Given that Comic Sans is possibly the most hated font in the world, what font would you choose if you set up a new departmental intranet, revamped performance appraisal forms, or a career portal for your organisation?
Well, it turns out browsing Google, Netflix, Twitter and Instagram is actually easier on your eyes, given their choice of font - while websites like Wikipedia and The Guardian could be causing a strain on our eyes owing to their font selection, according to research compiled by Feel Good Contacts.
The full ranking is below, with fonts ranked from best to worst for your eyes:
1. Google - Arial 2. Yahoo - Helvetica Neue 3. The Lad Bible - Helvetica Neue 4. Netflix - Helvetica Neue 5. Twitter - System UI 6. Instagram - System UI. 7. Facebook - Segoe UI 8. Office - Segoe UI 9. YouTube - Roboto 10. Amazon - Amazon Ember 11. BBC Online - Reith Sans 12. Reddit - IBMPlexSans 13. Twitch TV - Roobert 14. NHS Online - Frutiger W01 15. The Guardian - Guardian Egyptian Web 16. Wikipedia - Sans Serif
Commenting on why fonts have such an impact on your eyes, spokesperson at Feel Good Contacts, Nimesh Shah, said: "Serif fonts can often be much more difficult to read due to the tails and flicks on the ends of each letter, which makes them hard to distinguish between. Times New Roman was once seen as a default font, but it is used less and less these days, perhaps this is a reason for its decline.
"Sans serif fonts such as Arial and Helvetica are simpler and more streamlined fonts making them ideal for websites and readability on screen, and we have even seen Google and Microsoft develop their own typefaces in recent years to create better experiences for users."
Shah also talked about the kerning playing a role in readability: "The spacing between letters, also known as kerning, is a big consideration, the bigger the space, the easier it is to read the text. Bold lines, nice curves and a clear colour that sits on a contrasting background are all essentials."
Guy Redwood, Founder of SimpleUsability, added: "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.
“Avoid using all capitals, the brain uses the shapes that letters make to recognise words."
Have a look at the top 10 choices of fonts on popular websites:
What you and your team can do to protect your eyes when browsing online
1. Take regular breaks throughout the day
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is caused by extended periods of time in front of a screen without a break. The glare from the screen can cause eye dryness, strain and general tiredness.
While it’s a common cliche, encouraging your team to take a break throughout the day is key. One simple way of doing this is the 20-20-20 technique which you should encourage your staff to try throughout the working day. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from your screen to look at something 20 feet away.
2. Ensure the device you are using is up to scratch
A screen that is bright and high quality in terms of resolution is crucial to staff that are spending 7-8 hours a day in front of it so ensure you do regular checks and testing to make sure they are up to scratch. Working with a dull screen or glare forces eyes to strain more.
Anti-glare screens are an easy and cost-effective way to support staff with this, reducing the everyday strain on their eyes. However it is important to ensure that sufficient lighting is present around desks for equal brightness since shadows and light glare can cause eye fatigue. Furthermore, ensure computer screens are positioned at least 25 inches from the user.
3. Get your eyes checked regularly
Regular eye examinations are crucial to spotting sight loss or damage before it worsens. Optometrists can help detect conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration which can lead to sight loss, so encouraging your staff to visit an optician every two years is an important step in maintaining good eye health.
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