Supporting Gender-Neutral Digital Library Creation: A Case Study Using the GenderMag Toolkit
Software is assumed by its creators and maintainers to be gender-neutral: that is, that it is equally well suited for use by any user, regardless of gender. We investigate this assumption in the digital libraries context through analysis of a significant digital library construction and maintenance tool—the Greenstone Digital Librarian Interface (GLI)—using the GenderMag toolkit. GenderMag provides personas whose approaches to software use fall across the spectrum of gender-stereotypic actions and motivations. The personas are used as the basis for cognitive walkthroughs of the system under investigation, to uncover potential gender biases in system functionality and interface design. We uncover significant such biases in GLI.
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