Diversity of people in renderings


Overall, I love the site and use it frequently! But recently, it was pointed out to me that the cycling sprite is always male while the sidewalks are generally filled with females, females wearing dresses nonetheless.

Why is this? And should it be different? If so, how? Is it something that is easy to change? Please discuss. I will note that female cyclists are generally “indicator species” for evaluating the bike friendliness of a city. Basically, more females cycling = a safer city for cycling. Therefore, it would be good to include them in the renderings if possible!

The image below is an example of what I’m talking about:


Hey, this is an interesting observation! I didn’t make Streetmix, so I can’t give you an answer- maybe one of the developers can, not sure.

However, if someone has time to make this change to include more women biking I think that’d be great! Having a variety of diverse everyday people is great for communication, and see more women biking in renderings is one of those little things that would help in perception of cycling as a normal everyday activity. I’m not a developer and from my knowledge the informal team is pretty swamped right now but wait for a response, and if you’re a developer maybe you can help make the change!



Thanks for the comment, @majam!

I don’t know if we ever thought (or realized) that of women cyclists as an indicator for bike friendliness. This is a really good point! We should definitely have more types of cyclists (and different types of women) in our character sprites. Unfortunately, we were simply limited by time. Our priority in expanding our cast of characters was focused on representing different skin colors, stages of life, and kinds of mobility. I’m very proud of that work and we’ve received comments from people of color especially thanking us for that. So I think we made the right call. But of course there is always more to do :slight_smile:

Adding new artwork to Streetmix is not as easy it should be, but behind the scenes, the character sprites system got a bit reworked so we could experiment with adding new ones easily. At the same time, we have a certain visual style and we want to make sure new artwork fits in to it. So here are a few resources:

We don’t yet have a process for working with illustrators and designers to contribute artwork to Streetmix, but I would certainly be up to explore how we might create one.