Chapter 5

Our Peripheral Vision is Poor

Abstract

Human vision has high resolution in a small area called the fovea at the middle of our visual field, and low resolution everywhere else. This chapter explains the neurophysiological factors that cause this—for example, a large difference in cone cell density between the fovea and the periphery. It then discusses important functions of peripheral vision—for example, guiding the fovea and night vision. The bulk of the chapter discusses implications and guidelines for designing visual user interfaces. For example, stationary items in muted colors presented in the periphery of people’s visual field often are not noticed, so error messages should appear in strongly contrasting colors or should vibrate ...

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