Light or dark color scheme?

tl;dr: dark background: 63%, light background: 37%

(There are a lot of interesting comments on hackernews about this survey)

So we are working on a Code Editor for the Firefox DevTools (to edit your CSS files, or to write some JavaScript code). These days, I have been working on implementing the design of this tool. In Firefox 11, it will come with a light color scheme.

Style Editor mockup

In the future, we will probably add a way to choose your own color scheme. Solarized, monokai, desert, ...

But I was thinking why a light theme by default?? Are we sure that most of the people people prefer having a light theme? So "OMG SURVEY!", got ~1600 answers in 2 hours, which is quite amazing, and here are the results:

White on black  (dark background) 1015 63%
Black on white (light background) 594 37%

Conclusion? Apparently, people prefer dark themes. I am not saying we will use a dark theme by default, but for sure, the option has to be present. So not sure what we are going to do now, we need to talk with our UX team. But this will be easier to take a decision with actual data :)

Thank you all for answering the survey :)

PS: I think it's just awesome that I can setup such survey in a couple of minutes, publish it, and get such strong results 2 hours after. Wow!

20 Dec 2011 / tweet this / @paulrouget / show comments