Dark Mode Now Live on eBay Native Apps

eBay becomes one of the first ecommerce companies to launch Dark Mode on iOS and Dark Theme on Android.

Today, we are excited to launch Dark Mode on our eBay native devices. Dark Mode is designed to ease the shopping experience, honor device settings, create more accessibility and provide best-in-class service to our customers, and it is one of the newest feature updates our customers are seeing on mobile. eBay is now one of the first ecommerce companies to launch Dark Mode on iOS and Dark Theme on Android. 

Dark Mode is our customers’ most requested app feature so far in 2020. Today’s digital users know only too well that bright screens can cause eye strain. When eye strain is prolonged throughout the entire day and into the night, our sleep patterns, focus and overall health can be negatively impacted. 

By implementing a color scheme with light-colored text, icons and graphical user interface elements on a dark background, Dark Mode allows for a comfortable viewing experience that’s easy on the eyes. Meeting all contrast guidelines and standards, Dark Mode also helps customers with light sensitivities and visual impairments navigate the app.

As an added benefit, Dark Mode saves battery life due to low power usage.

How it Works

We've updated the native apps to support dark appearance options for both Android and iOS platforms. The applications are presented using either light or dark color palettes depending on user preferences. 

To access Dark Mode on iOS, a user selects “Display & Brightness” in the iOS Settings app. From there, the user is provided the option to toggle between “Light” and “Dark.” The user also has the option to set an “Appearance Schedule” that dictates when Dark Mode is activated.

To access Dark Theme on Android 10 and above, a user enables Dark Theme across their device under Android display settings. In addition, all Android users can enable the theme in the eBay app settings under the “Theme” menu. The user can toggle Dark Theme on and off within the app or the device settings.

Design and Technology Behind the Feature

Through the teams’ mobile explorations, the feature has expanded and evolved to address user feedback, making it more human-centric and touch forward. Teams are now thinking more contextually about handheld devices and considering factors like target sizes and ergonomic positions. This has informed some changes to user interface elements and layout.

Bringing Dark Mode to our apps was possible due to eBay’s Component Architecture technology working closely with eBay’s modern Design System technology.

Component Architecture is a framework that includes a set of reusable UI components, which define the building blocks of the app at the UI level. This allows design, engineering and product to move quickly, while ensuring our users have a stable and consistent experience.

Using these common components in combination with our Design System’s centralized design library allows us to make design theme changes at the platform level. This was critical for supporting Dark Mode relatively quickly. Instead of needing to make a “dark” style change to every button in our apps, for example, we were able to make a single style change to update all buttons.

Refining the Experience

As we roll out Dark Mode, we will review user feedback through multiple channels: customer satisfaction surveys; contacts to customer support; App Store and Google Play reviews; and on social media channels, such as Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc..

In addition, we are monitoring app usage metrics, which will give us greater insight on our customers’ experience in using the new theme and how they’re engaging with the feature. Are users sticking with dark mode or switching back and forth? Will we see more nighttime shopping sessions? Longer shopping sessions? Once we learn more about how users are engaging with Dark Mode, we can start defining new features and optimizations based on customer behavior.

Elsewhere on our app, users are also seeing updates to the iconography and fonts, along with the navigation bar background’s colors changing to complement users’ chosen theme. All updates to the app including Dark Mode will be available on all iOS devices. The release also includes an equivalent Dark Theme for Android users. The feature is currently rolling out to users in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia, and will expand to all other regions in July. 

We continue to modernize and personalize the customer experience. Everything we do is in service of our customers, and we’ll continue to innovate on their behalf to move our marketplace forward. Experience the new Dark Mode in your mobile settings today.