Google+ is an uninviting digital man cave, say female technologists

Google Plus Gender Bias

Google+ was apparently designed by guys who have never lived with a woman. Or, at least that’s the impression that five female technologists gave during a panel at Google I/O last week, Wired reports. During a panel focused on designing web pages that appeal to women, the designers were asked by an audience member why men outnumber women on Google+ by a ratio of around 2 to 1. The following are some choice responses as reported by Wired.

“I think the seed of that community is very very important. Polyvore was seeded on fashion forums,” said Jess Lee, an entrepreneur who founded the fashion-photo community website Polyvore. “Google+ was actually seeded with Google employees, so it was tech, and honestly mostly male. That’s part of how it grew —  those people invited their friends. Facebook started at colleges… It’s all about the seed, and the seed for Google+ was different.”

“It probably just needs a [user interface] overhaul,” said Margaret Wallace, a video game entrepreneur. “It’s a UI thing.”

“You have to start somewhere,” said Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou. “And if you do well with it you can start figuring out  adjacent areas to move into and grow from there. I’m sure when Wikipedia started it was not a comprehensive collection of articles about all topics.”

To sum up, it sounds like Google+ has a design that speaks directly to men and now it needs a way to make women feel welcome at the party as well.

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