The White House website at WhiteHouse.gov now joins the laundry-list of official websites with a dark mode to help ease its viewers to read. This update is a part of the new update rollout, following Donald Trump's last day at the office and Joe Biden-Kamala Harris' new administration.
When you open the website, two small toggle buttons will appear on your left. One is for high contrast, allowing you to read easily at night without contracting too much to your screen, and the other is to activate larger fonts on the website.
As spotted by The Verge and GLAAD, the "Contact Us" form on the site now asks for senders' preferred pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them, Other, and "Prefer not to share.") Vice President Kamala Harris also includes her pronouns on her social media bio, though we're yet to see it on her @VP account.
Besides, for the first time in history, the White House website rolls out a statement and commits to serve better web content for users with disabilities.
"Our ongoing accessibility effort works towards conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, level AA criteria," the statement reads, ensuring that the web content is now accessible for every user.
The website is also open to comments and suggestions on improving better and offers a phone number to call for the Hearing Impaired Only.
Last but not least, when you dive into the website's HTML code, you will be greeted with a call to serve from the US Digital Service (USDS), providing a link to the USDS job application site. The elite tech unit provides consultation to federal agencies within the Executive Office of the president.
Why Dark Mode Is Necessary
The dark mode accessibility feature is designed for those who are at risk of being exposed to eye disorders if they spend too much time reading dark text on a light background, especially at night when most lights are off.
Not only does dark mode look amazing, but it also helps prevent digital eyestrains. As more and more people are exposed to smartphones and gadgets, Optometrists Network believes that DES, also known as computer vision syndrome, severely affects over 50% of people. It could lead to an even worse sight problem, as 80% of Americans use a digital device for over two hours a day.
According to Weekdone, there was a surge of interest in Google Trends regarding this small toggle button that lets you change your window's background color in 2019. Several social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have previously rolled out their own "dark mode" updates in the last couple of months to years.