style The Great Sex Divide of the Web

The Great Sex Divide of the Web

There have been multiple studies done regarding women and men involved in web design (and their preferences when it comes to "good" design), and they all sum up to one fact that begs the question: where all the women at?

In A List Apart's 2008 web design survey (released at the end of each year) out of the 29,940 designer respondents only 16.2% were women, which is really no change from the 16.1% (32,831 respondents) in 2007.

A study in 2005 found that 74% of websites were produced by a man or a predominantly male team while just 7% were designed by a female or female team.

Historically, industries like architecture and design have been "men's club," and some have even asked if women are deterred from the web because it is seen as being as "masculine" as the construction or auto mechanic industry. In my mind, the web is the most accessible platform for human knowledge, and as such, it is, or should be, just as open in the creation of its infrastructure and design as in its core ideals.

What Sex is Your Design?

2005 student study conducted by the University of Glamorgan in the UK into what aesthetically appeals to males and females when surfing the web, found that there were differences in language, visuals and navigation preference between women and men. Women prefer more color in the background and typeface, rounded forms and informal language, where the opposite was true for men: straight lines, fewer colors and formal or expert language.

Another part of the study found an overwhelming preference for sites designed by the same sex as the respondent.

A selection of the University websites was then shown to a group of individuals of both sexes who had to rate their appeal on a scale. In almost every case women preferred those sites designed by women and men showed a preference for those created by men.


Women on the Web

Here is a quick look at a CSS gallery site dedicated to women designers, and a "best of" list.

CSS Princess

CSS Princess is project with the main idea of promoting and supporting beautiful and interesting css sites made by women. We all know that female designers have special sensibility and creativity, and we want to show the best websites world-wide with "woman's touch" primarily.

By that, we want to support women in designing and their contribution to global community, and also to motivate css design community to make internet even better and prettier place. But not only sites made by females can be listed in cssprincess gallery. We would also considered a good male designers.

"Best of" List

While anything with hot + female in the title is sure to get a barrage of clicks, here are a few lists with impressive selections.

Line25: 40 Amazing Female Role Models For Web Designers

Lee Munroe: 25 Hot Female Web Designers (part 2)

INDEZINER: 50 Best Female Designers Around the World (list continues)

Vivien Anayi


Jina Bolten


Irene Demetri


Tina Roth Eisenber


Ali Felski


Margot Harrington


Inayaili de León


Mourylise Heymer Marreiros


Kat Neville


More Reads:

Women in web design: just the facts by Jeffrey Zeldman

Do We Need More Female Web Designers? by Holly Buchanan

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