During the past 5 years, dark software and web designs has gained huge popularity, and stand to be the established trend nowadays.
Apple followed the tendency with its audiovisual softwares suite. When Logic Pro X first came out with a new dark skin, users split into advocator and hater groups. This was predictable. Not everybody likes change, especially when it has to do with working habits. It feels uncomfortable. Secondly, not everyone has the same eye sight. But putting personal inclinations aside, is there actually any solid data valuing one over the other?
Advantages of dark GUI
- Eye fatigue from video glare is reduced.
- Colours, when used to convey information like syntax highlighting, are easier to notice.
- Some medical conditions like photophobia are less aggravated by dark backgrounds.
- Less blue light could mean less description to the body sleep cycle if using the display in the evening.
- Light text on dark background can touch the very edge of the container without causing confusion = better use of space.
Advantages of bright GUI
- Less reflection : even if you are in a bright room, the whites will come through. You wont have to squint eyes with a bright theme, on the contrary a dark theme will act like a mirror. (backlit displays tend to mitigate that phenomenon).
- More readable in a well lit environment and consequently > less eye fatigue.
- Easy to read even when the fonts are too small or thin (especially on high resolution monitors)
We see here that both hold advantages over each other :
- Intensity of the room light
- Time of the day
- Type of display
Apple Logic Pro X does not live up to the standard
Nowadays software companies consciously provide multiple colour modes to their interfaces.
Adobe includes 4 different brightness modes to its suite of softwares.
Amongst the software I use on a regular basis: Illustrator, Blender, QuarkXpress and Unity3d all offers the possibility to switch between light and dark themes.
When Apple introduced Logic 10.3, they took a first baby step toward a full fledged theme switcher, providing a brightness dimmer on the arrange background (accessible from Preferences > Display). Because usage of professional softwares usually range from 8 to 10 hours a day, such interfaces should include at least 2 different GUI colour skins to maintain workers focus and put less strain on their sight.
As a software developer myself and big fan of the Logic Pro DAW, this was a chance for me to provide an application to solve that problem and help a community I was acquainted with.
Now that we learned how shifting colour tones have a critical impact on concentration, why not take this a little further and try to pull off the ultimate flat interface in Logic Pro.