How To Turn On Stack Overflow’s New Dark Mode Setting

How To Turn On Stack Overflow’s New Dark Mode Setting
Illustration: <a href="https://stackoverflow.blog/2020/03/31/building-dark-mode-on-stack-overflow/">Stack Overflow</a>

Stack Overflow, the famous “I’ll go there and figure out how to code something if I have no idea how to write it myself” message board beloved by developers worldwide, has finally unleashed its most-requested feature: dark mode.

While you can always force a “dark mode” experience via your web browser, whether natively or via a third-party extension, nothing really compares to a website’s own implementation of colour choices and design. In Stack Overflow’s case, you can now pick between one of three different themes: boring light, amazing dark and a “System” preference that automatically matches the site’s look and feel to your current OS settings.

Humorously enough, Aaron Shekey—the person in charge of designing Stack Overflows new dark mode experience—probably won’t even use it himself. In a detailed design blog that’s absolutely worth the read if you’re into that sort of thing, he wrote:

“I often find the usable contrast to be way too low. It’s hard to use the full spectrum of colours to express your interface. It’s even harder to introduce depth with shadows and other visual cues. Light text on dark backgrounds is fatiguing to my eyes. Things that are hard to manage on light screens like simultaneous contrast is even harder to manage against dark backgrounds.

But here I am, the guy who finally shipped dark mode on Stack Overflow.”

Life is cruel.

Getting started with dark mode on Slack Overflow is as easy as noticing the giant Death Star-like banner at the top of the site and clicking whatever option you prefer. If you missed it, or dismissed it, you can also head into your profile preferences, where you’ll find the same option:

Screenshot: David Murphy

I, for one, think dark mode looks great:

Screenshot: David Murphy

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