‘It’s your period and therefore it has to be pink and you are a girl’: users’ experiences of (de-)gendered menstrual app design

Menstrual apps are digital versions of period calendars that support observation, analysis and interpretation of a variety of physical and mental states as well as behavioral patterns associated with menstrual cycles. The present paper discusses the preliminary results of a qualitative study addressing users’ experiences of and responses to gendered design during app- supported menstrual tracking. The study demonstrates that some users are aware of and react to the gendered assumptions built into menstrual apps’ graphic designs and technological features. Moreover, I show that users engage in alternative uses of menstrual apps thus broadening the forms of use intended by app designers and developers.