Why Is Dracula So Popular?
Two weeks ago, Dracula showed up on the front page of Hacker News. The thread had 227 comments, but one comment, in particular, caught my attention. A user said: "I have a hard time seeing why this is such a popular theme."
Here's my answer:
- Decentralized Contributors: every theme is maintained by a different person. There's no single point of failure when it comes to software maintainability.
- Centralized Discoverability: most themes are scattered and disorganized. The cool thing about Dracula is that you can find everything in one place.
- Transparency: on the website, you can see the number of views for each theme, who are the people behind them, how much sales were made. Everything is open, and that creates trust.
- Constraints: Dracula is only available in dark mode, despite having TONS of requests to have a light theme as well. People complain about constraints (think of Twitter's 140 character limit), but constraints make good products.
- Consistency: not only in terms of colors but in terms of effort. The first Dracula theme was created in 2013, and the project has kept evolving since then.
- Portability: developers want an environment that feels uniform. There's a real cost associated with context switch, so having a theme available for 227 apps across Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS is very important.
- Branding: why make something boring when you can make it fun? The name, the logo, the icons, the visual aesthetics - it all counts.
- Personal: the origin story described on the About page is extremely personal. For years I was afraid of making it public on the internet. Now I know that when you make yourself vulnerable, people feel connected.
Building an open source project isn't easy. I hope you can apply these same ideas to make your projects more unique too.
New on Dracula
Say hello to the 3 new themes that joined the Dracula org.
- Delphi: a programming language and IDE for rapid application development
- FlorisBoard: an open-source keyboard for Android which respects your privacy
- GitKraken: an intuitive Git GUI and powerful Git CLI
Dracula in the news
We now have a Wikipedia page! How crazy is that?