Why your most visited websites could be damaging your eyes

Why your most visited websites could be damaging your eyes

Friday, 14 February 2020
Why your most visited websites could be damaging your eyes

We’ve been doing some digging into fonts, particularly those that are used on the UK’s most visited websites. It’s a fact that too much browsing can cause strain on our eyes, but what if you aren’t browsing that often, are there other factors that could be causing a strain?

Our research was conducted to find out whether the fonts used on these most visited websites had an impact on our eyes at all, aside from Comic Sans being offensive, can it actually be damaging?

The study ranked fonts based on the following factors: 

  • Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are difficult to read due to the tails on the ends of each letter being hard to distinguish from.
  • The gaps between letters is vital, the greater the distance between characters, the easier a word or text is to understand.
  • The best fonts should have bold lines, clean curves and colour, whilst being placed on a contrasting background so that the text is clear and easy to read.


With those factors in mind we ranked the top websites from best to worst, with the fonts used on those in the bottom half causing the most strain to our eyes. Below is an infographic illustrating each font. 

best and worst font

Ironically, the NHS Online website ranks close to the bottom, along with the font of knowledge that is Wikipedia. Thankfully though, Instagram and Netflix addictions can continue with both of the sites ranking in the top three fonts!

UX designer Guy Redwood, founder of SimpleUsability explained what companies should definitely avoid if people are to enjoy using their website: 

“Small text is difficult to read – so users will skip over it. Our eyes deteriorate as we get older, so if you use a small size of font, you are reducing your audience size immediately. There needs to be a clear visual hierarchy. People scan over the words on a page deciding whether to invest any time and effort into reading it in detail. 

“Avoid using all capitals, the brain uses the shapes that letters make to recognise words. CAPITALISATION OF SENTENCES IS A GUARANTEED WAY OF REDUCING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT READ YOUR CONTENT.”

These factors may be worth considering next time you are browsing the internet, especially if you starting to feel a strain in your eyes!

Or, this strain could be a sign of a wider problem, so it’s always worth visiting the opticians. If you’re recommended lenses, remember that once you have your prescription, you can save your pennies and invest in some cheap contact lenses here at Feel Good Contacts.

As we spend so much time looking at computer screens and on smart devices, computer eye strain is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. Here are some additional guides to help you avoid computer eye strain and dry eyes;

Guides

Computer Eye Strain: Symptoms and Solutions

How to use eye drops

Best contact lenses for dry eyes


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