I have designed an internal application to be used by a single engineering team.

My stakeholders gave me a resolution I should design all the interfaces at. The application I am working with does not handle "zoom" very well, so unfortunately it's more or less WYSIWYG for the actual result. This is a clearly unfortunate constraint I have to deal with...

Our team has been using the software very successfully for over a month now, with the exception of one user. This user's resolution is lower than the designed interfaces and causes him a fair bit of trouble. In addition, it decreases his efficiency fairly significantly. He seems to not want to increase resolution regardless of alternatives (larger monitors to keep font sizes the same, etc) and does not like change on the whole.

I do not want to redesign all relevant forms simply for one user as this will handicap other users. I don't really want to have a "one user specific" form, either. What is a way I can resolve this situation?

  • In a different context I would have seen this as a question that relates to managers that want to have their idea implemented, whether it is relevant to the users or not. I would take the approach that if one person wants it, chances are that other people may as well (if not now then in the future).
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 23:23
  • 1
    In the future, you can resolve this by not designing to one particular hardware spec--as there are ALWAYS outliers.
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 23:40

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately you can't force a user to use a specific browser or zoom level. That's why we have responsive-design (build once and deploy) and accessibility (build for all users).

As it's already in the post-dev stage, you can consider having an alternate stylesheet that will trigger depending on the user's 'zoom' level. You wouldn't need to redo everything, only the pages where the layout is wonky.

Today, accessibility is too important to ignore. In Ontario, it's a legal requirement here. Consider it as a future-forward practice.


It sounds like this person is just very, very resistant to any form of change...I've worked with people like that.

It seems unreasonable for him/her to expect a major redesign of your app just to accommodate one person.

In other words, this sounds like a personnel problem, not a technical problem.

Of course, if this person is a high level manager or a key customer, the realities of organizational politics may require that they be catered to, no matter what the cost.

In any case, if you are getting pressure to do a lot of work on this, it's probably a good idea to estimate the cost of a redesign vs other options like a single big monitor, and let your management make the call

  • I'd also add, you should do a comparison between the cost of adapting it to the one user vs. the opportunity cost of his productivity and see what the return is.
    – Pdxd
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 15:02

You could possibly add an "Accessibility" feature similar to iPhone, where when enabled, fonts, buttons and other UI elements appear larger & with more contrast.

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