Mac Designers Need to Test on Windows

By | December 22, 2016

An open letter to designers who only see the world through Apple products.

I’ll just jump right to the point. The rest of the world doesn’t see your work the way you intended. Take a look at this screenshot from my Windows 10 machine running Chrome. The site is a designers portfolio.

Notice the blurry font

100% zoom

I can’t read the text. It looks terrible.  I can see that it is embedded Lato from Google fonts.

So why does it look blurry?

The answer is “Font-weight: 200”. When I turn that off, the font looks slightly better. (I am not a fan of Lato when it’s thin). I am sure that on a Mac this looked better, but on Windows, it looks terrible.

According to NetMarketShare, Windows represents 80-90% of the market, while Mac is 5-10%. This view is shared by every single tracking service out there. If you are not testing on Windows, you are likely creating a bad experience for people.

I ask each and every one of you designers to look in Google Analytics and look up the OS stats. Here is mine for 2016:

My site is heavily trafficked by Silicon Valley and designers and I still have the majority of people visiting from Windows.

If you are a designer, you should be taking care of your portfolio site. It is the first and last thing I look at as a hiring manager. It should be awesome, not just serviceable. You are a designer, your site reflects on you.

There are services where you can see how your site looks in different systems. If you need to test interactions, you can install Windows on your Mac to test.

So word to the wise: If your font looks jacked up I am likely to hold it against you in my hiring decisions.

Bah Humbug! Umm, I mean, Happy Holidays!

One thought on “Mac Designers Need to Test on Windows

Leave a Reply