Gender issue is pre-dominant in every industry today. Pity that it’s messing the design industry as well. Often unequal representation of males and females spoils the creativity and purpose of design projects. User interface (UI) design specifically is guarded by this superficial set of misrepresentation, and hence motivated me to delve deeper.
For instance, I’ve found that statistically 82.6% UI designers are male. Chilling right? What is more surprising here is the balanced ratio in academics. A Michigan University study show that on average in the UI design classrooms, there is a 50/50 blend of male and female students respectively. If that were the case then in the real world too there should be this balanced division. Unfortunately, seems like something has gone wrong in the UI design field.
while trying to unlock the thought process behind this bias, one has to understand a UI/UX designer’s mind. The slideshare below provides the subjective explanation based on logical reasoning of the conflicting statistics. It talks about gender as a social construct in the field of UI design.
My concern with this unequal representation is not because of feministic perception, but the real issue underlying this gender disparity in the design industry. I believe, we are capable of doing much better together, than judging the capabilities of one another based on gender bias. Social acceptance of anything is dangerous. This slideshare will attempt to open dialogue in gendered social discourse and help you understand the reality behind the socially constructed gendered design thinking.
Blog Update: 23 September 2015
A discussion was posted on social media about women’s participation in UI design filed. It is very surprising that people working in the field of UI design don’t believe that women are discriminated on the paradigms established in above extract.
Nick Steele highlighted a very important aspect in our discussion, he said that this issue is irrelevant of gender discussion. The real problem lies in the “thinking” that is different in all human cases. Regardless of gender, all humans are creative. Creativity is a subjective notion that cannot be judged or measured.
Keeping in mind the arguments of this discussion, I have written a follow up post on the same issue. Nevertheless, it focuses more on the psychosocial reasons responsible for women’s departure from UI design field. Let me know what do you think about it? A critical analysis and constructive feedback will be much appreciated.