Left-handed mode please
My left hand on a Magic Trackpad and Wacom Pen and sometimes for keyboard shortcut. My right hand for the mouse and keyboard. A new pointing device (LeapMotion) is sandwiched between my keyboard and wacom tablet. This is my designer mode on my desk.
Using Sketch App today made me realize that there are so many app that do not have a left-handed mode. You see, on Sketch App, the keyboard shortcut for zoom tool is Z key which is positioned on the left1. I am, however, so used to Adobe’s ⌘ + spacebar shortcut keys (can be easily accessed on left or right side of the keyboard) that I find it very difficult to scrub zoom using Z key2.
ATTENTION DEVELOPERS: ARE YOU EVEN THINKING ABOUT LEFTIES?
Seven to 10% of the world population are left-handed. If we do our math correctly, 10% of 6.91 billion people … That’s 691 million left-handed people! Somehow, app developers have forgotten about us. They should rethink their interface for left-handed users too.
On desktop, some lefties use their mouse with their left-hand but I trained myself to use it with my right hand just to keep up with the norms. I know that I can easily switch my mouse to my left if I wanted to since you can easily change the mouse settings and mice on the Mac is evenly shaped (with just one button) that it wouldn’t take hard for me to use it normally with my left hand. But since I added a Wacom tablet as my primary device it’s even more apparent that some of the desktop apps are not optimized for left-handed. I am thankful for keyboard shortcut customization and tool panels that I can re-arrange and tweak for my needs. Most left-handed Wacom user prefer to have the tablet situated on their left. But I find it easier to position it on the front so it’s hard for me to use my right hand to touch the left-side of my keyboard. PopClip by Pilotmoon is one of the tools on my Mac that helps me get thru the day. PopClip is a utiliy app that overlays an iOS style copy&paste on any app on my Mac. Some of my left-handed Wacom touting friends loved it.Normally on desktop I can live with some of the apps not having left-handed mode because of the availability of keyboard shortcuts and panels that you can move around. But on mobile most of the time it’s a world of pain.
On mobile the need for a left-handed mode is more apparent especially when using your phone with just one hand (especially with the iPhone5). Reaching out with your thumb to reach out critical buttons that is build for right-handed people is a nuinsance sometimes. In mobile there are only a few mobile apps that I can recall that have left-handed mode. The first app I’ve seen employ this is Ecoute App for iOS. I am one of the beta-testers of the app and seeing a left-hand mode for the first time my initial thought was “Do I need to enable this? I am already used to apps that are designed for right-handed that enabling this won’t change a thing.” Now it’s the default mode of the app for me, I could no longer go back to the normal mode ever since I enabled the left-hand mode. The play button is now easier to reach and the controls are optimized for my left thumb.
The iPhone 5 taller screen makes it much more apparent that we need a left-hand mode. Think about it left-handed peeps. Tweetbot with left-hand mode, we don’t need to extend our left thumb on the upper portion of the app or worse use our right hand just to click compose button. Be able to easily click the Stream button on Instacast. Compose button on Day One on the left. So on and so forth. How it would make all lefties life so much easy just by switching the most commonly used button on the left.
Out of the 250+ apps that I have on all my device, only Ecoute is the only app that I know that has a left-handed mode. I wish there are more. If Apple would also consider a system wide option for left-handed on accessibility I would love it but right now I don’t think that it’s a possible inclusion in newly announced update to iOS. What I would love is if developers would also start considering placing a left-hand mode on their app. I’d love to hear some more apps that has left-handed mode, I know there are already existing apps that has it. But right now, most of the apps I have don’t have it. And it is a lot.
And to all lefties out there, Happy Left Hander’s Day!