Dark Mode and Dyslexia

Microblog #16

I struggled with minor dyslexia as a kid. It took me until I was thirteen years old to read my first novel-length book. I ended up loving that book so much that I forced myself to overcome the issue so I could read more. (For comparison, my six-year-old son is reading about five chapter books per week.)

I discovered later in life that reading on dark pages with light text actually helped me read easier. The words didn’t blend together as much. Letters looked normal on the page.

Now, when I start a new project, I automatically default to dark mode because that’s easiest for me—and likely easier for those out there with the same reading struggles. I make a point to understand that likely not every user enjoys dark mode. We have to design for the user, after all.

But something we also need to understand as designers is that we can’t fit every user into a single box. People aren’t all the same. Some struggle with dyslexia, and like a dark mode. Some struggle with eye sight, and like a larger text. Some struggle with color blindness, and can’t tell red and green from each other.

We need to be conscious of who we’re designing for, and how our designs impact they way they engage with the product.

Hi! I’m Ben. I design experiences and develop stories.