What are common design flaws for left-handed users?

Photo by Kumpan Electric / Unsplash

Do you ever feel like you're trying to navigate a world designed for right-handed people? It's like using scissors with your non-dominant hand or trying to write with a pen that smudges all over your hand.

Well, you're not alone. Left-handed individuals often encounter common design flaws that make everyday tasks a little more challenging. From inconvenient button placements to keyboards that just don't feel right, there are several design flaws that can make you feel like a fish out of water.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most common design flaws for left-handed users and how they can impact your daily life. So, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, if you prefer), and let's dive in!

Button placement

When designing products for left-handed users, consider the button placement to ensure ease of use. Common issues include:

  • Computer Mice: Primary buttons are often on the right side, making it awkward for left-handed use.
  • Mobile Devices: Right-side button placement can be inconvenient for left-handers.
Designers should ensure buttons are accessible and comfortable for left-handed users for more inclusive products.

Keyboard layout

Keyboard layouts often favor right-handed users, posing challenges for left-handers, such as:

  • Key Placement: Majority of keys and number pad located on the right side.
  • Function Keys and Shortcuts: Often positioned for right-hand dominance.
Keyboards with mirrored layouts or customizable key options can better serve left-handed users.

Scrolling direction

The scrolling direction on devices should match the natural movement of the left hand, with considerations like:

  • Touchscreens: Upward scrolling with the thumb when held in the left hand.
  • Laptops/Desktops: Reversed scrolling direction for left-handed use.
Small design changes like scrolling directions can greatly enhance usability for left-handed individuals.

Writing tools and utensils

Design flaws in writing tools and utensils significantly affect left-handers:

  • Pen Clips: Can interfere with left-handed grip.
  • Ink Smudging: Common when writing from left to right.
  • Notebooks/Spiral-Bound Pads: Often inconvenient for left-handed writing.
Inclusivity in Design: Creating writing tools tailored to left-handers can improve comfort and usability.

Product handles and grips

Left-handed users often struggle with handles and grips designed for right-handers, facing issues like:

  • Ergonomics: Tools shaped for right-handed grips.
  • Orientation: Text or markings are not readable when held in the left hand.
Designing ergonomic and readable handles for left-handers can enhance comfort and user experience.


When designing products or interfaces, it's crucial to consider the needs of left-handed users:

  • Address button placement, keyboard layout, and scrolling direction.
  • Improve the design of writing tools, utensils, and product handles.

By tackling these common design flaws, designers can create more inclusive and user-friendly experiences for left-handed individuals.

Sammy Southpaw

Sammy Southpaw

Sammy Southpaw: Left-handed, left-leaning, and left in every sense of the word. Writer, musician, and southpaw enthusiast.