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Author Topic: Improving the ergonomic readability on laptop screen displays - Tips and Tricks.  (Read 928 times)

IainB

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I decided it might help to start this discussion thread for those who - like me - may have been having difficulty reading some of the windows displayed by the Windows OS and by some of the programs/apps, on their their laptop screens.
I realised from reading CHS* and SC**-related discussions that some people had apparently been having similar problems to myself, and that suggesting a discovered workaround or fix could be generally helpful/useful.
*   CHS = Clipboard Help and Spell.
** SC = Screenshot Captor
Causes of the problems:
  • For me, these problems seemed to surface post-Windows 7, coinciding with the OS and the hardware technologies having undergone changes that led to the high-definition laptop displays performing differently and needing to "homogenize" to some extent to cater for tablet displays and PC/laptop/LCD displays. For example, there are even switches in Win10 (Anniversary update edition) settings that distinguish between and/or enable Tablet versus Desktop modes.
  • The colour palette used by the system seems to consist solely of bright "dusty" pastel shades rather than hard bright solid/dense colours - even the colour "black" is affected, for example appearing as dark grey in text. This causes perceptual difficulty and a reduced level of certain and clear distinction/discrimination at the borders between different-coloured objects. The advent of Metro-styles tiles in Win 8 seems to have aggravated this problem. This problem may affect people in different ways - for example, it can be bothersome in the extreme to people who - like me - may have imperfect vision (e.g., require spectacles to read books or their laptop screens.)

So, let's see how it goes...all suggestions/tips welcomed.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 06:01:19 AM by IainB »

IainB

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Improving ergonomic readability in the CHS (Clipboard Help and Spell) clipboard manager.
I actually think I got somewhere useful (for me at least) on this:

22_862x746_F0032E0B.png
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 03:03:21 AM by IainB »

IainB

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Improving ergonomic readability in the Slimjet browser using the Change Colours (Chrome) extension:

22_862x744_FD11ECCB.png

IainB

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Here's a second example of the Slimjet extension Colour Change, using a partial screenshot of this webpage/thread.
I recall someone saying that images posted to this website came up blurry when rendered on some web browsers, so I put the image of the notes through the IrfanView Sharpen function before posting it (don't know if it makes any difference, unless you have one of the browsers that display images a bit blurry).

22_740x590_D7161EF9.png

tomos

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Improving ergonomic readability in the CHS (Clipboard Help and Spell) clipboard manager.
I actually think I got somewhere useful (for me at least) on this:

in relation to the system-wide font changes, I was wondering what screen size/resolution you were using -- or what ppi (is that what they call it: the pixel 'density' I mean). TBH I'm not sure what ppi I have here, so size and resolution would probably be the most helpful, TIA :up:
Tom

IainB

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My display settings are mostly the untouched/standard/recommended defaults. I tried to vary "size", but the system won't let me do it - e.g., increase size of everything above the recommended 100% - the setting just snaps back to 100%.
Resolution is 1366 x 768

The system settings I have played about with include:
  • The size of text in Title bars (set higher to 12, and made bold).
  • Re-ran and checked Clear Type settings.
  • Increased the size of fonts in menus. I didn't change actual fonts, though I could have.

The above made a big difference across all/most applications.
I also used the WinaeroTweaker to alter some system settings - on a trial-and-error basis, but I think you can now find the same/similar settings controls via the Settings-->System-->Display panels in Win10 after the Anniversary update.
At one point I tentatively tried out the "scaling" setting and set to 125% (that was the first permitted increment after 100%), but after logging off and on again, I could see in the result why they said it was "not recommended"! It messed about with the readability of most of the applications, and in a bad way.

In CHS, I altered settings to suit - on a trial-and-error basis - via the Options panel.
Eventually, I got things pretty much how I could put up with them, though the blasted pastel colours in the Metro scheme are still very annoying. Bring back rich, solid colours please, and lines between objects so that they are more easily distinguishable. It's visual perception 101.

