I am building a social app, but I'm stuck at one place. I have to show the gender of a user. I was thinking of a few things-

  • Maybe i could show those gender icons like these,besides every user name. enter image description here

    But these are very confusing to the general user. Many might not find these easy to understand.

  • I was thinking about plain M / F near the name.

  • Full word type - Male / Female. But in some situation where space is low, these might create problems.

My question is what might be the best way to show the gender of a user, which would fit in all the situations whether less space or more and of course should look nice.

Considering the user already selected his/her gender, now just to show it to the other users, like in their profile.

  • 7
    Has it occurred to you that some people may not feel as if they align with either? Having only two options may very well alienate some users. You also may have users who don't want to share and may find it offensive that this is relevant information.
    – TruthOf42
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 15:40
  • 4
    Your only two options are "male" and "female". Well it is sort of private info, because a picture does not necessarily translate directly to gender. It may better to ask their "sex", instead of gender. I know this may seem a bit over-thinking, but you really need to take into consideration the transgender community
    – TruthOf42
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 15:51
  • 4
    The concept of gender identity being a binary choice is fading. For example, Facebook now lists 56 options slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/02/21/… (admittedly, that may be a bit extreme for say, the DMV--but does make a lot of sense for a social site)
    – DA01
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 16:17
  • 2
    Google uses three genders: male, female and other. Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 16:54
  • 7
    Bearing in mind that this is a User Experience forum, and the consideration for the psychographics of the demographic of people who would enter their gender into an app in the first place is likely to be millenial or thereabouts - a demographic that has recently been shown to abandon loyalty to brands, organizations, games and websites that don't support non-gender binary and orientation inclusiveness. It really isn't a matter of personal opinion but simply a perspective that's important to a lot of people these days.
    – Caryn
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


You say that you have to show the gender. In that case, I would recommend using straight text, and allowing for people with other gender preferences to fill in the blank, or leave it blank. I am not sure what the context of your social app is, but I think that is your safest bet. As for times when that space is limited, just don't show that section, and have a details link.

  • No, the user already selected his gender. Now i just want to show it to other users. In that case, what would be the best way ?
    – tannerjohn
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 17:30
  • 2
    I would still argue that displaying the full text should be fine. If you insist on using only male and female, than m/f should get the point across if the space is limited.
    – codydwyer
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 17:50

One parameter that you implemented in your example perhaps without knowing it is color.

Labeling your icons in pink / blue might help your cause along the way.

Relevant post: http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/thinking-pink-and-blue-is-good-but-thinking-ux-is-better

  • Your article has nothing to do with this question. Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 22:39

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