community March 30, 2020

Introducing Dark Mode (beta) for Stack Overflow

Our most requested feature is finally coming to life. You can try out Dark Mode in beta across Stack Overflow and help us make it great.
Avatar for Ben Popper
Director of Content

Ed. note: Dark mode is officially out of beta! Thanks for everyone’s feedback.

Update: Check out our article on how we made dark mode a reality.

For many years now, people have been asking us for the option to view Stack Overflow in dark mode. We know from user surveys that lots of developers visit our site multiple times a week and folks working their way through a tricky coding problem sometimes have a Stack Overflow window open all day next to their IDE. 

In fact, a request for Dark Mode is the 12th most upvoted question on Stack Overflow’s Meta community (out of 41,785 questions) and the #1 most upvoted on Feature Request overall.

There are a lot of challenges to implementing dark mode across a platform like ours. We are among the 40 largest websites in the world in terms of monthly unique visitors. We also have hundreds of communities with different design aesthetics. On top of our public Q&A platform, we also have our developer profiles, job listings, product pages, and many other surfaces. 

Despite the challenges, this opportunity was too big to be ignored. Today, we are proud to announce the release of Dark Mode in beta for Stack Overflow. We want to share it with our community, especially our power users, and gather feedback so we can improve, iterate, and expand Dark Mode in the future. You can opt-in Dark Mode through your user preferences. You must be logged into your Stack Overflow account to get this option.

For now, we have no plans to bring dark mode to the many sites across the Stack Exchange network. Many of the designs on our sites have been around long enough that converting them to dark mode would require redoing the artwork completely. We would prefer to avoid giving anyone across our network a substandard experience and we don’t want to change those elements without the input of these communities. 

Tomorrow, we will publish a blog post from Aaron Shekey, our design systems lead, detailing the process behind the creation of this new feature. And if you really, really like dark mode, stick around. We have something to share on Wednesday as well…

Ed note: If you’d like to provide feedback, please see this Meta question.

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