One thing non-developers often notice when they visit spaces where software engineers work is that the majority of monitors show lines of code — typically muted colors with syntax highlighting — on a dark background.

computerThe dark background has become the popular theme for the most commonly used IDEs, and that may have something to do with history: light-on-dark was the de facto standard for the first DOS machines and the Linux console (that vintage look is pretty hip these days.)

In a world dominated by black-on-white Microsoft Office products and backlit mobile devices and tablets, why do developers do this?

Many coders will tell you that a dark background is just easier on the eyes. When you stare at line upon line of tiny code all day, things like light and contrast can deeply influence your comfort and productivity. Add in some other factors, like the overhead glare of florescent lights or astigmatism, and you’ve got the makings of tired eyes.


There’s mixed evidence supporting the physical benefits of a dark background, and there’s definitely a plethora of opinions. So it’s important to consider that, in addition to its potential ergonomic value, a dark background just looks cool. Search your feelings; you know it to be true.

 Introducing Flowdark

By popular demand, we’re now giving you the ability to cross over to the dark side — and stay there — within Flowdock. We’ve updated our themes so you can choose between “Classic” and “Dark.” Our UX engineers helped to make sure that the new Dark theme is easy to read and easy on the eyes. Want to try it out? Here’s how to change your Flowdock theme.

From your Flowdock menu (in either the web or native version), select Preferences. Then, under Theme, choose Flowdark from the drop-down menu.


(While you’re in there, you should take advantage of the option to size your emoji to your liking.)


Give it a try and let us know what you think.