Every time I see an IT team with small minuscule 17 inch or even 15 inch, a question always pops in my mind: “how do they manage to do any work?”. It’s not about being picky or having the ability to brag. It’s all about productivity. My machines at home and office all have at least 22 inch monitors with my main workhorse machine using dual 24 inch. Yes, I do have a 17 inch monitor at home, which I’m planning to use as my raspberry pi monitor, mostly for snes emulator experiment, but we can talk about that later in another post :)
So, like I said having a great monitor is not about bragging rights or simple gadget facinations. Here are a few things that I have observed so far.
Some may argue about productivity and I myself have an article about the peril of distractions. However, when doing software development most of us need to look up some form of documentations. Even if you memorize the whole C libraries and its functions there are bound to be new things that you will need to look up.
Having a large monitor or better yet multiple of them per-developer will solve this problem. A portion of the screen can be allocated to their IDEs while another portion of the screen can be allocated for their research and reference.
We live in a world of HD
Sounds like a marketing tag. However it is true, most of the modern devices are not on 1920 x 1080 pixels or even higher. This is especially true for devices like iPad, Macbook Pro Retina Display, the new Nexus tablet and even the new Google Chromebook. Having a large HD monitors will enable the developers to test their end products for these new devices. Imagine testing a web design output for an iPad Retina display using a 1336 x 768 pixels or even worse 1280 x 1024 pixels. This will not end well, many of the design might scale on the higher resolution but most of the images will not.
Higher resolution leads to lower fatigue
Yes, this one is serious. It is always better on the eyes to use higher resolution screen. Research actually says that high-resolution display does optimise visual performance, provide comfortable prolonged viewing and reduces eye fatiigue, Ziefle (1998). This is also one of the top 10 suggestions to reduce eye strain, as suggested by Heiting (2013).
Therefore we can conclude that higher resolutions (large) screen leads to lower fatigue which in turns increase productivity. Of course higher productivity means more $money$.
Motivation for the new developers
Let’s face it, developers love their gadgets. Having a large display screen ready for their first day will show a form of appreciation from the company. Again, this is not about bragging, but this is more about appreciation. Imagine if you are a new developer, coming to work in a team with 1280 x 1024 monitors; while another team has 1920 x 1080 24 inch monitors; I can tell you that some people will feel underestimated by this fact.
So what are you waiting for?
Whether you are a company owner, team leaders or contractors; always make sure that you have the best monitors your budget allows; at the very least 22 inch monitor.
- keep up productivity
- maintain physical wellbeing (reduces fatigue to the eye)
- enhances design consistency
- increases motivation (especially for the new developers)
Here are some example of the monitors that I’m talking about, including the new beautiful ultra wide 29 inch monitors:
Ziefle, “Effects on display resolution on visual performance”, Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society December 1998 vol. 40 no. 4554-568
Heiting, OD, Larry K. Wan, OD, Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps for Relief, http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htmdeveloper equipments, monitors