Posted by pete on November 21st, 2005
Ever since my Palm T3 died and had to be replaced out of warranty to the tune of about $125, I’ve been looking at PDAs that I could replace my T3 with. For what it’s worth, I mostly love my T3, but as far as I can tell, Palm’s no longer making it and fixing it is getting to be painful.
One of the devices I’ve eyed has been the Nokia 770. Until today, I didn’t know that it went on sale in the US last week. I’ve been quite intrigued by it’s design and the fact that it’s an open platform that Nokia’s actively promoting to open source developers. Still, I had similar thoughts about the Zaurus and I’m glad I never bought into that.
Unfortunately, regardless of my need, I think using the 770 would be really annoying for lefties. If you look at its design you’ll see the hard buttons and rocker on the left front along with other buttons on the left side of the top of the device. Heck, even look at the Flash animations. You’ll see that they did not consider left-handed people when designing this device.
As a lefty, I’ve gotten used to being ignored when it comes to device design. It’s rare that I find a lefty-specific design. I understand why this is, as lefties are in the minority — I’ve seen estimates of lefties being 10 – 20% of the population — and we’re a pretty adaptable bunch, but when something hand held and focused on writing is designed with obviously no lefty testing done, that really pisses me off.
How can a lefty use this device? I thought about rotating it 180 degrees about the Z axis. This way, I should be able to hold the device in my right hand, but it’d be near impossible to access the top (and now bottom) buttons. That’s also assuming that the device supports flipping the image.
I guess I could also hold the device with my right hand supporting the back, instead of along the edge and just deal with no easy button access. It’s not the first time I’d have to make a compromise like this, but it’s very annoying.