Light vs. Dark Notifications: A Comparison

Discussion in 'iOS 10' started by nevesis, Sep 22, 2016.

?

Which color notifications do you prefer?

  1. Light

    33.3%
  2. Dark

    71.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. nevesis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #1
    As a UX/UI Designer, I look forward to seeing what Apple does with each iteration of iOS. However, the switch from dark to light notifications was hard to accept. Not only does it make the notifications much harder to read at a quick glance, but I am curious as to why they thought the lighter aesthetic was more important than actual usability? Function over form, or form over function?

    Anyway, I am curious to what everyone thinks and/or prefers. I used an iOS 10 GUI in Sketch (@sketchapp) to create the darker version.

    Download these to your phone and swipe between them and see what you like best.

    For me personally, I notice that when my phone is flat on my desk, or quickly picking up to view a notification , I can quickly read and identify the content of my notification much quicker in the dark version over the light.

    If Apple prefers the lighter route, it would be nice if they could give us users the option of having darker based notifications in the next iOS iteration.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Superspeed500 macrumors regular

    Superspeed500

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #2
    Maybe they could add a dark mode that would change the color of the notification alongside other things?
     
  3. nevesis, Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016

    nevesis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #3
    It's important to view these on your actual device and switch between then. You'll be surprised at how much less your brain has to work to recognize & scan the words with the white text on black.

    Milliseconds count!
     
  4. Mefisto macrumors 6502a

    Mefisto

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Location:
    The North
    #4
    I must say, that although I'm fine with the notifications as they currently are, the dark one does look nice.

    Maybe there'll be a way to choose somewhere along the line, maybe not. Time will tell.

    I've decided not to get too excited over a system wide dark mode, since it'll probably (for some reason or other) be exclusive to next years iPhone (if they do it all). Since I'm getting the 7 once availability is a bit better it'll likely be a couple of years until the next update for me.

    All of that about dark mode in iOS is, of course, pure speculation on my part.
     
  5. mous94410 macrumors 6502

    mous94410

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    Aug 12, 2015
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    I think a lot depends on what picture you are using for you background. But I have to say, I think I prefer the lighter one in the OP.
     
  7. DomC macrumors 6502

    DomC

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #7
    Darker reads so much better to me.
    It's also interesting that as someone who used Reduce Transparency for a long time these new notifications look like that is turned on again.
     
  8. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #8
    Maybe its the contrasting wallpaper, but I like the light one better.
     
  9. DomC macrumors 6502

    DomC

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #9
    Which means we wait a year. It will be touted then as a new "feature" for "the best IOS version yet".
     
  10. Natya Sadella macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
  11. Casfin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #11
    I love the dark. The dark mode on Cesium is beautiful. Wish there was a phone-wide theme.
     
  12. nevesis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #12
    Notification lock screen, light vs. dark!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #13
    I have noticed the light notifications seem too bright. I check my phone when i get up, in the dark, and I MUCH prefer a darker screen. I purposely chose a dark lock screen before to have that and the notifications darker. now the light/bright in iOS10 is really irritating. plus the fact I cannot just swipe away a notification to delete, i have to click a few screens which means a few times where my phone will be brighter.
     
  14. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020

    LoveToMacRumors

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    Feb 15, 2015
    Location:
    Canada
  15. Mefisto macrumors 6502a

    Mefisto

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Location:
    The North
    #15
    OP, since you're at it, could you do one with a dark wallpaper?

    The best solution would probably be adaptive notifications / widgets, where the lightness / darkness would be decided depending on the wallpaper used. Like the carrier and battery signal. Or something like that. Thank goodness I'm not in charge of designing these things.
     
  16. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #16
    I prefer the lighter UI too (I did try out the dark one on my phone). I used to be a white on black person though.
     
  17. GreyOS macrumors 68040

    GreyOS

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #17
    I prefer the lighter UI and really dislike my old widgets which are running in the dark compatibility mode.

    However that's because I have a light background at the moment. You need a dark one for the dark notifications and widgets to fit.
     
  18. mikosk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    #18
    Dark please and bring back the grouping. Only going to chronological order is...illogical.
     
  19. nevesis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #19
    Darker wallpaper:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #20
    I still think the light is too bright. But I also keep my brightness down close to 20-30%.

    maybe Apple should have notification color/tint based on ambient light levels, or like when you have the Night Shift on.
     
  21. Natya Sadella macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    #21
    This looks really great. But please make the searchbar a little bit darker.

    I would like to see some screens of control center notification center 3D Touch and so on!! :)))
     
  22. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #22
    Definitely liking the light notifications better.
     
  23. DomC macrumors 6502

    DomC

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #23
    Still don't get all the extra padding. Even the top bar could be smaller: NotifyOrig.jpg
    NotifyNew.jpg
     
  24. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #24
    It seems to be a matter of context to many people.

    When I'm in an app with a white background, like most are, the dark notifications had better contrast and impact. In the overall scheme of things, the dark theme of the old Today Biew also worked in tandem with the dark notifications to let the user know that these are quick alerts, or glances, in nature. The lighter, kind of middling translucent notifications don't have the same visual impact. When in a light environment, they can also bring up the question of whether an alert dialog just popped up.

    The problem with Apple's current UX design is that they seem to assume that all their users have the eyesight of twentysomethings. Then, when they decide to go the other way, they go way too far (iOS 10 Music app).

    (Also applies to hearing, as well, as the new keyboard and lock sounds aren't as discernible, even with the volume turned up.)

    Color and contrast seem to be uncool for their designs, so that make every effort to use as little as possible, in both iOS and OS X. But they don't hold back on the frivolous animations and the overuse of transparency.

    The problem is, these design choices prioritize aesthetics over function, but I guess that's what happens when a hardware industrial designer is assigned to oversee software UX design.
     
  25. Altis macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    #25
    It's bad enough that Apple has become obsessed with having every screen white, but the light grey text on medium grey backdrop is brutal to read.

    Even in the examples above, I have to look closed to read the notification headers in the light versions. With the dark, I can make out the letters even in my peripheral vision.

    I use triple-click home to invert colors most of the time that I'm using the phone in a dark environment.

    It's also far more subtle to read your alerts (in a class or meeting, for ex.) when your phone doesn't light up brightly.
     

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