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Design and Women's Expectations of WWW Experience

Design and Women's Expectations of WWW Experience
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Author(s): Noemi Maria Sadowska (Regents Business School London, UK)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Eileen M. Trauth (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch029

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Abstract

Development of the World Wide Web (WWW) prompted a flurry of research investigating women’s participation in the creation, production, and use of online technologies. Initial studies focused on trends in female users’ participation rather than investigating the role of design in these processes (Pattanaik, 1999). Web design practice was rarely a focus. This article presents findings from my PhD research, which applies feminist and design theory to critique Web design. Focusing on a commercial UK based women’s portal, BEME.com, I examine the value of Web design practice to female users and their expectations of online interaction. I describe the type of experience BEME.com intended for its female users, as outlined by the design team during interviews. Interviews with the production team were conducted two years after the design was completed, making them reflective in nature. Alongside interviews with the intended target audience, the aim is to highlight disparities between design intentions and female users’ expectations.

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