Community Tech/Dark mode
This page documents a project the Wikimedia Foundation's Community Tech team has worked on or declined in the past. Technical work on this project is complete.
The second most popular wish of the 2019 Community Wishlist Survey begins by describing a problem many readers have experienced: “Wikipedia skins are very bright, and at night they can be hard on the eyes.” To address this, the wish asked for “some kind of dark or night-mode,” specifying that this new reading mode should be “accessible as a feature for everyone and not just...logged-in users.”
In April of 2019, the Community Tech team began working on a project to answer that wish. This page tracks our progress toward that goal.
Follow this project and let us hear from you
- Add this page to your Watchlist by clicking the star in the tabs above.
- Watch the project Phabricator board by going to this Dark Mode Phabricator page and clicking “Watch Project”.
- To follow any task on the Phabricator board, click on it to open the task. Then click the “Subscribe” link at top-right (here’s how to get a Phabricator username).
- To tell us what you think, please post comments on project talk page.
Project principles and limitations
These are the principles that will guide the team in the coming weeks as they work on the first release of Dark mode:
- The Dark mode palette will strive for accessibility and readability while attempting to remain true to the Wikimedia palette and brand insofar as possible.
- Dark mode will be available for logged in and logged out users.
- Dark mode is primarily a reading experience: it will work for editing pages and interfaces but will be optimized for reading pages (article, talk, user).
- The Dark mode on/off switch will be easily available on every page, with the idea that users may want to turn this on and off with relative frequency.
- The first release will be on the desktop versions of Wikipedia.
After analyzing this wish as a team, we have unfortunately decided to decline it. The wish is out of scope for the team and conflicts with the Desktop Improvements initiative. However, there are many workarounds available to users who may still want a Dark Mode experience. To learn about our rationale for declining the wish and potential workarounds, you can visit the 2019 wishlist status report. Thank you to everyone who participated in proposing and voting on this wish!