Material design for Wear OS uses a darker color palette. In particular, you must use a black background for your app and tile.
The Wear OS color scheme is created based on the baseline Material Design color theme. You can use that theme as-is, or customize for your app.
This theme includes default colors for:
- Primary and secondary colors
- Variants of primary and secondary colors
- Additional UI colors, such as colors for backgrounds, surfaces, errors, typography, and iconography
All dark-theme colors should display elements with sufficient contrast, meeting WCAG's AA standard of at least 4.5:1 for body text when applied to all elevation surfaces.
Use desaturated colors for accessibility
A dark theme should avoid using saturated colors, as they don't meet WCAG's accessibility standard of at least 4.5:1 for body text against dark surfaces. Saturated colors also produce optical vibrations against a dark background, which can cause eye strain. Instead, use desaturated colors as a more legible alternative.
A primary color is the color displayed most frequently across your app's screens and components. The baseline Material Design dark theme uses the 200 tone as a primary color. This meets the WCAG's AA standard of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, at all elevation surfaces.
A secondary color can be used to accent specific parts of your UI. In a dark theme, a secondary color can be desaturated to meet the 4.5:1 contrast level.
In figure 4, 1) indicates a secondary color indicator, and 2) indicates tonal variants.
In a dark theme, dark surfaces occupy the majority of the UI. Accent colors are typically light (desaturated pastels) or bright (saturated, vivid colors). This helps accented elements stand out. Use accent colors sparingly to accent key elements, such as text or buttons.
Finding accent colors Use the color palette generator to create or view a color theme. The color palette generator also creates tonal palettes, which are a range of light to dark color variations, created from your primary and secondary colors. Select variations of these for your dark theme.
In figure 5, 1) indicates a default theme primary color indicator and 2) indicates a dark theme primary color indicator.
Use the darker spectrum of colors for large parts of the UI, such as the background color. Reserve lighter colors for accents and UI elements.