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Towards More Gender-Inclusive Q&As: Investigating Perceptions of Additional Community Presence Information

Online question and answer communities (Q&As) are popular spaces for learning and sharing knowledge. However, prior research suggests that Q&As may not be appealing to and inclusive of both men and women, with absent social considerations listed as a potential contributing factor. We investigate how additional community presence information can affect users’ perceptions of and engagement with a Q&A for graphic design software. Through a 10-day task-based field study with 30 participants (14 women, 14 men, 2 non-binary), we uncover how community presence information can humanize the Q&A and play a role in promoting an inclusive environment. On the other hand, some participants question if community presence information belongs on a Q&A and describe some privacy implications. The women in our sample also talked about the importance of diverse community demographics, while we did not observe this sentiment expressed by the men. Our findings contribute an understanding of how users perceive the role of community presence information within a Q&A. We also discuss how this information might impact women’s future participation and engagement.

Patrick Marcel Joseph Dubois, Mahya Maftouni and Andrea Bunt. 2022. Towards More Gender-Inclusive Q&As: Investigating Perceptions of Additional Community Presence Information. In Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. To appear. 23 pages.

Authors

Patrick Dubois

Patrick Dubois

PhD Student
Mahya Maftouni

Mahya Maftouni

MSc Student
Andrea Bunt

Andrea Bunt

Professor