I really should get my eyes checked or perhaps just give them a bit of a break away from the screen. All I’m doing lately is staring at a screen – for work, fitness, education, and socializing – “connecting” with people in a socially distanced world, but man alive this headache is getting the better of me!
August is globally Eye exam month and it probably seems like a silly thing to have an awareness month for, but let me ask you this…is your income dependent upon you having sight? How much of your quality of life is dependent upon you having your eyesight? See the ‘aha moment’ slowly coming into focus?
So let me ask you what are you doing to ensure optimal eye health? For the rest of our bodies and mind, we make active decisions to eat healthier diets in order to lose weight, enhance muscle building, ensure stronger immune systems, or because of a disease that you have been diagnosed with or runs in the family. The same goes for exercising, spending time outdoors, engage in socialization, have a hobby. The aim is to improve your health and once you do it long enough it becomes a way of life. For most of us, we have been exposed to what to do to improve your health from childhood, yet very few of us have been taught how to do that for our eyes unless of course, you have to wear glasses already.
But before I start to lecture you on some practices that you can start to do to assist your eyes to better health and to go for that eye exam (which is never a bad idea), I would like to introduce some other items that we tend to not think of.
Computer screens that provide a pleasant and healthy eye experience
As both producers and consumers of software, how much thought goes into the creation and evaluation/consumption of screens to ensure a pleasant and healthy eye experience? Taking into account that a “badly” (read unhealthy) design not only leads to unpleasant user experience but also to strained eyes, headaches, reduced efficiency for the task at hand, and ultimately unproductivity.
Does your software allow you to customize your user interface (UI)?
Most of us are familiar with the obvious of having the screen at a recommended distance from your face, using a font that is easy to read even when tired, contrast, brightness, and the like. The question is does your software enable you to customize these things or are you stuck with what is being provided? Maybe even more so, do you know what is the best design to ensure the best performance of your eyes and your software?
Software UI development should consider eye health
Because I realize how much of the user experience of software relies on the user interface, I think we require a course in “eye health in software development”. Not just to ensure we can continue to create a great product by preserving our own sight but also that of our consumers.
Don’t know about you, but sometimes when I open a book and just see the font and spacing used, my judgment and enjoyment of the book are already clouded – same with software. I urge you to go for the Eye exam, start to introduce some healthy habits to relieve the strain on the eyes from staring at the screen for hours on end. But more so – really look at what you are looking at and ensure you are able to customize the UI of whatever software you are engaging with.