Jul 13, 2008

Left pointing the other way

While using a mouse, I occasionally switch from a right-handed mode to a left-handed mode. Earlier versions of Windows used to call the relevant option under Control Panel -> Mouse as switch to left-handed mouse, but now they call it (confusingly, IMO) as switch primary and secondary button.

Which brings me to my point: software UI design, for all its comforts, still remains sinistral-unfriendly. On a typical GUI containing windows, there's no way to move the scroll-bar to the left (by default, the mouse pointer tends to rest on the LHS of the screen, but largely this could be a psychological perception of having to move to the right end of the screen). The minimise-maximise-close buttons will be on the top-right. Even the mouse arrow pointer continues to nod towards the north-west (IIRC, in earlier Windows versions, it would go north-east with a switch in mouse-handedness).

Here's an interesting little discussion between a left-handed user and a (left-handed) UI designer on the topic (look for the comment by "Sebastian").

And while on the subject, once again, all the main contenders for a US Presidential election are left-handed. The last time this happened was in 1992 when George Bush (the elder), Bill Clinton (the victor) and Ross Perot (the moneyed pretender) were on the ballot.


Anonymous said...

Are you ambidextrous, then?
I wonder if I can try that on my laptop too..

Unknown said...

I'm a little ambidextrous, but not much.