User Interface Design: Windows Dark Theme Problem

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Microsoft Windows dark theme, half of apps are white as snow

Really, whoever Microsoft representative or those metro demo boys, give them a kick on their asses. These fakers drivel dark theme, but half of their apps still white as snow.

Windows 10 dark theme white 2021-02-02
Windows 10 dark theme white 2021-02-02

Windows Dark Theme Problem: Windows Indistinguishable

Microsoft Windows 10 (generally seen by most people in year 2016) has a dark theme, that is, white text on black.

but Windows 10 dark theme is so badly designed, it is hard to tell windows apart.

windows10 dark theme 2019-02-09 k59bs
Windows10 dark theme 2019-02-09

in 2018, macOS majove (10.14) copied windows to also have a dark theme, but Apple did a superb job, none of the Microsoft Windows dark theme problems.

Dark theme seems easier on the eyes on screen at night. However, scientific research seem to suggest, white background with black text is actually easier on the eyes. Also, dark pages look terrible if printed, and printing web pages is still necessary especially working in office.

History of Dark Theme Preference

Black background was popular among programer nerds in 2000s, because, up to 1980, due to the display tech the monochrome CRT, that's all you have.


For example, the website used to be white on black, around early 2000s. 2001-01-18 2022-08-14 2001-01-18

Starting around year 2000s, LCD display became popular, but it cannot display pitch blackness well. So gradually, white background caught on.

Apparently, black background is making a come back around 2018, in part, due to the new display tech the OLED.

Microsoft Windows Sucks

User Interface Design