Comments on How We Hold Our Gadgets

30 Reader Comments

Back to the Article
  1. But this left-versus-right distinction isn’t especially crucial, since most of us switch hands easily (and frequently) depending on context.

    It’s okay. We Lefties have gotten this our whole lives. We are essentially forced into ambidexterity which is a good thing. Great article.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  2. My left hand pinkie has a dent in it from the way I hold my iPhone. I usually keep it under the bottom of the phone to stabilize it and make sure it doesn’t drop when I hold it. Is there a name for this?

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  3. Awesome article Josh! A well done analysis. With the evolution of the touch screen sizes, it has become more important to analyze how users interact with their phones and other touch screen devices. Long gone are the days when we used to type on our keypad phones!! Although I am not much into this topic, it however seems so interesting to me :-)

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  4. Daniel (and Josh) there’s even more data embedded in all the many research studies. One weird one I’ve found is preference for which hand is used does not track to the rates of handedness in the population. Way more left hand use than makes sense by any theory I cannot come up with.

    So totally account for both sides, and all ways of holding because people switch and even low rate methods of holding are used by a lot of people.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  5. Also: I have a free version of the eLearning Guild report here so no need to do the subscription one (though if into eLearning, worth joining): http://shoobe01.blogspot.com/2014/11/making-mlearning-usable-how-we-use.html and someone made a cute infographic of it all here http://twist.elearningguild.net/2014/04/how-do-people-hold-and-touch-mobile-devices-take-a-peek/?utm_campaign=twist-mob14&utm_medium=link&utm_source=elrninfo

    And you can get to all my research reports and references here: http://4ourth.com/Touch/index.html

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  6. Two thumbs up—one for each of you, Josh & Steven.

    :)

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  7. My language has changed owing to my fingers.I will soon need typing class to learn how my thumbs join in the fun of texting.I marvel at young fingers and their alacrity. Fact is that devices are tested by those with perfect vision and fingers that never have climbed mountains, boxed or played sports.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  8. Just given this a try on my iPhone 6s Plus… and it seems the thumb zone chart is accurate for me :)

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  9. Hi. A lot of informations in this article. Very nice. I must that Steven did an inspiring job. So we did the same in France and even more by asking people some questions (we were so curious). So here is the survey we did in 2014 (in english) : http://fr.slideshare.net/PersonaeUserLab/smartphone-streetobserver-english-version (sorry the complete version and the one this year were not yet translated)

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  10. Good stuff, Josh.  As we approach responsive design for a spectrum of devices, the input variations in each of those gradations is very useful to keep in mind. Physical contexts, particularity for professionals, also poses interesting challenges.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  11. Nice Article! Last week I made this tool to check the hot zone with your own screens. Maybe next step is include tablets devices for research. Take a look and leave me your comments!

    http://thumbzone.co/

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  12. It would be interesting to test the hybrid device usage on users that had not used a smaller touchscreen device yet. Are the hybrid device users primed to use their thumbs only because of conditioning from smaller touchscreens?

    Great article, Josh! Thank you!

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  13. Great article!

    However, to be the nitpick guy, the title is a bit misleading (while the book it’s excerpted from is not). To be more specific, this should be titled “How We Hold Phones/Tablets/Laptops.” Having worked across a wide range of hardware, screen-gadgets are but one of a myriad of devices that require ergonomic consideration when designing UX.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  14. Thank you.  Well written and a great piece that I wish the device designers would pay attention to.  I also now have researched proof of why I HATE Googles’ Material Design UI…not the look, but the placement of major UI components.  Critical UI functions like “Menus” and key actions are all completely outside the “zone” for most users, all being on the top action bar, and top left corner.

    I am fiercely loyal to the apps that have chosen to keep their design in opposition to Android’s guidelines and easier to navigate.

    I think I’ll send this to anyone and everyone.  Thank you

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  15. Do you know of any research on how users interact with vehicle mounted devices, especially while the vehicle is in motion?

    I’m currently working a navigation product for mobile devices. Our research shows that the majority of our users will use tablet sized devices attached to dashboard mounts.

    My guess is that users will adopt a similar grip to a hybrid laptop, but with just one hand. Hooking the fingers behind the device to stabilise the grip, and then using the thumb to point. This would also help mitigate the effect of motion and vibration while the vehicle is moving, but with a very limited hot zone for high precision pointing.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  16. Really interesting analysis….Myself being a leftie, enjoyed reading it!!

    Gps-Enabled Watch

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  17. “thumbs do the driving no matter how large the screen” This is so surprising to me! Interesting to see how others use their devices. I always use a stylus with my larger tablet…

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  18. If I hold my phone in one hand and drive with my thumb, the phone is unwieldy and I risk dropping it. So I use two hands instead, which allows me to access all corners of the screen more easily.

    You might want to revisit the problem, considering that today’s phones are bigger than they were two years ago, when Hoober published his study.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  19. Thanks for sharing the news with us. I agree with the percentage you mentioned. Keep up the good work.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  20. It should be recognized that large touch sensitive screens also created some new problems. The main issue of typing over a touch sensitive screen, e.i., you cannot rest your thumbs on it. You can do it with a Blackberry phone equipped with a physical keyboard.
    But adding a simple device at the back of your cell phone or case will allow you to hold the cell phone in the same way you used to do with a Blackberry.
    I have patented a device (US 9,344,135 B2) to help resolve these issues. Check out this web site if you would like more information www.butterflyTx.com. Right now we have done limited testing but it improved considerably the level of conform for typing and you can type in any position.
    I also think there may some other applications, for instance helping people with some level of motor skill difficulties. Eventually people with some level of visual issues may also benefit from this device because it forces the user to hold the cell phone in the same and consistent way, and therefore making it easier to operate.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  21. great post thanks admin

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  22. very great posting article..thanks for share
    Harga Ban Bridgestune Techno 248

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  23. Sorry, commenting is closed on this article.