At some point in your life, you probably had to fill out a form that asked for your gender. Most forms
tend to have very limited options for specifying gender, ranging from a dropdown with ‘female’, ‘male’, and
sometimes ‘other’ to things like two radio buttons to pick either ‘female’ or ‘male’. This can be quite frustrating for people which do not fit into either of these boxes and even if an option for ‘other’ is available, this groups together many wildly different gender identities into one box.
Other issues can appear when someone aware of these problems tries to fix them by offering options for a wider range of commonly used genders: Dropdowns can end up having too many options and finding the best match gets hard, while still omitting the options some of your users might want to pick. This approach also often ends up including several genders which are usually treated as identical (why are you offering both the options ‘Woman’ as well as ‘Trans Woman’?).
Let’s look at how we can design forms to account for these issues and avoid them.