In a Taxi Booking Clone App, increased screen brightness in low-light environments reduces battery life significantly. Dark Mode is a common feature on many mobile apps that changes the color scheme to darker colors. Hence, it’s easier to read and less hard on users’ eyes in darker environments. Implementing Dark Mode required overcoming several design and engineering challenges.
On the design front, the main challenge is to define and create a design theme that could move programmatically from the default Light Mode to Dark Mode. Effectively, this meant re-architecting the design system to abstract UI components and colors into higher-order semantics that can, in turn, translate to multiple colors based on context and environment.
Building Dark Mode With A Programmatic Design Theme
You can use a programmatic template to solve the UX problem and the issues with a unified design approach. Another approach is to create a design system that represents the branding in darker colors and then implement that system into the Android and iOS apps.
Building a robust color semantic architecture in our design language system Supporting Dark Mode is not as easy as simply inverting the colors black for white and vice versa. It requires a coordinated team effort to design a dark version of the app and then allow users to seamlessly toggle between the darker and lighter versions.
The first thing is to expand the audit process on every single screen in the app. Grab every other screenshot of the most representative screens to provide color specifications on all text, icons, borders, and backgrounds.
Next, analyze the current color semantic architecture and understand where it has been used to create a naming structure for scaling purposes. Throughout this process, ensure that open communication is critical between the design and engineering teams to quickly test and fix all the problems in the app. Lastly, use this opportunity to update all colors in the app, along with components such as buttons, icons, and banners.
Building A System Design Theme: iOS Detailed Implementation
Apple has introduced semantically defined system colors for UI elements that adapt to both light and dark modes in iOS 13 and advanced versions. Therefore, leverage this new functionality and build on top of the existing semantic color architecture in the app.
First, ensure the app is not hard-coded for Light Mode, then list all the RGB colors being used in the app. To make things simpler, you can come up with a conversion chart for each color depending on its context. Go over all the Swift files and change them from RGB to their corresponding color semantics using the conversion chart.
Now, move on to tackling all the elements that might not have a specific color set in the app. Take a second pass at all the views to make sure every element has a semantic color properly defined, including foreground and background. When tackling images, the complexity of the asset should determine the approach to use.
For simple images, define the image set to render as a template image and set the tint color to a semantic color based on the light or dark appearance. More complex images are better handled with an additional set of assets to handle dark mode. Once every UI element has been updated, make sure the transition between light and dark appearances is smooth, especially when the app is open.
We can rely on the framework, but the concept of light and dark mode is implemented in UIKit, which includes a callback function for when the appearance changes. This entire process is a huge redo of all of the UI elements, components, and screens. Therefore, it is the task of a quality engineer to test and fix bugs for both light and dark appearances, as well as the transition between them.
Developing An Android Dark Mode Theme
While support for Dark Mode was not new, the Android 10 update introduced a system-level toggle to switch between different themes. Because of the presence of this option, most users expect that most apps also support Dark Mode. For Android 10 and above devices, there are two options to implement dark mode. There is an “Easy Dark Mode” with the Force Dark option and a Dark Mode with a custom implementation.
Building a custom implementation provides a custom dark theme, giving complete control over the look and feel of the app. This time-consuming technique requires more developer hours, but it works on all devices, not just Android 10. Moreover, a custom implementation requires very minimal changes in the future. Whereas, in the easy dark mode approach, various key components may break or change the look and behavior of the app. Therefore, it is advisable to do extensive end-to-end testing before making any big changes.
Now, follow the same process as it was in iOS by translating all hard-coded RBG colors into semantic colors rather than a specific color. For Android 10, there is a system-level toggle switch between Light and Dark Modes; therefore, it is better to add a toggle option within the app as well.
There is also the presence of in-app attributes that must be defined with appropriate semantic values, which can be later referenced in layouts and views. Apart from the system-level attributes, a large variety of typographies helps to promote the reusability of resources across the application.
Since the main objective here is to launch a taxi booking app in dark mode, you must prioritize the development of the Google Maps API. More than your customers, the drivers often rely on Google Maps for a number of reasons, such as heat maps, hotspots, pick-up and drop-off destinations, and much more. Therefore, you need to support the dark color scheme in Google Maps as well.
A Dark Mode Embedded Taxi Booking Clone App
With a dark mode option, you can immensely improve the user experience, specifically enhanced readability, decreased eye strain, and extended battery life. Your drivers can use the app while driving at night, and you can push to build more support and build features across multiple platforms. Overall, you must strive for a scalable solution to not only have a custom Dark Mode in the app but also a way to define the UI to seamlessly adapt to the best delivery experience for the current environment and conditions.
A dark mode option supported by beautiful and scalable UIs boosts the customer retention rate in the Taxi Booking App. While it’s quickly becoming a requirement, many companies use the same kind of statically built experience that does not support Dark Mode. This results in inconsistent UI and, in the long run, slows down the development of new app features. By building a semantic design structure and theming, you can not only delight your customers with new features. Still, you can also ensure better consistency and more easily apply changes in the future.
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