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In this question, I fully intended to approach a user experience issue from a professional perspective, observing the topic of a user's preference as to which gender he/she receives support/services from on any given day.

In order to clarify the question and explain that's it's 100% about the voice / personality that different users might prefer, and not at all about the actual capabilities of the support agents, I made these additions:

Just think of choosing between a male and female voice on your GPS; a commonly accepted UX feature. Perhaps when the GPS has been programmed with a list of personality options, that will come into the scope of the user's decision.

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Note: I fully assert that women and men are equally capable of tech support roles. In fact, to clarify from a question in the comments, the user should theoretically receive the exact same quality of service regardless of his/her decision.

Also, originally in the question for this purpose:

The reason I ask is because I have not yet seen this done in the context of tech support and would like to confirm the appropriateness of this UX decision with other enthusiasts before implementing it into a product.

This is a UX preference that UX engineers may soon offer users in the form of AIs with personality features based on gender. I'm simply looking at it from the angle of user interaction with technical support.

What are some ways that I can further improve / re-word my question to avoid the question being mistaken as a sexist topic?

  • I've heavily edited my question after contemplating this for a while. If anyone has any further suggestions, feel free to provide them :) – Viziionary Nov 5 '14 at 9:00
  • A personal preference isn't sexist nor racist or any of that. That doesn't mean that someone won't be offended by your personal preference and incorrectly identify it as sexist or racist. The decision to provide that option isn't a UX question, that is very much a business decision that probably needs to be reviewed by legal as well. How to present that option to the user would be a UX question. The how, not the should. – Andrew Hoffman Jan 27 '15 at 14:38
  • I could see it as being insensitive to your support staff though. If you give the option of human factors like age, that could open the door for lawsuits. They didn't hire me because I'm not an elderly native-american female!, if that happened to be a more popular preference. If your customer's preferences could possibly effect your hiring practices.. that would definitely be a legal concern. – Andrew Hoffman Jan 27 '15 at 14:47
  • Oh wow, speaking of sensitivity, SE automatically removed some words from my sentence about human factors. Well, use your imagination about human aspects that are illegal to make hiring decisions based on. They start with R and S. – Andrew Hoffman Jan 27 '15 at 14:50
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I think the issue is that you've invented a solution to a problem that you don't actually know exists for anyone other than yourself.

But I sometimes might prefer speaking with a woman, and other times prefer speaking with a man when it involves getting product support or theoretically any type of service.

Have you done any market research to see if this is actually a useful, beneficial feature? Or have you just decided yourself that you prefer speaking to men about technology and therefore other people may feel the same too?

The question itself may not be sexist (after all it is just a question) but the approach you have taken (phrasing it around your own opinions - some would say prejudices - rather than basing it on an actual problem that exists) is possibly where the downvotes came from.

  • Are you referring to my newly, very much edited question? If you're referring to the original version, then yes, I think you're right. I asked a good question in the wrong manner. – Viziionary Nov 5 '14 at 9:50
  • Yes, that is where I took the quote in my answer from. – JonW Nov 5 '14 at 9:51

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