Surfing the web for hours and hours every day can take its toll on your eyes. Staring into the abyss of content that can range from extreme contrast (black and white) to minimal contrast (ranges of grey) can really irritate and give your eyes an extreme workout.
There are remedies out there, however, for such eye strain:
- The 20-20-20 rule. Taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.
- Reduce overhead light to reduce screen glare.
- Change your computer monitor settings to reduce screen glare (brightness a little dimmer).
- Sitting further back from your computer screen.
- Blink more often, take more breaks, get glasses, etc.
Fortunately, website designers have done their part in the last five years or so by utilizing Google fonts to help reduce your eye strain! When designing websites twenty some years ago, the general idea was to have very high content contrast. White on black, and black on white – with the use of six or seven web safe fonts, of which only one or two were easy on the eyes. Over time, content design has been updated to use a dark grey font on a light grey background to ease the extreme contrast of black text on a white background. This design practice has made it far easier to read for longer periods of time, and much less hard on the eyes. This practice has been around for years (mainly utilized by newspapers and magazines) before really taking off within current website design.
Google typeface choices and font sizes have also helped with the ease of eye irritation. Fonts from Google such as Quicksand, Rooney, Karla, Roboto, and Montserrat (which come in different weights), go along with the old tried and true fonts like Helvetica, Arial and Georgia – all of which can be displayed in multiple weights and sizes on websites.
By mixing grey tones, font choices and the ability to increase font sizes without ready difficulty, designers can do their part in helping ease the tension on the web surfer’s eyes. Of course, this only applies for desktop versions. Talking about what mobile surfing does to eye irritation is a whole new story!