Do you design with True Tone on Mac enabled?

over 3 years ago from , Interaction Designer

This question came up at work this morning, and I didn't see an answer to this anywhere else... so here goes. Do you have True Tone enabled on your computer? I use a 2019 MBP with the option to use True Tone and decided to disable it as soon as the feature was launched. I don't want my color profile to be changed in anyway. Does anyone feel the same or different? I'm interested to see what other designers think or if it simply doesn't matter. Thanks for the feedback!


  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 3 years ago

    Absolutely not.

    Nobody should have True Tone or Night Shift enabled for their Mac while designing, unless you specifically want to test how True Tone and Night Shift affect the design. I also disable True Tone and Night Shift on my iOS devices. It absolutely destroys colour accuracy. The science on Night Shift is incredibly shaky, and I don’t buy the argument around it helping sleep (hey, how about just turning the brightness down?).

    I’m all for people tinting their displays if they want, but it’s a bad idea when you’re designing, if you care at all about colour accuracy.

    This question came up at work this morning, and I didn't see an answer to this anywhere else... so here goes.

    If you’re looking for some opinions on this stuff, I have some here: Colour management, part 3

    5 points
  • Juozas Deksnys, over 3 years ago

    True Tone and Night Shift allows my eyes to work comfortably for longer.

    I work with True Tone and Nigh Shift enabled and it's fine as long as I have to work on projects where color scheme is predefined, and it often is, when working with UI projects.

    I may disable it for new projects when choosing colors becomes important. For the most part, I don't even consider colors visually, I just see them as HSB values.

    4 points
  • Duke CavinskiDuke Cavinski, over 3 years ago

    Yes though I really shouldn’t, but I pretty much use the same design system so I don’t need precise color accuracy all the time.

    2 points
  • Xtian MillerXtian Miller, over 3 years ago

    It's similar to the effect of volume auto adjusting to the driving speed—it might be noticeable when it changes, but it helps the experience.

    When it comes to designing on screens, ambient lighting in your surroundings could potentially affect the way you perceive color, so to make your screen tone as neutral as possible is ideal so whoever is on the receiving end of your designs experiences the most accurate representation.

    It seems that True Tone is enabled by default on Macs so most designers might not even be aware of this setting.

    2 points
  • Jim RenaudJim Renaud, over 3 years ago

    I don't design on my MBP usually. I am 99% of the time using an external monitor when designing.

    2 points
  • Mirza SadovicMirza Sadovic, over 3 years ago

    It varies. Unless you're designing for print, it's always wise to check your designs on the actual screens people will be using. This means iOS device screens with default settings (e.g. night shift). While I was primarily doing non-mobile screen designs, I used to do it on a mid-range Dell monitor (factory calibration), purely because I wanted to have the visual experience of a regular user who might not have a $1500 monitor. Night shift should not mess with contrasts objectively, subjectively it might impact certain perceptions, but it's usually something which users don't notice until they turn it off at night, which doesn't happen often.

    Basically, you can design with True Tone or Night Shift turned off, but make sure to check it with the settings turned on (or on any other screen it might show up). This goes for low contrast designs, particularly for very nuanced pastel gradients and such.

    1 point
  • Dan BDan B, over 3 years ago

    Interesting question. I guess it really depends on your task. Most of what I do isn’t « design system » based as I’m not currently working on a SaaS… so the only times I used Flux while designing, I had some major disappointment the following day.

    1 point
  • Jan SemlerJan Semler, over 3 years ago

    Nope also no Nightshift when i work.

    1 point
  • Eugene Zaycev, over 3 years ago

    Same here: https://twitter.com/zaetsmd/status/1143464262024798208

    Unfortunately didn't found a way, only turning Night Shift ON the immediately OFF

    1 point
  • iterati designiterati design, over 3 years ago

    I do, but I'm a product designer, not doing graphic/illustrations.

    I can't see how TT/NS could hinder my work. Colors are relative to lighting, in fact any color is light reflected off surface. So color looks different depending on lighting (sunrise, daytime or sunset). Same with natural and artificial lighting in the office — whites look colder/bluer in the evening. Thankfully I have a way to compensate.

    1 point