16 Comments

Summary:

According to the Wall Street Journal, workers who have larger monitors complete tasks much faster.  We’ve debated this in the past, and now researchers at the University of Utah tested how quickly computer users completed tasks and found that for users on 24-inch monitors vs. those […]

huge monitorAccording to the Wall Street Journal, workers who have larger monitors complete tasks much faster.  We’ve debated this in the past, and now researchers at the University of Utah tested how quickly computer users completed tasks and found that for users on 24-inch monitors vs. those on 18-inch monitors; those using the larger monitors completed their tasks 52% faster.

The study went on to say that someone using a larger monitor could save in upwards of 2.5 hours a day.  However, it should be pointed out that the sponsor of the study was NEC, a computer monitor company.

(photo credit: flickr user Abron)

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. >>However, it should be pointed out that the sponsor of the study was NEC, a computer monitor company.<<

    Well, that’s all we really need to know then, isn’t it?

  2. I could see that kind of benefit when going from a 15″ or maybe 17″ monitor, but not an 18″. 24 inches just seems like it would be TOO big to sit in front of all day.

    Also, 52% faster!?! Something has to be up.

    I agree with Grey. The conflict of interest makes this information totally unreliable.

  3. If you don’t have one then you don’t realize how much better it is. My desk has a 22″ and 21″ monitor and I would say that it helps me work faster. I can watch several log files while performing tests as well as edit several documents without the Alt-Tab jumping of the old days. I know NEC supported it but I would have to agree with them.

  4. I think it could have some kind of truth behind it. The larger the screen the less distracted your eyes are from things around you. This is simply due to the fact that you can’t see anything because of the massive screen you have!

  5. Dual 17’s or 19’s is way better than, say, a 24.

    Over 30% more real estate, and you can keep two whole browsers open at all times.

    Also with GNU/Linux you get practically unlimited space through Virtual Desktops (not free on Windows or Mac) which you can toggle through. Add the keyboard functions of the Opera browser to Linux’s Virtual Desktops to dual monitors and the 500-hour-week resolves into focus.

  6. I have to agree with Sam – I would much rather have dual 19″ monitors than a larger monitor. I find I’m much more productive with two monitors because I can have two browsers or a browser and an app open at the same time.

  7. Help me pick a big screen monitor: – GigaOM Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    [...] Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:35 AM PT Comments (0) Apparently working on a large screen can make you quite productive. Given that my primary laptop is a Macbook, somehow I buy into this argument. Okay maybe I am [...]

  8. Business Hacks mobile edition Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    [...] What about you? Have you noticed any productivity gains from your larger monitor? Would you recommend an upgrade to those still using smaller screens? Hit the Comments and share your thoughts on whether size really matters. [The Wall Street Journal via Web Worker Daily] [...]

  9. I think this is going to be very task dependent. If you are doing a complex task requiring multiple programs and windows I can see the benefit of large screen area. But if you doing something simple, then surely the less distractions the better?
    I have started using DarkRoom which is turns your PC into simple green on black test editor.

  10. I agree with Sam as well. One thing to note is that the Mac does support virtual desktops for free. It’s built into Leopard and is called Spaces. I use it all the time on my MacBook Pro.

  11. I completely agree — I work remotely on my laptop at least one day a week, and within just a couple hours almost start to feel claustrophobic because of my small monitor. Having more room to “breathe” on screen makes me work faster and more efficiently.

  12. Digital Solid: Marketing Technology ROI » Boost your office productivity with a bigger screen Thursday, March 13, 2008

    [...] This piece reports on a study that was financed by NEC, but vetted by a more objective body (the university’s research board): Researchers at the University of Utah tested how quickly people performed tasks like editing a document and copying numbers between spreadsheets while using different computer configurations: one with an 18-inch monitor, one with a 24-inch monitor and with two 20-inch monitors. Their finding: People using the 24-inch screen completed the tasks 52% faster than people who used the 18-inch monitor; people who used the two 20-inch monitors were 44% faster than those with the 18-inch ones. [...]

  13. Bruce Kirkpatrick, Daytona Beach, Florida Web Designer Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Having a big screen monitor is great on apps that have many tool palettes (design/video/animation software) or offer a widescreen layout(Microsoft outlook and audio mixing/sequencers). If you are just browsing the web, most sites are designed for 1024 x 768 or less so you’d probably do better with 2 monitors or virtual desktop like others said. I notice lots of people don’t run their big monitors at the native resolution. For me, the great thing about a 24″ LCD monitor running at native resolution (1920 x 1024) is how sharp they are and how flicker free the LCD technology is. It’s also more energy efficient. The cheapest display may have a slight tint problem like too much green or poor contrast, you’ll probably spend $400 to $500 for a quality 24″ monitor, which is half what I paid for mine and the new ones have faster pixel response 1ms or 2ms, which means the first person games won’t have bad blurring/ghosting! You’ll want to turn down the brightness as the factory setting is often blinding.

  14. Web Worker Daily » Archive Get More Monitor Real Estate Without a Second Monitor « Friday, July 11, 2008

    [...] 11th, 2008 (7:00am) Celine Roque No Comments Many web workers talk about the benefits of larger or dual monitors. I currently have a 17-inch monitor, and although it works well, I can see how I can benefit from a [...]

  15. Bigger is Better: Treat Yourself to a Bigger Monitor (and gain an extra 2.5 hours in additional productivity per day) | GTD Times Monday, October 13, 2008

    [...] to a study (reported first by WebWorkerDaily) that has just come out individuals at the University of Utah were tested performing tasks on an [...]

  16. Multiple computer screens: maybe the fastest way to boost your productivity immediately « Kevin Kane's blog Thursday, July 8, 2010

    [...] entitled, “Why gigantic screens are the best computer upgrades ever.” Finally, the Wall Street Journal discusses a study by the University of Utah, which demonstrated that using a larger monitor helped users complete tasks 52% faster, saving [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post