IainB

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Ergonomic readability on laptop displays - This is what I'm-a-talkin' about.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 02:55:31 PM »
This is what I'm-a-talkin' about:

Below is a partial screenshot of the incredibly useful [sarc] Slimjet Downloads page (Ctrl+j), which seems to defy the reader to read it. Who knows but that it may be deliberate, an experiment to see how far one can push the user/guinea-pig before he/she/it squeaks?
That might not be as far-fetched as it might sound - I mean, if they will populate the decks of US warships with healthy living beings as guinea-pigs to ostensibly "observe" nuclear bomb tests, then there's apparently no limit to the potential for careless human cynicism.
Actually, I suspect the problem is more fundamentally simple than that though, in that web-page designers and/or programmers generally would seem to be unqualified in (or ignorant of) visual perceptual ergonomics 101 - and there seem to be not a few examples of this.

06_996x643_AA0A0354.png
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 04:39:14 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor edit. »

IainB

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...
Actually, I suspect the problem is more fundamentally simple than that though, in that web-page designers and/or programmers generally would seem to be unqualified in (or ignorant of) visual perceptual ergonomics 101 - and there seem to be not a few examples of this.
_______________________
Just to make it clear, I wouldn't put @mouser in that bag. Quite the reverse. For example. after extensive fiddling about with CHS and its GUI controls/options, I have nothing but admiration for his thoughtful and intelligent design - actually, I think his solution to the usually messy task of of column placement, in the CHS Grid is brilliantly executed.   :Thmbsup:
Great idea to make all those choices in the drop-down list draggable objects as well. I don't think I've ever seen that approach used before in quite that way.

To see what I mean, press the little "hamburger" rectangle with horizontal lines/dashes in it, in the top LH corner of the Grid that has the pop-up note "Click here to show/hide/move columns", and play about with it.
EDIT: I've shown a more explanatory example of this in the post below.

The Virtual Folders and Layouts are other very useful ideas from an information management perspective, and not restrictive. On top of that, the ability to fine-tune the fonts/sizes and colours in the GUI (as I have described in a post above) is really nifty, and enabled me to get to a "just right" configuration for my peculiar eyesight. From the perspective of visual perceptual ergonomics, this is very good. Similarly for ScreenshotCaptor, which, though I am not so familiar with all of its workings, seems to be arguably a lot about implementing good visual perceptual ergonomics and a GUI with a good ergonomic interface.   :Thmbsup:

I would argue that the main limitation of using apps like this could sometimes be said to lie in the user's imagination, and to make optimal use of them one needs to experimentally discover what feature suits oneself best.
That could also be said of MS OneNote, incidentally, though that does not score too highly (in my view) for offering a GUI with controls over ergonomic readability (visual perceptual ergonomics).
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 04:25:46 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor changes. »

IainB

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I mentioned this above, and here's a more explanatory example.
This sort of thing is not only good for helping one to quickly make changes to the GUI to optimise (ergonomic) readability for one's personal needs, but also is ergonomically efficient.

08_961x473_E72E635D.png

IainB

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I happened to download for trial Redhaven Outline after reading a review of it at RGdot. It's apparently an outlining tool developed for students, to help them write more structured papers.
I am mentioning Redhaven because it provides an example (see below) of a nifty way to enable the user to modify the font sizes on different sections of the GUI, using preset Hotkeys as font size (bigger/smaller) controls. It is dynamic, in that you can see the fonts changing in size as you press whichever hotkeys are relevant to your needs.
I thought this was ergonomically efficient. The  developer of this app has presumably put some thought into the ergonomic ease/efficiency of the font controls. There are also controls for different colour schemes/backgrounds and which offer more flexibility on the visual perception front, but which seem to be more complicated than the font controls. I'm not sure whether that colour schemes control is a good example though, as I find it over-complicated and a bit rigid in use, but maybe I haven't learned how to use it properly.

05_1173x341_B290DD95.png