Left handed people make up 10% of the population; that’s an exceptional number of potential users when you consider there are nearly 330 million people just in the United States alone. Good design built around best practices focuses on making applications highly usable regardless of your dominant hand. But when it comes to usability, left handed and right handed users often face the same struggles – which is why it’s best to design with both in mind.
These design best practices bring delight to left handed and right-handed users alike.
Making functionality accessible via voice-control systems is one of the newer ways to provide better usability (and accessibility) for all. Allowing users to tap, swipe and scroll with their voice adds a level of autonomy still rarely found in today’s enterprise applications.
When it comes to touchscreens, avoid popovers or side-view info panels to ensure users can see the content regardless of hand dominance. Offer users a magnified view when selecting or highlighting text to simplify this interaction for all.
Take the guess work out of a users’ preferences by offering a setting to toggle interfaces using input screens. Just because a person is left handed doesn’t mean they are a left handed user, and vice versa. This optimizes usability while minimizing developer headaches.
When In Doubt, Test It Out
A tried and true best practice is to test, test and then test again. Designing using a UI toolkit like CUE Canvas can give your business the opportunity to work directly with your users – left handed and right handed – to see what interactions, workflows and screens work best (while throwing out the ones that don’t).
Left handed users have had to live in a right hand dominant world all their lives. Now is their time to thrive (at least when it comes to enterprise usability).
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