CHI 2014 Workshop Call for Participation: Perspectives on Gender and Product Design

CHI 2014 Workshop Call for Participation: Perspectives on Gender and
Product Design

Submission Deadline: January 17th, 2014
Notification of Acceptance/Rejection: February 10th, 2014
Workshop Date & Location: Saturday April 26th 2014, Toronto, CA

Interactive technologies have a profound mediating effect on the way we
obtain and contribute to knowledge, relate to each other and contribute
to society. Often, “gender” is not a factor that is explicitly considered
in the design of these technologies. Technologies might also be designed
with idealised models of gendered “users”–designed for men, designed for
women, designed for the “average user” who could be male or female. But the
impact of this is not very well understood, and it is unclear how “gender”
might influence use and design of interactive technologies by users of any

Given the impact and potential ramifications of technological products
on society, it is imperative that we more deeply understand the tacit and
explicit models of gendered practice that underlie design choices. We
need to inclusively accommodate and integrate different perspectives in
shaping our modern day technologies.

This workshop focuses on the bringing to the fore different perspectives
of how gender affects technology design, adoption, appropriation, and
possible resistance. We address what is missing from the discussion, and why, and
consider what, if anything, needs to change in design methods and
perspectives, to account for possible gender differences in perceived
product value, ease of use, and delightful experiences. Examples of
places where we believe change may need to occur include:

– low representation of nuanced gender perspectives within design
processes in the technology sector and within fields related to
technology production, including computer science and engineering, and also
design, design research, and related fields
– the lack of discussion regarding gender impact in the fields
related to technology design, including the field of Human Computer
Interaction (HCI) whose very charter is to be “user-centric” and inclusive
– low grant support for academic research which looks at the
representation of gendered perspectives in our current discourse,
which in turn leads to a lack of reliable, informative and actionable
technology & gender research
– the lack of focus on production of gender-agnostic
design/development environments, including software tools and collaborative
design/development settings
– the lack of research and understanding of gender impact on
technology design and use
This workshop will address these barriers with respect to the tools,
technologies, and processes we experience and design, both in industry
and academia. The workshop will take place as part of the ACM SIGCHI
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Toronto, CA, on Saturday April 26th 2014.

We invite participation in this workshop by anyone with a substantial
interest in this area, and/or related experience and expertise. Focusing
topics and questions include:

– Framing the discussion: From your perspective, is gender an
important topic for designers and developers of interactive products? Should we
focus our critical and practical energies on Women, on Gender, or on
Diversity/Inclusivity? What role(s) should there be for gender
politics in the debate?

– Gender-related knowledge and practice in academic, consultancy and
corporate HCI and UX as a profession: What is the current status of
gender as a topic in the HCI/UX field of work? What are points of
view on gender research in HCI? What conflicts, if any, exist?

– Gender-sensitive products: Does truly gender-neutral design
exist? If so, is this a desirable goal? If it is a desirable goal, what has
been done toward this goal, what still needs to be addressed?

– Gender-sensitive design processes and practices: Reflecting on
creators of software and of interactive products, what are best
practices for producing gender-sensitive designs? What are the most effective
work practices, work processes and team structures that produce
gender-sensitive designs? What challenges exist and what needs to be done to overcome identified challenges in product creation and promotion? Are there
requirements gathering methods, design processes and evaluation
methods that are specific to different gendered perspectives?

Please submit a position paper (maximum of 4 pages) detailing your
background, and interest and experience in this topic. Participants will
be selected on the basis of their potential to contribute to the overall
discussion and the workshop goals. To participate in this workshop,
position papers must be submitted by January 17th 2014. Please use the
CHI Extended Abstracts format <;.
Submissions should be sent to*

If accepted, at least one of the authors must attend the workshop in
Toronto on April 26th 2014. Mandatory registration requires a one day
workshop registration PLUS at least a one day conference registration.

For more information see: or email
us at


Daniela K. Busse, Samsung Research, USA
Shaowen Bardzell, Indiana University, USA
Anke M. Brock, IRIT, Univ. Toulouse, France
Margaret Burnett, Oregon State University, USA
Elizabeth F. Churchill, eBay, USA
Susan M. Dray, Dray & Associates, Inc., USA
Allison Druin, University of Maryland, USA
Karen Holtzblatt, InContext Design, USA
Dianne Murray, Interacting with Computers, UK
Anicia Peters, Iowa State University, USA
Gayna Williams, If She Can I Can, USA

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