Software for Women What do women want?
Software for Women What do women want?
Emily WinchCherSoft LtdSoftware engineerWomanAnthropologist
Women make upabout half of thepeople ordained inthe Church ofEngland each year
In 2006 womenreceived 57% of alldegrees in the UK
"For years, women’s progress has been cast as astruggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the endpoint? What if mod...
UK Computer science students 2010
Questions for us to think aboutHow are women really different from men?Are these differences relevant to how we writesoftw...
Generalisation alert!Isnt this all horribly sexist?
"in the special case of scienceand engineering, there are issuesof intrinsic aptitude, andparticularly of the variability ...
"...there can be                         injustice in treating                         people the same when               ...
Productive conversations aboutdifferences    are           inquisitive          open           inclusive
Women are less       Women, onstrong than men,     average, are lessso Beth shouldnt    strong than men,be allowed to join...
Declawing stereotypesSome people are      Some people areless strong than     less strong thanothers, so Beth      others,...
20
How might ourfemale users andcustomers bedifferent from us?
Attention
"We all know thatknowledge workerswork best by gettinginto flow, alsoknown as being inthe zone "Joel Spolsky
Wow, is it really 3am already?
Solving problems,software engineerstyle.
Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptions
Your software is not the centre ofmy universe
Find and open slide softwareMake a blank slideFind and open browser, search for imageChoose an imageSave As, Make a folder...
Usability concepts....
Situational awarenessWhats the current state of my  training materials  sales pitch  holiday plan?              I dont giv...
interoperability
interoperabilityI want reminders of my appointments in time to drive there.I want to click on an appointment and select "d...
35
Time
Women inhouseholds withchildren spend onaverage an extrahour a day onchildcarecompared to men
Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptionsmastery of arca...
"Then, sometime after college, we had our first child. After that,I found I couldn’t program any more. Seriously. There we...
Usability concepts....
Ubiquitous direct manipulation
45
Gossip, n:Hearing something you like aboutsomeone you dont.
Its not far    from chatter    and gossipTO TREASON!
GossipI am thinking of gossip as   Gossip is the narrativedata in the great social     of a community, itsexperiment we ca...
Learning styles
Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptionsmastery of arca...
Communication styles
Geek culture can be... Aggressive Competitive Confident Direct and straightforward Interrupting Using insults as a form of...
Other people can be interested in...  Co-operation            Helping, mentoring and                          teaching  Co...
Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptionsmastery of arca...
"Women are more likely to placeintrinsic value on activities thathelp to build a network of trustedrelationships."Emily Wi...
Software communities are valuable to womenWomen are valuable to software communities
Communities: norms and culture
Open source community  How To Ask Questions The Smart Way  1. Try to find an answer by searching the archives of theforum ...
Open source communityDescribe the symptoms of your problem or bug carefullyand clearly.Describe the environment in which i...
Dreamwidth developer community"We welcome people of any gender identity or expression,race, ethnicity, size, nationality, ...
A culture clashPat: "Hi, I’ve installedyour software and Ireally like it. I have a   Jo: "This is addressedquestion, how d...
A culture clash  Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed  your software and I  really like it. I have a    Jo: "This is addressed  questi...
A culture clash  Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed  your software and I  really like it. I have a        Jo: "This is addressed  qu...
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpful
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new people
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participate
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people fo...
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people fo...
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people fo...
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people fo...
Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people fo...
Examples
Examples
75
In conclusion...
Thank you for coming!
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
Software for women
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Software for women

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Does being female make a difference to the way people use software? Can the software industry change the way we do things to make our software more useful for women? Would that be sexist? Would any men want to buy our software afterwards?

