It seems like for desktop applications it is not necessary to take into account of left/right hand differences since the mouse can operate well enough for most screen designs. However, for mobile devices where the interaction is driven by the user's handedness and the associated behaviour patterns, I am wondering if there are preference settings on mobile devices that take this into account (and if not then why not?). For example, if a right swipe by default leads to action A and a left swipe by default leads to action B, would you expect to have different settings for a left versus right-handed person to fit with their default gesture behaviour?

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Some desktop applications do take left/right handedness into account, for example games often use the WASD keys for directional movement, but also have IJKL set up by default.

Equally some applications don't take it into account. When I broke my right wrist and had to hold the mouse with my left hand, I soon realised how the keyboard shortcuts for a lot of applications are weighted to the left of the keyboard.

With the left and right swipe gestures and swapping actions A and B around for left or right handedness, is more likely to cause more problems than it solves. As it is only useful if the OS and every application handles this in the UI and any support help documents. Also what if multiple users such as children sharing a device have different expectations.

Finally this article might interest you about mobile usage, as it seems left/right handedness might not be as much of an issue as people can easily swap them between hands, or might be using their master hand for another tasks so use their mobile in their other hand.


I'm a left hander, and in my opinion the direction of swiping is dictated by text flow, rather than which hand I use.

What's more important, is that the most buttons placed conveniently for right handers are difficult to reach with the other hand. Also, I often find that my thumb is covering some content, especially on lists.

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