Gender Differences in Website Design: Implications for Education
Rod W Gunn
- Publisher: International Institute of Informatics and Cybernetics
Journal of Systemics
(issn: 1690-4524, eissn: 1690-4524)
Education | Gender | Information technology | P87-96 | men | T58.5-58.64 | Communication. Mass media | websites | aesthetics | women
This study examines the implications of a gendered website production and preference aesthetic for the teaching of computer studies. Where the website production aesthetic is concerned, it finds evidence of statistically significant differences on 13 of the 23 factors against which sixty student websites were rated. These results were suggestive of a website aesthetic continuum with male and female production aesthetic tendencies at either end. The preference tests, conducted with 67 subjects, revealed preferences to be in tune with production aesthetics such that men had a statistically significant tendency to prefer home pages produced by men, and women those produced by women. This latter tendency was higher than the former. The finding of gendered differences in website production and preference aesthetics has important implications for teaching and assessment. Teachers selecting or assessing websites, whether commercial or produced by pupils and students, need to be mindful of the aesthetic employed in those websites. When selecting websites for educational purposes, a match should be made between the website and end-user preferences. Assessment of students' work should ideally be mindful of the potential for positive bias on the part of the assessor in the direction of work displaying their own favoured aesthetic.