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I am an operator for a large piece of industrial equipment that has a new digital interface, but operating that equipment requires staring at a computer screen for several hours to ensure that everything is working properly. The UI has a beige/white color scheme with a very "Windows 95" feel to it and I find it difficult to stare at the screen for so long. After a while I need to look away from the screen for a bit or frequently blink to reduce my eye fatigue.

I'm just engineer and know very little about UI/UX design, but I'm wondering if there are some guidelines somewhere for designing interfaces to reduce eye strain. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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While I think this question is very open-ended, the best advice I can provide is to design an interface that avoids blue light. This can be achieved in two ways:

  • Creating a dark-themed interface
  • Using warmer colors in the interface

This means avoiding large areas of the interface with white, or near-white color palettes. Using a dark theme will allow for higher contrast, without higher eye fatigue. If your situation does not allow for a dark theme, my second bullet point about warmer colors can be an alternative.

Here are some medical articles that might interest you on the subject:

Harvard Health

UCLA Health

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I may suggest that interface should have some brightness adjustments - all people lose their eyesight with years and screen producers may worry about the display is not bright enough for some people. For good eyesight that might be too bright - so the adjustment would be useful.

another strange thing but worth trying - having something changing on the screen. Staring at a fixed picture is actually harder than when something moves. You know you can look at fire endlessly although it's bright. Our mind is designed for changes, so if some minor menu gradually shows one thing then another - this may help as well.

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