The days of getting overly excited about an OS release have passed for me. Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky or maybe operating systems reached “good enough” status a while ago. But either way, it’s not something I get worked up for.
But I’ll cop to being curious to try out Mojave’s dark mode.
I browse Ars with our in-house dark mode (you’ll find it in the upper-right three-bar hamburger menu if you haven’t tried it yourself yet), I use night mode on Twitter, and I find myself more comfortable with darker interfaces these days.
I upgraded to Mojave on my iMac yesterday and found the installer had already pre-selected the dark option for me, presumably because I ran the dark menu bar on High Sierra. Seemed like a good sign.
Unfortunately, I have to say I don’t love it. And the reason is pretty simple: it’s not actually dark enough. Apple seemed hesitant to really commit to the idea, and we ended up with a lot of fairly light grays and not nearly enough contrast. When I want dark I want closer to black, and I want my icons to feel crisp and well-defined, not sink into their background color.
Having designed the dark mode for Ars, I know it can be hard sometimes to translate design ideas into an inverted color scheme. But I find Apple’s choices puzzling. Not only is the background gray for the top chrome on an app like Safari too light for me (it can get especially odd-looking with the way it’s semi-translucent for page backgrounds scrolling behind it), but why are the buttons even lighter? The white icons fade too much into the background for easy visibility.
Personal preferences are what they are, but I’m curious if I’m alone in this. I mocked up a few examples of what Mojave’s dark mode would look like if it were closer to my personal vision, closer to black, with higher contrast. Let me know what you think in the comments: would you run this if possible?