GenderMag Design Catalog
Examples of how to make software inclusive
(What is this website and how do I use it?)
 
 
Add category labels
Categorizing issues with color-coded labels helps users avoid spending time on issues that don't fit their skill level
Before

The issue list for this open source project doesn't allow users to easily parse through the issues and confidently select one that fits their skill level.

Attitude Toward Risk: A risk averse user doesn't want to waste time working on an issue that doesn't match their skill level.

Also affects users with: comprehensive information processing style, task-oriented motivations, low computer self-efficacy
After

Categorizing issues by color-coded labels allows users to map the skills needed for each issue.

Attitude Toward Risk: With this solution, a risk averse user can clearly identify the issue that best matches their skillset, and move forward without wasting time. This doesn't hinder a risk-tolerant user since they wouldn't have experienced this pain point.

Categorizing issues by color-coded labels also helps users with: comprehensive information processing style, task-oriented motivations, low computer self-efficacy

Evidence: This redesign was validated in a user study (to appear).

Organize persistently
Cohesively organized instructions help task-motivated users move forward
Before

Instructions for each OS were in different locations in the project

Motivations: A task-oriented user doesn't explore around to gather up all the necessary instructions. If the instructions they need aren't organized cohesively they may abandon the task.

Also affects users with: low computer self efficacy, risk aversion, process-oriented learning style
After

Added and organized instructions all in one place for all OS setups.

Motivations: This allows task-motivated users to find exactly what they need but allows technology-motivated users to explore as much as they want.

Better organization can also help users with: low computer self efficacy, risk aversion, process-oriented learning style

Evidence: This redesign was validated in a user study (to appear).

Richen details
Detailed survey choices help risk-averse user move forward
Before

The third choice does not indicate that graduate courses are part of the Computer Science or Electrical & Computer Engineering dept.

Attitude Towards Risk: A risk-averse user may abandon the survey all together if they do not see an option that fits their specific task. They don't want to waste time on something that may not actually help them reach their end goal.

Also affects users with: low computer self-efficacy, comprehensive information processing style
After

The third choice now specifies "CS & ECE".

Attitude Towards Risk: This solution empowers a risk-averse user to comfortably move forward knowing they are on the right track. It also doesn't hurt a risk-tolerant user.

Adding more detail also helps users with: low computer self-efficacy, comprehensive information processing style
Clarify expectations
Providing clear expectations and examples helps increase user confidence while answering questions
Before

Fields were marked with titles, but did not include examples or clarifications of the expectations for input.

Computer Self-Efficacy: Users with low computer self efficacy blame themselves for not knowing exactly how to answer each question.

Also affects users with: risk aversion, comprehensive information processing style
After

Added stars to required fields, clarifying statements ('please state if it will be required or recommended'), and an example ('eg math placement test').

Computer Self-Efficacy: Users with low computer self efficacy now feel confident moving forward knowing that they're inputting correct information. Additionally a user with high CSE won't be frustrated with the survey since they'll receive fewer feedback errors.

Providing clear examples and expectations also helps users with: risk aversion, comprehensive information processing style
Don't be vague
Providing more context helps increase user confidence when making decisions
Before

Title is vague and the lack of a description makes this issue difficult to guage.

Information Processing Style: A comprehensive newcomer needs enough detail to select an issue that fits their skill level; this further impacts their decision to contribute.

Also affects users with: low computer self efficacy
After

A more detailed title and description were added to provide context for the issue in the project.

Information Processing Style: By providing more information about the issue, a comprehensive newcomer is more inclined to contribute as they can easily decide if it's in their skill level. This solution doesn't hinder a selective newcomer who prefers lists with bolded key words over text blocks.

Providing more context can also help users with: low computer self-efficacy

Evidence: This redesign was validated in a user study (to appear).

Prevent false connections
Removing contradicting information helps increase user confidence
Before

The original table seems contradictory since the "Rank" filter is bolded but the numbers on the right side don't seem to be in order. However, the numbers on the right are actually the number of publications for each university and doesn't affect the rank.

Computer Self-Efficacy: A user with low computer self-efficacy blames themselves for not understanding why the "Rank" filter doesn't match the ordering of the numbers on the right. This would either cause them to spend more time attempting to understand it or abandon the task worried that they did something incorrectly.

Also affects users with: task-oriented motivation, risk aversion, comprehensive information processing style, process-oriented learning style
After

The numbers on the right side of the table were removed.

Computer Self-Efficacy: Now a user with low computer self-efficacy isn't confused by the inconsistency between filters and numbers and can confidently proceed. This solution also doesn't hurt users with high computer self-efficacy.

Removing contradicting information can also help users with: task-oriented motivation, risk aversion, comprehensive information processing style, process-oriented learning style

Evidence: This redesign was created by Vorvoreanu et al. and validated through a user study.

Remove pointless barriers
Removing unfamiliar barriers helps task-oriented users move forward
Before

Users must sign into Canvas to access general information.

Motivations: If a task-oriented user is faced with performing extra steps (especially involving personal information) on the way to their goal; they feel obstructed by these unfamiliar barriers, and will abandon the task.

Also affects users with: risk aversion, process-oriented learning style, low computer self-efficacy
After

Now, users don't have to go through a sign-in page to see a list of common tasks.

Motivations: By removing the sign-in barrier, task-motivated users can freely access general information with performing unfamiliar steps.

Taking down unfamilar barriers can also help users with: risk aversion, process-oriented learning style, low computer self-efficacy
Break into bullets
Step-by-step instructions benefit selective information processors
Before

There are no step-by-step instructions or directions to the "issue list".

Information Processing Style: A user with selective information processing style wants to clearly locate the required information without be overwhelmed by extra text.

Also affects users with: task-oriented motivations, low computer self-efficacy
After

Numbered step-by-step instructions were added as well as a direct link to the "issue list".

Information Processing Style: This solution directs users with selective information processing style to a list of instructions instead of a paragraph. The "issue list" is hyperlinked and doesn't require additional navigation. This also doesn't prevent tinkerers from learning through exploration.

Incorporating numbered lists and hyperlinks also help users with: task-oriented motivations, low computer self-efficacy

Evidence: This redesign was validated in a user study (to appear).

Give a process
Step-by-step instructions for documentation contributions help newcomers
Before

Contributing to an OSS project can be intimidating for newcomes, especially if they believe their only option requires altering the project's code. This project only provided instructions for how to complete a code contribution and gave no instructions or even indications that a documentation contribution was possible.

Learning Style: A process-oriented learner wants to follow step-by-step instructions rather than tinker around the project or go through the coding setup (which requires much more work) to make a documentation contribution.

Also affects users with: risk aversion, low computer self-efficacy
After

Now there is an entire section dedicated to documentation contributions with step-by-step instructions.

Learning Style: A process-oriented learner now has the instructions they're looking for in order to easily complete a documentation contribution. This also doesn't stop a tinker from exploring around the project as much as they want.

Providing step-by-step instructions also helps users with: risk aversion, low computer self-efficacy

Evidence: This redesign was validated in a user study (to appear).