It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned professional in the design world with decades of experience in creating better experiences for others, or you’re a newbie who’s looking to make their mark and earn a place.
It doesn’t matter because as an individual in the design world, you possess the power to create influential interactions for the users of your or your client’s company in many meaningful ways.
The real secret sauce, however, to creating meaningful interactions is through Inclusive Genderless Design.
If you just asked yourself, what inclusive genderless design is, then let us get you up to speed. It’s an approach to gathering attention across industries where you create products that are useful to more and more people and don’t isolate them in binaries.
This multi-faceted use case helps in minimizing any hurdles to the user experience.
A microcopy that includes words like ‘ladies & gents’, ‘guys’, ‘lads’, ‘fathers’, are all gendered terms that imply that you’re describing a binary fit. We’re aiming for genderless here, which is the exact opposite.
So, the safest way to address this while designing scalable solutions is to avoid using any binary terms. And when it comes to addressing pronouns, it’s far better to go with something like ‘they/them/theirs’ instead of using binary terms like ‘he/him/his’ or ‘she/her/hers’.
This way, it’s easier and faster to talk about a sample from a group of people and you can avoid having anyone feel excluded.
Gender Neutral Colors
Pink used to be a boy’s color based on classical paintings, and blue was traditionally a girl’s color. But post-1920s, the colors exchanged their positions. For the longest time now, we’ve seen pink as a women’s color, and blue as a man’s.
The world of consumerism, marketing, and ever-so-big brands has had us chasing this idea. But not anymore, we’re living in genderless times now and we’re designing thoughtfully for it.
This is why you should focus on gender-neutral colors. Starting with the disruption of the stereotype: Pink for girls and Blue for boys. The smart way of including these colors is to have muted tones or shades that can’t immediately be associated with gender.
Common examples of some genderless colors:
Light Browns, And
Other general muted tones
Traditionally, fonts that have been thin, cursive, and more decorated have been believed to be associated with the female gender. And the ones that offer sharp, straight lines, geometric and definite edges are rather associated with the male gender.
Fonts such as Roboto, Helvetica & Garamond are labeled to not have any gender associations, making them genderless fonts. Out of these, Helvetica is the most popular gender-neutral typeface.
However, even for these gender-neutral fonts, variations such as ultra-light or extra bold can appear to bring back the binaries into the picture.
You see a glyph with a skirt on a bathroom door and immediately know that it’s for the female gender. This is because of how long they’ve been around and have conditioned the entirety of our society into associating glyphs with genders.
Turbotax has an amazing article on how to undress stereotypes.
Always keep in mind that inclusive genderless design is an approach to your design process, meaning that it functions best when used from start to finish.
Designing with gender inclusivity in mind from the start is preferable; making changes later is difficult and complicated. Ways to win with Genderless Design:
Gender Neutral Colors
Remember that it is our responsibility to enhance the inclusiveness of user experiences even when someone else has not done so before you leap into design work that is already in the public domain and needs to be more inclusive.
Your true challenge as a designer is to define the future. Create with this on your mind.