Keywords:design process, gender-specific design, composition, gender-sensitive design, gender stereotypes
The article highlights gender codes in design, particularly in web design, by means of current examples. Different aspects of gender-specific design are looked at in detail and their inherent problems discussed: on the one hand the development of a special solution (gender-specific for women), on the other hand, web design with reduced functionality and simplification of information (i.e. image representation) which sometimes even leads to a negation of technology. The article illustrates that gender codes and stereotypical role models can be embodied on different design levels of web design (use and artefact): in structure/navigation, in creative elements by the use of shape, colour and imagery and on a textual level. These design decisions have an impact on the power of users to act, their individual gender identity and the structural gender identity/social perception of gender. The article demonstrates that gender codes in current web design are very present and aims to sensitize the topic.