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Are there particular gender differences in web usage/preferences? I'm about to start designing an information-based site with a predominantly female audience. I was wondering what research already exists that might provide any useful insights? Most research tends to focus on gender behaviour differences on e-commerce or social networking sites, but I haven't found much in terms of information sites.

I'm aware of ComScore's article "Women on the Web How Women are Shaping the Internet" and the gender section on Experientia

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Edit: 11 December 2010


These 2 articles are good read

According to some recent research by the University of Glamorgan, if you are designing a site primarily aimed at women, it is worth ensuring a female designer is working on it.

Source: http://boagworld.com/design/sugar-and-spice

Usability Study: Men Need Speed

Source http://www.websiteoptimization.com/speed/tweak/usability-criteria/

And this PDF also

Gender Preferences in Web Design: Usability Testing through Eye ...

30 June 2012 - I came across to one more good article today


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Thanks Jitendra, I shall take a look :) –  Tom Oct 1 '10 at 8:52
@Tom Evans - Your Welcome Tom :) –  Jitendra Vyas Oct 2 '10 at 5:18

Gender Differences in Website Production and Aesthetic Preferences: http://www.iiisci.org/journal/CV$/sci/pdfs/I196XFB.pdf

Gender and Web Design: http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/gmcb_v08/CP%20paper%2030%20Gloria%20Moss.pdf

Also, try ERIC (not Google) for more papers - although you may have to pay for access to some of them (do ERIC first then Google a paper's name if it's not available direct from ERIC - many are hosted for free on sites that ERIC doesn't link to).

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Sometimes I have to wonder about academics. The Moss-Gunn study concludes that, yes, there are gender differences that warrant design differences, and the Moss-Gunn-Kubacki study says to use design elements that your intended audience likes. LOL! Thanks for posting these links. :) –  JeromeR Oct 2 '10 at 13:34
Thanks for the suggestions Gary –  Tom Oct 11 '10 at 11:13

@TomEvans: I don't know if you're aware of http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en&tab=ws or not, but it might help you in your search for academic material.

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Nice! I didn't know about that - thanks Andrew –  Tom Oct 19 '10 at 8:34

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