[This is the fourth post in a series by Smart Design. Click here to read the introduction. -- Ed.]
Last week, I wrote about how to evoke personality through design to help satisfy the contradictory, natural preferences in each gender. Another method to designing transparently is to understand a woman’s unique priorities regarding the people in her life. Women are motivated to spend time and effort on people.
[This is the second post in a series by Smart Design. Click here to read the introduction and here to read the first post. -- Ed.]
To connect with women, companies often create separate “women only” products. This can have limited success, because women don’t always take kindly to being isolated by gender or being told that they’re “different.” There needs to be a rock-solid rationale for separate, visible design solutions. Visible design makes sense when physical differences exist, suggesting that men and women have incompatible needs.
[This is the first post in a series by Smart Design. Click here to read the introduction. -- Ed.]
The tagline of a Dos Equis ad reads, “Approach women like you do wild animals, with caution and a soothing voice.” I have to agree. Targeting a female audience requires a delicate, nuanced approach. Whether we live on the African plain or Manhattan, finesse with the opposite sex is regarded with respect and admiration.
Are designers ignoring sex?
[This is the introduction to a new series by Smart Design. For the first post, click here. -- Ed.]
“Girls like dolls and pink. Boys like fire trucks and blue.” The differences were obvious to the five-year-old who recently informed me of these seemingly clear divisions between genders. As Smart Design spends more and more time studying gender similarities and differences, and how this knowledge should influence good design, all I could think was, It doesn’t seem so clear-cut to me.
At our Masters of Design event Wednesday night at the Chelsea Art Museum, we caught up with some of our expert design bloggers to find out how some of the most creative minds in the business start their day.
1. EMPHASIZE BENEFITS OVER FEATURES: Rather than touting feature sets and specs (how fast or big or slick something is), make the product's benefits clear. Who can it connect her to? How does it make her life easier? How will it save her time?
2. LEARN HER BODY: Women have different bone and muscle structure: Simply shrinking products leads to injury and frustration.
Boobs. The Femme Den talks about them easily and often -- and about the challenges they present to designers. Backpack makers don't seem to have a clue what to do about boobs. Ditto designers of unisex hospital scrubs, famous for their gaping V-necks. "One surgeon told me there wasn't a woman at the hospital whose boobs he hadn't seen," says Femme Den member Whitney Hopkins.