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Designing with Dark Mode using CSS

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Designing with Dark Mode using CSS


In recent years, the rise of dark mode in user interfaces is on the top. This visually appealing trend not only reduces eye strain but also conserves device battery life on OLED screens. So as a web designer, understanding how to implement and design with dark mode using CSS is becoming increasingly important. In this blog, we’ll delve into the art of creating an effective and pleasing dark mode design using CSS.

Why Dark Mode?

Dark mode isn’t just a trend, it’s a design choice backed by practical benefits. One of the primary reasons for its popularity is reduced eye strain, especially in low-light environments. Additionally, dark mode can help conserve device battery life on OLED screens. Dark mode is not just only about inverting colors, it’s a comprehensive design concept that requires careful consideration of various elements.

CSS Variables

CSS variables, also known as custom properties, play a pivotal role in dark mode design. By defining variables for colors, you can easily switch between light and dark modes by altering a few values. This not only simplifies the process but also ensures consistency throughout your design.

:root {
  --background-color: #ffffff;
  --text-color: #333333;

body {
  background-color: var(--background-color);
  color: var(--text-color);

Managing Color Schemes

Choosing appropriate colors for your dark mode design is crucial. Use color palettes that offer a comfortable level of contrast. Dark backgrounds can work well with muted tones or even vibrant colors when balanced effectively. Ensure that text remains readable on the dark background by adjusting the text color accordingly.

Dealing with Images

Images can be trickier in dark mode designs. To ensure that images remain visually pleasing, consider using image formats that support transparency (like PNG) and adjust their transparency or apply a dark overlay. For example:

.image-container {
  position: relative;

.image-overlay {
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  left: 0;
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
  background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5); /* Dark overlay color */

Media Queries for Dark Mode

Media queries allow you to tailor your design based on the user’s preference. You can detect whether a user has enabled dark mode on their device and adjust your CSS accordingly:

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {
  /* Dark mode styles */

Testing and Refining

The key to successful dark mode design is testing across various devices and browsers. Pay attention to how different elements interact in both light and dark modes. Continuously refine your design based on user feedback and usage patterns.


Designing with dark mode using CSS is not just about switching colors, it’s about creating a cohesive and enjoyable user experience. The ultimate goal is to provide users with a visually appealing and comfortable interface, whether they choose to bask in the light or embrace the darkness.

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Aanchal Agarwal is a Software Consultant at NashTech. Her practice area is web development. She is recognized as a multi-talented, multitasker, and adaptive to the different work environments. Her hobbies include watching movies, listening to music, and traveling. She likes to read books and explore new things.

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