Bottom line: Dark Mode certainly does have its benefits beyond aesthetics. It can help reduce eye strain, improve battery life and yes, even help you stand out less in environments where bright white backgrounds may be frowned upon.
It’s been more than a year in the making but a Dark Mode option for Microsoft 365 is finally here.
On Wednesday, the Redmond tech giant announced that Dark Mode is now rolling out for Android and iOS versions of Outlook as well as on Office.com. When iOS 13 drops next month, it’ll extend the rollout of Dark Mode to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, SharePoint, Planner and To-Do on mobile. System-wide Dark Mode was a key feature of iOS 13 when it was announced by Apple in June.
Microsoft is also working on Dark Mode for Planner and OneDrive on the web, we’re told.
Jon Friedman, partner director of UX at Microsoft, said today’s fast and fluid world constantly blurs the lines between work and life and they believe in meeting people where they are. “This often means viewing email, calendars, or files in places where the default white mode may be less suitable, like darkened airplanes, movie theaters, or in bed at night,” he added (you’re really encouraging people to use their phones in movie theaters?).
Outlook for Android will even automatically switch to Dark Mode when you enable power saving mode.
It was a long journey to get to this point as Microsoft consulted with designers from across the company to help create Dark Mode. "Starting from the ground up and using the new gray palette for Fluent, our app teams began by aligning to the single palette," Friedman said.
"This included increasing contrast, brand color saturation, and consistency among details like how and when we use shadows when in Dark Mode."