Some usability researchers reported that with a 35 degree viewing angle, women are slower at navigational tasks than men, but when the viewing angle opens up to 70 degrees or more, the gender difference disappears. The improvement only shows up if the animation is smooth like reality, not jumpy.
Somehow I feel just a little bit pleased and superior as a result of reading about this. I know I’m not supposed to, but I still do.
Now if I could just find a way to increase my empathy to match that of a woman’s. Perhaps I need to look at other people’s expressions and words through wider eyes?
Incidentally, I was at the same conference, though to save money and time, I was not involved in the main body of it, where this research was presented. I was there to give a practitioner’s and tool-maker’s view on the topic of making sysadmin tools more usable. It was an interesting experience, though I’m not sure how we are really going to see results from it.