It all started with a notification for this trending tweet from Tim Cook.
Enjoy Apple Pay, U.K.! Now live in over 250,000 locations including the London underground" pic.twitter.com/UPvR0OJ8Cr— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) July 14, 2015
While the text in the tweet is what brings the information about Apple Pay going live in the U.K., the picture got all my attention. I couldn’t help but notice that all the three persons are wearing their Apple watches on their right hand. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
Left-handedness in a world designed for right-handedness
Studies suggest that only ~10% of the world population is left-handed. Letting aside unfavorable cultural associations, left-handed people suffer serious discrimination of which right handed people are not aware. The most serious cases are schools and some sports in which left-handed people are not even allowed to play, like polo.
In addition, many tools that we use daily may be hard to use for lefties. Watches are an example of a product designed for right-handedness. Apple Watch is even a better example as the crown is not only used for setting the time like in classic watches, it’s used for much more important functionalities. Which brings us back to the picture! You just have to imagine handling the crown with your left hand while wearing the Apple Watch on your right hand. At this point, I think we can agree that the preferred hand to wear an Apple Watch is the left one.
In this same picture, there is another product difficult to use for left-handed people: Underground ticket barriers. They are easier to use holding the ticket on the right hand. And that’s the reason why the three persons are wearing the Apple Watch on the right hand.
The Apple Watch and the underground ticket barriers are two objects that were not designed in the first place to work together. I don’t mean the tech part of course. And though the idea to make them communicate might seem brilliant at the begining, it’s clear that it will not be a winning couple if no changes are made. I wonder how many other objects suffer from this lack of coupling when they are designed separately and need to serve a common purpose.
Apple & accessibility
“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” - Tim Cook
Apple is very serious when it comes to making its products accessible. I think it’s only a matter of time and market confirmation before we see a left-handed Apple Watch version.
The irony would be to see the left-handed minority happier to use the combination of two objects that were always complicated to use for them.