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Software for women

  1. 1. Software for Women What do women want?
  2. 2. Software for Women What do women want?
  3. 3. Emily WinchCherSoft LtdSoftware engineerWomanAnthropologist
  4. 4. Women make upabout half of thepeople ordained inthe Church ofEngland each year
  5. 5. In 2006 womenreceived 57% of alldegrees in the UK
  6. 6. "For years, women’s progress has been cast as astruggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the endpoint? What if modern, postindustrial society is simplybetter suited to women?"Hanna Rosin
  7. 7. UK Computer science students 2010
  8. 8. Questions for us to think aboutHow are women really different from men?Are these differences relevant to how we writesoftware?Could we or should we be doing things differently?
  9. 9. Generalisation alert!Isnt this all horribly sexist?
  10. 10. "in the special case of scienceand engineering, there are issuesof intrinsic aptitude, andparticularly of the variability ofaptitude"Lawrence Summer, thenPresident of Harvard University
  11. 11. "...there can be injustice in treating people the same when in relevant respects they are different, just as much as there can be in treating people differently when in relevant respects they are the same..." beMark Halstead, Education, Justice, andCultural Diversity: An Examination of theHoneyford Affair, 1984-85
  12. 12. Productive conversations aboutdifferences are inquisitive open inclusive
  13. 13. Women are less Women, onstrong than men, average, are lessso Beth shouldnt strong than men,be allowed to join so lets make athe army. range of lightweight power tools.
  14. 14. Declawing stereotypesSome people are Some people areless strong than less strong thanothers, so Beth others, so letsand Jim should make a range ofpass a strength lightweight powertest before they tools. hcan join the army.
  15. 15. 20
  16. 16. How might ourfemale users andcustomers bedifferent from us?
  17. 17. Attention
  18. 18. "We all know thatknowledge workerswork best by gettinginto flow, alsoknown as being inthe zone "Joel Spolsky
  19. 19. Wow, is it really 3am already?
  20. 20. Solving problems,software engineerstyle.
  21. 21. Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptions
  22. 22. Your software is not the centre ofmy universe
  23. 23. Find and open slide softwareMake a blank slideFind and open browser, search for imageChoose an imageSave As, Make a folder, OKSwitch to slide softwareInsert picture, browse to folder, choose image, OKInsert textType quotationFind and open image editor.Open image, browse to folder, find the image, OKAdd a semi-transparent white layer to the imageSaveSwitch to slide softwareInsert image, choose the image from before, OK
  24. 24. Usability concepts....
  25. 25. Situational awarenessWhats the current state of my training materials sales pitch holiday plan? I dont give two hoots about the state of files documents software programs my inbox
  26. 26. interoperability
  27. 27. interoperabilityI want reminders of my appointments in time to drive there.I want to click on an appointment and select "drive to".I want to drag the agenda onto the meeting in the calendar.I want to click on an appointment and call the other invitees.I want to drag pictures and web pages onto my contacts.I want to drag a route onto my calendar.I wan
  28. 28. 35
  29. 29. Time
  30. 30. Women inhouseholds withchildren spend onaverage an extrahour a day onchildcarecompared to men
  31. 31. Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptionsmastery of arcana over delivering business value
  32. 32. "Then, sometime after college, we had our first child. After that,I found I couldn’t program any more. Seriously. There were justtoo many interruptions. As soon as I got back “up to speed”with the software I was working on and “recovered state”enough to make the next logical step, I would get anotherinterruption, and the program would go back on the backburner. Later, I’d find myself having to puzzle out what I hadwritten a day, a week, or even a month in the past.When I finally did get back into programming, it was through [...]Python. It was amazing. I could get stuff done again. That’sboth because Python code is more compact and because it ismore readable."Terry Hancock
  33. 33. Usability concepts....
  34. 34. Ubiquitous direct manipulation
  35. 35. 45
  36. 36. Gossip, n:Hearing something you like aboutsomeone you dont.
  37. 37. Its not far from chatter and gossipTO TREASON!
  38. 38. GossipI am thinking of gossip as Gossip is the narrativedata in the great social of a community, itsexperiment we call internal mythology, the"community." stories the community tells about itselfAnn Burlingham Darkhawk
  39. 39. Learning styles
  40. 40. Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptionsmastery of arcana over delivering business valueindividual prowess over team working ability
  41. 41. Communication styles
  42. 42. Geek culture can be... Aggressive Competitive Confident Direct and straightforward Interrupting Using insults as a form of bonding Taking pride in being unoffendable
  43. 43. Other people can be interested in... Co-operation Helping, mentoring and teaching Collaboration Expressing themselves Consensus "tactfully" Other points of viewAside: Why do so many women dislike this stereotype?
  44. 44. Software Engineers ManifestoWe often seem to value...focus and attention over multitasking andinterruptionsmastery of arcana over delivering business valueindividual prowess over team working abilitydirect speech over tact
  45. 45. "Women are more likely to placeintrinsic value on activities thathelp to build a network of trustedrelationships."Emily Winch
  46. 46. Software communities are valuable to womenWomen are valuable to software communities
  47. 47. Communities: norms and culture
  48. 48. Open source community How To Ask Questions The Smart Way 1. Try to find an answer by searching the archives of theforum you plan to post to. 2. Try to find an answer by searching the Web. 3. Try to find an answer by reading the manual. 4. Try to find an answer by reading a FAQ. 5. Try to find an answer by inspection or experimentation. 6. Try to find an answer by asking a skilled friend. 7. If youre a programmer, try to find an answer by reading thesource code.
  49. 49. Open source communityDescribe the symptoms of your problem or bug carefullyand clearly.Describe the environment in which it occurs. Provide yourvendors distribution and release levelDescribe the research you did to try and understand theproblem before you asked the question.Describe the diagnostic steps you took to try and pin downthe problem yourself before you asked the question.Describe any possibly relevant recent changes in yourcomputer or software configuration.If at all possible, provide a way to reproduce the problem ina controlled environment.
  50. 50. Dreamwidth developer community"We welcome people of any gender identity or expression,race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, abilitylevel, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure,culture, subculture, and political opinion. We welcomeactivists, artists, bloggers, crafters, dilettantes, musicians,..."
  51. 51. A culture clashPat: "Hi, I’ve installedyour software and Ireally like it. I have a Jo: "This is addressedquestion, how do I go on page 5 of theabout adjusting the manual."whatnot?"
  52. 52. A culture clash Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed your software and I really like it. I have a Jo: "This is addressed question, how do I go on page 5 of the about adjusting the manual." whatnot?"Hi, I am too lazy to read Please at least makethe manual or try any of some effort, you idiot,the menu options; I’d is my time so muchrather waste your less valuable thantime instead yours?
  53. 53. A culture clash Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed your software and I really like it. I have a Jo: "This is addressed question, how do I go on page 5 of the about adjusting the manual." whatnot?"This community seems We are not interestedhelpful: I’d like to be a part in having you as partof it, although I don’t know of our community. Gomuch about the software away.yet.
  54. 54. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpful
  55. 55. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new people
  56. 56. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participate
  57. 57. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people for their contributions
  58. 58. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people for their contributionsAllow avatars and personal information in profiles
  59. 59. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people for their contributionsAllow avatars and personal information in profilesActively discourage unpleasant behaviour
  60. 60. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people for their contributionsAllow avatars and personal information in profilesActively discourage unpleasant behaviourWelcome the asking of "silly" questions
  61. 61. Making a forum into a communityBe real, friendly and helpfulWelcome new peopleEncourage them to participateThank people for their contributionsAllow avatars and personal information in profilesActively discourage unpleasant behaviourWelcome the asking of "silly" questionsProvide "back-channels" for everything off-topic or meta
  62. 62. Examples
  63. 63. Examples
  64. 64. 75
  65. 65. In conclusion...
  66. 66. Thank you for coming!

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