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Web Design that Doesn't Make Trans People Uncomfortable - Jessica Kelsall

9f4dcab6a0fc5889de79521bf35e49c4?s=47 Frontend NE
September 05, 2019

Web Design that Doesn't Make Trans People Uncomfortable - Jessica Kelsall

People who identify as transgender face a ton of challenges in day-to-day life, and sometimes that includes web forms and account management.

In this talk I explore problem areas for trans people like myself when providing personal details online, and managing existing accounts as transitioning begins - in particular: name and gender identity.

After explaining how a trans person may feel about providing these details online, I'll critique examples of websites - good & bad, refer to guidance and provide learning resources, so that other developers may continue to design for the web in ways that are conscious of LGBT gender issues, leading to a more inclusive experience for everyone.

Event link:


Frontend NE

September 05, 2019


  1. Jessica Kelsall jesskelsall Web Design that Doesn't Make Trans People

  2. What this talk covers: • What it means to be

    a transgender person. • Name & title. • Gender & sex. • How to design with trans people in mind. • Good & bad examples. • Real quotes from other trans people!
  3. Disclaimer!

  4. February 2013

  5. April 2016

  6. February 2019

  7. April 2019

  8. July 2019

  9. August 2019

  10. Transgender “An umbrella term to describe people whose gender is

    not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth.”
  11. Non Binary “An umbrella term for people whose gender identity

    doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’.”
  12. Genderfluid

  13. Let’s talk about… names • Some trans people change their

    names. • Your name is a big part of your identity. • Use of your deadname is a horrible experience.
  14. Allow users to change their name online I haven't called

    them but that's the last thing I want to do. Avery
  15. Make sure names change everywhere I must say it is

    incredibly irritating to repeatedly update my name and gender in a system only to have it present the old name when I log in at a later time. When I receive promotional emails it's obviously a boost to see Charlotte rather than my male name on an email about dresses or makeup. Alexis Charlotte
  16. Make proving your name simple If legal proof is required

    please allow me to upload my court order document (PDF) so I don't have to go through a phone tree and possibly mail or fax it. I couldn't get an address out of Sky for my deed poll until I went around three departments. Avery Martha
  17. Name done wrong: Next

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  21. Name done right: LinkedIn

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  24. Let’s talk about… titles • Can be gender neutral: Mx,

    Ind. • Titles can be used freely. • Why are we still using titles?
  25. Give users non binary titles to choose The notion of

    gender outside of a M/F binary is lost on most people sadly. A gender neutral option. An M or a Mx. Something along those lines. Personally I still roll my eyes at the circus of Miss, Mrs and Ms. Nic Pippa
  26. Don’t use titles Flickr has been great for years. It

    allows you to write your gender and pronouns, without forcing a Ms or Miss down on you. Nadia
  27. Title done wrong: Willis Towers Watson

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  31. Title done right: Amazon

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  34. Let’s talk about… gender • Deeply personal to many trans

    people. • Everyone has a unique experience of gender. • People don’t always neatly fit into one gender identity.
  35. Trans people may prefer different options I definitely prefer putting

    down female versus trans woman or something along those lines. Right now it would be transgender, because that is what I am, but once I have fully transitioned, I guess it will be female. Blake Nadia
  36. Trans people may prefer different options I would probably choose

    fluid, as that's what I identify with the most at the moment. I suppose as someone who presents mostly as male and separates out my two sides, I usually just use the appropriate name and gender depending on context. Katie Katie
  37. Avoid using “other” where possible Ideally genderfluid or non binary,

    but I'd settle for "other". Some websites do give the option of "other" but that's almost as bad as no option in my opinion. Nic Katie
  38. Provide good gender choices I'm sure a lot of people

    think they're going to have to run through the queer alphabet but non binary, agender, or genderqueer are all great starts. If there's a way for me to select multiple I check female and trans female. Pippa Brooke
  39. Provide a way of changing gender Ohhh I can't change

    the gender of my Pokemon Go character and that kinda sucks. Blake
  40. Explain when asking for “sex” I'm sure on lots of

    websites sex and gender were used interchangeably though. When it asks for sex and it involves health I did put male down and felt bad about it, but my health is more closely related to male. Martha Blake
  41. Avoid asking if possible For most businesses I would probably

    they rather not ask my gender for my profile unless it's important. At the end of the day, I will be a customer, patron, or whatever, so why does it matter so much? Avery Gabriella
  42. Gender done wrong: Give Blood

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  46. Gender done right: OkCupid

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  49. Bad experiences affect people Some of that stuff is so

    demeaning I've either closed my account and remade it, or just left it under my deadname. Amber
  50. Bad experiences have consequences I was then told I'd have

    to go in store with my court order to do it. Instead of dealing with that, I cancelled my service and am now with another company. I was told about a dating app. I signed up but didn't use it as it didn't have an option for me to state that I am a trans woman. Brooke Blake
  51. Special thanks! Alexis Amber Avery Bailey Blake Brooke Charlotte Chloe

  52. Special thanks! Danielle Gabriella Katie Katie Louise Martha Nadia Nic

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  54. Thank you all! jesskelsall