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Neon Theme

Tl;dr we have a dark theme now.
For you who enjoy reading, worry not.
As the Cambridge Dictionary defines it, neon stands for a chemical element that is a gas with no smell or color, does not react with other chemicals, and shines red when an electric current goes through it.
Here at ActiveCollab, we define Neon as the new ActiveCollab theme. Dark in color, awesome in character.

A Sight For Sore Eyes

For centuries, books and newspapers have been printed in the same way - black text symbols on a white backdrop. Today, when it comes to software design, white backgrounds are considered a standard. There are several reasons for this - contrast and text readability being the most obvious ones. But this mostly applies to plain text and the action of reading it.

However, when it comes to overall productivity, our eyes prefer dark themes. It applies to the situations when eyes are performing subtle glances at the content, not reading every pixel. And, software can also benefit from a dark-colored interface - it brings them out more than a white-colored one would.

Because of this, developers often code in color-coded syntax on a black screen. Not having to focus as much to discern different parts of code is easier on the eyes, even at night or similar low-light conditions.

Night Bird, the Scientist

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and check your phone? Or, simply, pull an all-nighter staring at the screen? We do, too. Although, browsing Imgur or Reddit makes it easier for a lot of people to fall asleep. For those of you who, during night-time, prefer looking at budgets, tasks, and deadlines in ActiveCollab, this is your lucky day! Scratch that - your lucky night. We asked our UX/UI Designer, Marko Malinović, about the whole design process. 

We tend to see things bluish in low-light conditions or in complete dark. It’s the so-called Purkinje effect and we were well aware of it while choosing the colors for the Neon theme. The goal was to implement colors that are suitable for working in such conditions and… voila! 
The blue light emitted by bright-lit devices suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. It also prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep! And, the best part, it feels good. Eyes don’t hurt.


What I’m really proud of is our set of icons. It was an amazing challenge to design them so they work well both on dark and light themes, but also live and breathe within our new look & feel. This way we ended up with only one set of icons and we saved time on coding since the icons don’t have to dynamically change depending on the chosen theme! 

For some, it’s a high-quality chair that keeps them going. For others, it’s a dark theme, and we’re not here to judge. We just don’t like that staring-directly-into-the-sun feeling during night time.

Turn the Lights off

Switch to the Neon theme and enjoy. Your eyes will thank you. Additionally, changing a theme here and there never hurt anyone. 
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