Harsh News for Tired Eyes

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[Photo credit: “covering the eyes” by Secret Seasons, on Flickr]

Here’s a harsh reality you must face when you’re thinking about the design of your website: nobody likes to look at computer screens.

Yes, we all do it all the time, but that doesn’t change our physiology. Most people suffer from screen fatigue simply because monitors flicker and render an image that’s grainer than print. Think about how many times you’ve gotten a headache from spending too long looking at a computer screen or blinked your dry, irritated and watery eyes. Happens to me almost every day. That’s why I sit by the window; frequent eye breaks.

That’s also why we can’t help scanning websites. Our eyes seek out big fonts, bullet points and images to help us make quick identifications rather than focus on tiny text. It means that sometimes we frequently don’t take in enough information to get the full picture – we just glean what we can quickly.

Good web designers will think about these usability issues when designing a site. Make sure you think about what you need to do to present your site so it’s easiest for people to read.