrecting matte displays. I miss them so much. I"m not well read on the subject though -- I hope there are no technical limitations to making high quality matte displays that would limit them (technically).

nine_k said 3 months ago:

Reflections on the screen is a problem with the screen. Even when 95% of the screen is white background, things like lamps still reflect badly on a glossy screen and produce eyestrain.

carmate383 said 3 months ago:

Dark mode guideline of the century: don't.