Considering modern tablets and smartphones, why do some manufacturers (for example, Samsung and Lenovo) place back capacitive button on the right side, while the major trend is to place this button on the left?

Samsung and HTC buttons placement

Is there any usability reasons for violating that trend?

3 Answers 3


We take the phone with our preferred hand :)

IMO, as they are more right-handed persons than left-handed in the world AND because a back button is one of the most used button, some manufacturers might consider that it's more appropriate to place it on the right.

Indeed, it would involve less effort for a right-handed person to push it with such a position since the inch doesn't have to "travel" a lot.

  • The comment does'nt address the question on usability reasons about the trend with factual points
    – inkmarble
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 1:37

I think the best practice (as seen in pretty much every os) is to place the backwards button on the leftmost edge.

The reason for that may have to do with the fact that our culture is used to reason from left to right. That way, what is on the left comes before what is on the right. That is the same reason the arrow itself is facing to the left.

As to the position, it is on the left because: a) that is where you would hope to find it (again, because of left being “previous” to our brains) as well as to b) avoid misinterpretations, as otherwise it may seem like the arrow is pointing to something else. That is why the phone with the arrow on the right has that loop around it.

Overall I think it is the norm because we’ve grown into it and makes sense given we read from left to right.

Hope that helps


Last I checked, Samsung was the leader in terms of both innovation and devices sold, which would mean Samsung is not violating the trend, it is the trend.

  • The reason for usability is not addressed and 'brand-speaking' or leading a brand with answers is not expected out of the forum
    – inkmarble
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 1:38

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