When I was in first grade, my parents took me to Taiwan for schooling. As a Canadian-born, left-handed child struggling to understand the language, I was often singled out because I would often smudge my writing with my left hand whenever I wrote. I would often bump into my classmates while eating because my left elbow would bump into their right elbows as we have opposite dominant hands. I would often have to hold pencils like a caveman because the grip was designed to be held with the right hand.
This is when my self-awareness kicked in. I was the only left-handed person in the class.
The teacher’s solution? “Correcting” my dominant hand by making me use my right hand…
It was especially difficult when I had to write these Chinese characters thousands of times each day.
I realized the world simply isn’t designed for lefties.
As a UX designer and a left-handed individual, I have experienced firsthand the inconveniences and obstacles that arise in a world predominantly designed for those who use their right hand. So in this article, we will take a deep dive into how most objects and systems are designed for the convenience of the right-handed majority rather than left-handers.
The bias against left-handedness has deep historical roots in cultural beliefs and superstitions that positioned right-handedness as righteous and left-handedness as aberrant.
For centuries, social customs, religious symbolism, language biases, and harsh educational practices imposed conformity to right-handedness while stigmatizing left-handed minorities worldwide.
While stigma and discrimination have declined in recent decades, remnants of the historical bias against left-handers persist subtly in daily life across cultures.