Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Most people are right-handed, right hand is handy.

However, most small/medium refrigerator doors swing counter-clockwise by default. This forces you to move/arrange heavy things with your left hand.

Given that the majority of the population is right-handed, this makes things so inconvenient.

Even if you can change the rotation of the door on some large & expensive refrigerators, their factory setting are still default to counter-clockwise.

So why do refrigerator manufacturers prefer doors that swing counter-clockwise by default?

i don't like anti-clockwise door!!!

share|improve this question

migrated from diy.stackexchange.com Nov 28 '11 at 17:38

This question came from our site for contractors and serious DIYers.

    
Is the fridge in this picture of a right- or left-handed design? Personally I would open this door with my right handed so I'm not sure the picture goes with the question or if I open doors in an unconventional way. –  shufler Nov 28 '11 at 17:29
1  
So I have a question - do manufacturers in say, Israel or other Hebrew speaking countries tend to fit them the other way round? No - really. I have a serious theory about this - honestly! –  Roger Attrill Nov 28 '11 at 18:44
    
I want to thank you who make this question clear and moved it to this proper website. –  LiuYan 刘研 Nov 29 '11 at 1:57
    
Every fridge, freezer or combined fridgefreezer I have ever owned had reversible doors. On occasion I have reversed them if they were situated where the open door caused an issue. I have never reversed them because I prefer to use my left or right hand, as from a usability perspective it is unimportant - anything you do with a fridge will be easy enough with one hand (either) or require two hands. My current fridge freezer opens with the hinge on the right. I am right handed. This is fine - I use my right hand to open the door, then my left to put things in (both when they're very big) –  Rory Alsop Nov 29 '11 at 9:09
    
@RogerAttrill There are no other Hebrew speaking countries :). No, Israeli manufacturers also make them either the same way as in the picture, or reversible, or with double doors. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky Nov 29 '11 at 20:18

2 Answers 2

The answer is in your question: "Most people are right-handed, right hand is handy". A right-hander would reach for the door with their right hand, and if you don't want the door to open in your face or have to cross your arms while opening, you'd want the door to swing anti-clockwise.

Grabbing a small item with your left hand wouldn't be all that hard. However, I highly doubt that anyone tries to move/lift a heavy item with one hand. In that case, irrespective of which direction the door swings open, you'd open it and then use both hands to lift the item.

share|improve this answer
3  
Ha! You've never seen me moving a 16 quart stockpot into the fridge. I don't... plan ahead... –  Shog9 Nov 28 '11 at 17:39
    
I'd support the use of the right hand to open argument. You can get more pull if you pull straight back with your right hand. –  PhillipW Nov 28 '11 at 18:23
    
My habit is like this: unhandy hand do easy job, handy hand do hard/heavy job. Open refrigerator door (and keep the door opening because the door will close automatically) is easy job, move/arrange things (such as move half of a big watermelon, or arrange things if there's no enough space, or arrange a dozen of eggs carefully) into refrigerator is hard/heavy/complex job for me. So, as a right-handed person, I prefer use left hand to open door (easy job), use right hand to move/arrange things (complex job). –  LiuYan 刘研 Nov 29 '11 at 3:05
    
@LiuYan刘研 It's easy to do with the unhandy hand when you're conscious of it. But, 99% of the time you won't be moving stuff that requires superhuman strength, and you'll subconsciously reach for the handle with your dominant hand. I hope you realize that it would piss a lot of people off, especially those that don't do complex jobs with their refrigerator most of the the time. –  user9874 Nov 29 '11 at 3:37

You'll have to poll some major manufacturers of refrigerators.

I would guess at this point in in time (today's world) it has to do with what people are buying/demanding. Families, Apartment managers, companies, and anyone else with the need for a fridge.

I will also assume that you buy a refrigerator based on the configuration of where you will install it. Some spots require a refrigerator to open from the left-side, other the right, and still other it doesn't matter as there is enough space between it and other counters/appliances. Industrial freezers are the same way, and lets not forget fridges that open from the middle.

For example, I've rented apartments where the door opened with the right-hand and it blocked or hit something. My immediate thought was, why didn't they install a fridge that opened from the other side. I call them up and they say we can replace it, or we don't have any that open from the other side.

share|improve this answer
1  
Every fridge I've seen (at least larger than one intended only for chilling your drink cans) can have the door easily moved to the other side. So, really, if it opens on the wrong side, the installer was lazy (or, I suppose, for non-professional installation, unaware of this). –  derobert Nov 28 '11 at 21:17
    
Yes, most fridges are reversible nowadays. Not so 20 years ago... –  Jonathan Mar 12 at 13:05

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.