Does Apple hate the lefties and, like me, the left-hand identifying community (right handers who just prefer to use the mouse left-handed)?
Maybe so, judging by two flaws in the Mac OSX mouse preference pane for selecting left-handed operation. Instead of asking a user to designate which side/button of the mouse will activate the primary click, Mac OSX Lion reverses the question and asks which side/button will activate the secondary click. This requires the user to know or work out what a secondary click is, then figure out the appropriate choice.
Does the accompanying video help the user make that choice? Well, it shows a left hand and it attempts to show the secondary button being clicked and the resulting interface response (a context menu). However, by showing the use of the index finger to click the “secondary” side, I believe it conflates the concepts of primary finger and primary click.
I personally use my middle finger to perform secondary click actions and flip people the bird, saving my precious index finger for primary clicking and aggressive pointing. I do recognise that there are some folk with limited dexterity, or perhaps other important things do with with their middle finger, who use their index finger for both primary and secondary clicks, but I think even they would take a moment or two to figure this out.
And yet, that moment would be unnecessary if the choice was presented as “primary click”. Perhaps there could be a “secondary click” underneath that, with an accompanying video, but at least that choice would then be made from within the same cognitive context as the primary click context.
It wasn’t always this way. Just last year in OSX Snow Leopard, on July 9 2011, OSX daily showed users how to choose left-handed operation. They showed an image of the preference pane as it then was, with the choice being offered for the primary click.
A first world problem, I know.