GenderMag Design Catalog
Examples of how to make software inclusive
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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).

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
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).

Indicate progress
Task progress indicators help users manage their time
Before

A user didn't know how far along they were in the process of filling out the survey.

Attitude Toward Risk: Risk averse users have rarely any spare time and would like to know how much of the survey they have left to decide whether or not to continue.

Also affects users with: process-oriented learning style
After

A progress bar is now at the top of the survey to let users know how much of the survey they have left to complete.

Attitude Toward Risk: Risk averse users now are able to track their progress through the survey and know exactly how much is left. It also doesn't hurt risk tolerant users.

Showing user progression through a task also helps users with: process-oriented learning style