Confessions of the Professions Introduces Night / Dark Mode
August 28, 2015 — The other night, I was on Confessions of the Professions really late, writing articles, scanning previous articles, and doing some work on the website. I could not help but notice that my eyes seemed strained, so on my computer settings, I turned on the option for Contrast Mode, which inverts the colors. Everything that is white becomes black and everything that is black becomes white. It tends to help with reading web pages and articles at night. When there is no bright white light illuminating from the screen, reading becomes much easier. Unfortunately, when the contrast mode is enabled, the images also become inverted, so the photo looks as if it were a negative, and all photos, especially those with human beings, become creepy, and it is definitely not something you want to see at night, alone in the dark. Not very ideal for a feature to offer to readers.
Then the idea came! The ability to invert colors would be a great feature to offer to visitors. Why not offer readers the ability to click a button and have Confessions of the Professions transformed into a website designed for night reading? Not only is there a benefit of a dark website to the eyes, but a white bright screen tends to put out more energy. A search engine, called Blackle, created by Heap Media, which is not affiliated with Google, but uses the Custom Google Search, has made the entire website black. Instead of using Google, which is an all white website, Blackle encourages visitors to dim their screens, to use their search engine instead in order to save more energy. In Blackle’s About Section, they explain a black Google could save a lot of energy, 750 megawatt-hours per year. That is enough energy to run a power plant. In digging further, an article entitled ‘Black Pixels are the New Green Pixels‘ states, “background to background, black comes in at about 59 watts, white is at 74, a full 15 watts higher.”
There is other research to show that the claim, ‘Black is the new Green’ is not necessarily true, specifically for newer monitors.
Another benefit is that many people do have very light-sensitive eyes and have a very hard time reading the screen, especially at night, because it is so bright. It feels as if the eyes are staring into direct sunlight, that it burns and the eyes are strained so much they cannot focus on the screen because of the white light illuminating from all the whitespace on the page. Websites that have different colors or use less whitespace are slightly easier on the eyes, but all-white websites do cause issues for many people.
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While we will not be permanently going to a black website, we feel it is a great advantage to many of our users to have the option to go dark. Any page on Confessions of the Professions can manually be put into dark mode by adding ?dark to the end of any URL which will turn the page from white to black in moments. Our hope is to accommodate all of our visitors, no matter what their handicapped, or reading style is. We hope any visitors wishing to utilize the feature will find a darker website more comforting. The feature can be found on every confession, right below the headline of the article. A lightbulb can also be found in the navigation menu, which will darken or lighten the entire website on a page-by-page basis. The lightbulb icon is solid black with a light bulb in the center. Dark / Night Mode does work on mobile smartphones and tablets.