The Mystery Case of Sand in My Eyes – or why we created Happy Eyes.

Aug 30, 2021

  • #HappyEyes
  • #Health
  • #Technology
Anton Surov

Like all good things, this one starts with a story. A story about how I discovered eye strain and why we created HappyEyes.

When lockdown began and we switched to the working-from-home mode, I truly enjoyed the first few months. Oh, that was a bliss, listening to music without headphones and conducting website migrations while eating cereal… until my eyes started feeling peculiar. It felt as though ten trucks had driven up during the day and dumped loads of sand in them. They felt sore, dry and heavy. It was a new feeling – and quite an unpleasant one.

Something had to be done, so I employed a 3-step approach.

Follow the steps.

1. Search for it: I did what any sane person working from home would do. I googled my symptoms. To my big surprise, I did not get an immediate diagnosis of cancer from Dr. Google but rather, a simpler, more straightforward answer: eye strain, aka computer vision syndrome. (Shout out to all SEOs optimising for “Eye Strain” as a keyword. You aced it.)

2. Go to the source: Eye strain. That opened up a rabbit hole that I disappeared down, binge-reading research papers, articles and Reddit posts. And let me tell you, I was not alone. Just look at these stats!

Now, armed with all this data and an idea of what I was dealing with, it was time to look for a solution. And it was an easy one: take regular breaks from the screen, do easy eye exercises and find a structured way to combine them both. The table below shows a few ideas I came up with and why they got rejected.

SolutionWhy it was rejected
Use a timer on my phoneToo much destruction (constant risk of getting stuck on Instagram)
Download the app on the phoneA good solution, but I’m trying to stay away from the phone during the day for productivity reasons
Download a desktop appAlmost no options available, and you can’t install anything on a work laptop
Find a web appSounds like a best solution, but the best web app available is made with flash (it’s not even supported anymore)
Create my own appSounds like too much work – but wait a second… 🤔

It became apparent that there was no decent web app (aka website) on the market that allows you to take breaks and do eye exercises.

Build it.

During one of the standups at work, I brought up the topic of eye strain and, oh boy, I’ve learned that quite a few people experienced similar symptoms. That’s how (after a few Zoom calls) we teamed up with Dima. to create something which would suit our needs and help with eye strain. And after a few dozen Zoom calls and brainstorming sessions, Happy Eyes was born (thanks to Dima’s outstanding React skills).

Why HappyEyes?

Simple! Happy Eyes is the only eye strain related web app on the market which:

  • Can have a number of timers running simultaneously

  • Can send notifications to take breaks

  • Is mobile friendly

  • Looks pretty as hell (thanks, Evgenia Evgenia, for great UX design)

The sand is gone, and my eyes are happy. Stay safe, and please share any feedback about HappyEyes. 😊

The sand is gone, and my eyes are happy. Stay safe, and please share any feedback about Happy Eyes. 😊