designing for the fairer sex

January 30, 2010

I was reading this interesting design article in Fast Company a while back.  It’s pointing out a recent shift in some companies to specifically take into account the ways in which women might use a product.  Here are the main points:

  1. Emphasize benefits over features.  Don’t be so darned technical all the time, tout why the product is useful and how it will make life easier.
  2. Learn her body.  Women are built differently from men.  Simply shrinking a product doesn’t always make it easier for a woman to use.
  3. Craft a cohesive story.  Women don’t just want a product, they want an experience.  Advertising, packaging, retail place and customer service should all take this into consideration.
  4. Identify a spot on the spectrum.  Extensive use of the color pink with lots of flowers, frills and bows might be more offensive than welcome.  Figure out where on the pink-scale the product lies.
  5. Remember her life stages.  Is the design aimed at the young or the old?

I’m not currently involved in any women-centric web/desktop/mobile app designs – but when I do…