Empathy for Aging Eyes

I recently got a new laptop for work. It’s got a 17-inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1600. This resolution is fabulous for doing mockups, models, and graphics.

However, my eyeballs recently turned 40, and the monitor is approximately 140dpi now. So reading and writing text… not so easy for this aging designer. (I’ve always been very myopic, well corrected with contact lenses. But now the floaters and other acuity problems… ugh.)

So, I started using the 120dpi setting (in Windows advanced display settings) to see how it works with “modern” software. I didn’t hit any crazy problems, so then I decided to push it. I went to 144dpi, which is just about exact real-world measurements on the monitor.

It’s not so good. Lots of software does weird things at that dpi setting, including Firefox. The saving grace is the zoom feature, but many of my plug-ins don’t pay attention to that, so I have a HUGE Twitbin pane on the left of my browser.

I’m going to try and live in this 144dpi world for a while and experience the web and software as other visually-impaired people do. I’ll post my experiences here and on twitter.com/JarrettUX.

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