Don’t “Skep my Nav.” GPS designed by men may not be ideal for women

Language has a funny way of evolving, sometimes to fit technology we use, and sometimes to describe our times. I was driving the other day and my co-pilot asked over and over “are you sure this is the way?” All I could say was “please don’t skep my nav!”

They looked dumbfounded so I had to slow down to explain. This post is for you in preparation for that moment when someone close to you uses utterly incomprehensible language in their frustration over navigation.

Skep = Skeptical

Nav = Navigation

Don’t Skep My Nav = please don’t ask questions about my sense of direction, I will get us there if you just sit back and enjoy the ride

Why are men less likely than women to want to clarify where they are headed?

A New York Times article from years ago offers a clue to the mystery. It notes that men tend to navigate by motion and vectors, while women use landmarks and references.

Image of Man Driving a Car, he might be saying don't skep my nav
Does he really know where he is going?

But use of mapping software tends to skew male. More men download Google Maps than women, even though smartphone penetration and drivers licenses are relatively evenly divided. Why is this happening?

Men designed the GPS apps

It turns out that most mapping software is designed by men. In fact over 80% of the engineers on tech teams at the leading technology companies are male. The engineers that create these apps are designing for what intuitively works for them. But half of the users are women, and as we noted above, women tend to navigate differently from men.

Google maps icon - app for Navigation using GPS, please don't be either skeptical or skep someone's  nav skills
A challenge for the engineers to take the entire audience into account!

If we skep the app, will it change?

The most popular GPS mapping apps and software including Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, or Mapquest are all designed to show a map view, and are not good at providing visual queues or landmarks. The challenge is for one of these companies, or a new upstart, to develop a visually oriented mapping system that delivers navigation instructions in a way that is more intuitive for women.

Please think twice before “skepping someone’s nav”

So the next time you tell someone not to “skep your nav,” this little bit of insight might lead you to at least think about where their question is coming from. Please drive safe, and may all your navigation end with you where you set out to go, or somewhere else at least as interesting.

More on GPS, navigation, and the gender gap

As followup, there is an interesting blog post on this topic from Geospatial World on Why men use navigation apps more than women.

There are also statistics and background on what they are developing from Google itself on their cloud blog.

And if you enjoyed this post, you can check out more of our language posts here.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below. Especially if you have had a chance to try out the phrase “don’t skep my nav!”

45 replies on “Don’t “Skep my Nav.” GPS designed by men may not be ideal for women”

So true. I absolutely agree that these apps are not designed for everyone. Thank you!

Thanks Susan! We are hopeful that the next generation of tools like GPS or AI assisted everything keep getting better.

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Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!


So sorry your comment evaporated on you. We would love to take credit for an advanced AI screener that computed the tone of what you were trying to tell us, but alas no such thing exists on this site . . . or does it . . .

Seriously – we read every comment ourselves! So “grrrr” to you also, and thanks for typing a second time, even if we missed out on what must have been a thoughtful but AI triggering first go.


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We simply are overjoyed that you enjoyed our post. And we also always try to remember that nothing is certain (although JMK would except Death and Taxes). Thank you for visiting!

Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
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LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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Stormy – Don’t skep your nav, you ended up here because it was the right destination for you at the time! We don’t know about well-known, but we will keep blogging along in any case. Cheers to you as well!

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Aren’t we all! Thanks for your comment.

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Clint – now that you have us bookmarked, make sure you use the mark to return early and often! Thank you for the comment.

You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write.
The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

Always following our heart. Maybe too much? Thanks for commenting, glad you stopped in.


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There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.

Please let me know. Thanks

Assuming the myspace bit is a joke (isn’t it?), do feel free to share our content as much as possible. We are always looking for new visitors. Thanks for stopping in!

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Your style is very unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this page.

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Thank you Shaunte, glad you are enjoying our site.

You’re so interesting! I don’t think I’ve read through something like that before.

So nice to discover someone with unique thoughts on this issue.
Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This
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Thanks Les. Glad you find our posts interesting. Please stop back to see us again!

I like SKEP, and agree that men make all the rules and the apps and the phones and the cars and the everything

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tukang – I have not idea what you just said but I think I agree with it

Son Rollinssays:

Not sure I agree. At all. But you go your way and I go mine. And my way has some Waze all over it.

Connelley gmailsays:

Thanks for the blog post, how can I make is so that I receive an email sent to me every time you make a fresh article?

Thanks Connelley – just sign up to get regular updates from us!

We haven’t really stopped, but it’s interesting you have. Would love to hear more about it. For us, we just give everything a bit of skep . . .

I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to reach my goals. I definitely liked reading everything on your blog. Keep the stories coming. I enjoyed it!

Thank you gralion!

Oh so good! Love it! So true!


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