How left-handers navigate the digital world

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International Left-Handers Day : How left-handers navigate the digital world

International Left-Handers Day was on Sunday 13th August. The day was first observed by the founder of Lefthanders International, Inc. — Dean R. Campbell, in 1976. and has been celebrated every year since.

Some studies have found that individuals who are left-handed score higher when it comes to creativity - you're in safe hands at PropertyStream's Lead Designer Michael and our Marketing Director and Senior Copywriter Pernilla - both left-handed. Same studies also showed higher scores for left-handed people when it came to imagination, daydreaming and intuition. Left-handed people are also better at rhythm and visualisation, according to some studies.

One undisputed fact not requiring a survey, is the huge number of birthday cards, letters, whiteboards and important forms that have been smudged by left-handers. Speaking with experience, and showing my age, the imprinted blue ink markings along the side of my left hand was a standard look throughout my schooldays when pen and paper were actual apparatus. Anyone else recognise this? 

Do left-handed people face digital challenges?

So what about today? In this blog, let's take a moment to dive into the intriguing world of left-handed challenges, especially in the context of our ever-evolving digital landscape.

While lefties might face their fair share of digital challenges, the tides are turning. The digital agency world is becoming more attuned to the needs of everyone, ensuring that left-handers aren't left out in the digital cold.

In a world where technology reigns supreme, left-handers often find themselves facing a few digital roadblocks. From smartphones to computer mice, the majority of these devices are designed with right-handed users in mind. It's like the digital realm is in cahoots with the right-hand majority, leaving lefties to navigate an often less-than-ideal experience.

The struggle with touchscreens

Picture this: you're enjoying your morning coffee and scrolling through your smartphone, only to find that the interface favours your right thumb's swiping prowess. The struggle is real! Lefties often have to twist their hands in unnatural ways or use their non-dominant hand to interact with touchscreens comfortably. Fortunately, some devices now offer customisable layouts, providing a sigh of relief for our left-handed friends. At the same time, left-handers are getting more familiar with using touchscreens with their right hand, or both hands. 

Keyboard confusion

Typing on a standard keyboard can be a bit of a puzzle for lefties. The numeric keypad (located on the right hand side of stand-alone keyboards) which righties find so convenient, can feel like a distant dream for left-handers. The world needs more keyboards with ambidextrous layouts, or at least the option to switch things up for a more balanced typing experience.

The right-click conundrum

Ah, the right-click—every designer, developer, and digital explorer's trusty sidekick. But for lefties, the right-click can be a bit of a right-handed conspiracy. Many mice and touchpad designs make it awkward to execute the right-click command without contorting your hand into strange shapes.

Designing for all hands

Now, let's switch gears and talk about the strides being made to address these challenges. The digital agency world isn't blind to the left-handed struggle. In fact, some of the brightest minds are working on creating more inclusive digital experiences for everyone. It's all about designing for all hands!

Responsive interfaces

Responsive web design isn't just about adjusting layouts for different screen sizes—it's also about catering to different users' needs. Designers are embracing adaptable interfaces that consider left-handed users, ensuring buttons and controls are accessible from various angles and orientations. The aim is to make sure everyone can interact with digital content comfortably, regardless of their dominant hand.

Left-handed facts you never knew…

  • 12% – the percentage of the world that is left-handed.
  • 1860 – the year when left-handed people were essentially seen as being in a league with the devil.
  • 0.5% – the percentage of guitarists who play left-handed (including Jimi Hendrix and Paul McCartney)
  • 11 times – the higher likelihood for left-handers to suffer from allergies.
  • 23% – the percentage of more men than women who are left-handed. 
  • 70% – the percentage of left-handed people who have left-brain dominance when it comes to language control.
  • 40% – the percentage of the current top tennis players who are lefties. Over the years, these have included Rfal Nadal, Cameron Norrie, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors, Monica Seles and Goran Ivanisevic.

So, here's to all the left-handers out there — embracing challenges, finding innovative solutions, and shaping the digital landscape with our unique perspective. We'd love to hear your left-handed challenges and advantages - let us know!

Suffice it to say, at PropertyStream we love working with both left-handers and right-handers, (and the smaller group of roughly 1% who have no preference between left and right, so-called 'ambidextrous' people) when it comes to estate agent website design, estate agent branding and estate agent marketing.

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