Designing for lefties


“his Leftorium
is an emporium
of woe!”

i’m sad that i had to be the lefty who came here hoping for a Ned Flanders reference, and found nothing : (


Could be worse. I came here looking for Marxist-friendly products.


well played
/hat tip


Living in Indiana, I don’t have to serve lefties in my business, right? It’s just not natural.


Lefties are sinister.


Or at least most uncanny.

My brother’s cat is left-pawed. You can’t trust the stripey-butted vixen.

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What a gauche comment to make.

Full disclaimer: I am a lefty, though I am typing with my right hand due to a cast (i slipped and landed on my left hand). Good thing the iPad is hand agnostic.


Oh yeah? When are they going to have one of those places for us righthanders?


A a left handed person, I remember looking at a computer mouse that was advertised to be equally comfortable for right or left hand. Yeah, the button functions could be mirrored in the preferences, but the body of the mouse was strikingly asymmetrical, so it was obviously not going to fit either hand equally.

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A self-described leftist here. You righties should breath a sigh of relief as I’m likely to die from chemically induced cancer from all the pen ink I’ve absorbed through my hand while writing.


I loathed school situations where pen was required. Yeah, graphite smudges a trifle(less if you use a mechanical pencil, .5mm by preference, and relatively hard lead); but pen, especially ‘eraseable’ pen, is a complete mess.

And trying to keep your hand just above the paper for a few hours is simply too exhausting to be tenable under exam conditions.


I’ve always been fond of Microsoft’s “Wheel Mouse Optical”. Under $10 in plain OEM packaging(because really, do you need a manual for that mouse?) fully symmetrical design, scroll wheel with detents, about as indestructable as most optical mice.


It’s called a “store”. :slight_smile:

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Physical products aside for a moment, I wonder if there is different behavior for left-handed browser, toolbar, or other computer interactions. I’ve seen “heat maps” of websites that show users’ behavior as they scan a page, click on buttons, etc. and I wonder if anyone has every looked in to whether left-handers take a different approach. And if so, could you make a plugin that would restructure web pages in a more left-friendly way? Or have templates that are left-friendly and automatically adjust for users who have their browser/app preferences set to lefty?


I wonder how right-handed people who write in Arabic or Hebrew (right to left) manage it.

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I’ve often thought that writing in the Mideast developed so long ago at a time when people understood almost nothing of science that lefties would have been treated either as witches or demigods. Fortunately, it seems that in at least a few cultures, they got the star treatment and were allowed to be the keepers of language (scribes, priests, whatever). At least, that’s how I’ve decided to explain it to myself. No question, Hebrew and Arabic are made for lefties, especially in the days when “writing” meant painting with wet ink or inscribing in wet clay.

I’m sure it’s why Da Vinci wrote backwards as well. Not to be secretive – who would have been fooled by that? – but because it’s a lot easier for us to write that way.


I get a lot of offers for those fancy gaming mice. In fact, I was at PAX one year looking at Razer’s booth or something and they had one mouse that could really have been used left-landed, and it was the most basic one. I can mouse right-handed, but it’s not my preference.

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I once visited a castle built for a leftie. Most towers have a clockwise spiral staircase so that (right-handed) defenders can swing a sword easily while attackers can’t; this one was anti-clockwise (supposedly) because the original owner was left-handed. (The Kerr Clan in Scotland, based in Ferniehirst Castle, actually trained their soldiers to fight southpaw - left-handed soldiers were worth more than twice as much as right-handed ones).

The three instances of left-handed/ambidextrous people in the Bible are all associated with fighting, and all come from the tribe of Benjamin (which means “Son of my right hand”).