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Design in Action

The Femme Den points to an array of products that smartly and subtly consider women in their design.

Photographs: Courtesy of Oxo (shears), Smart Design (trash can, printer), K2 Skis, Nespresso (coffeemaker)
Photographs: Courtesy of Oxo (shears), Smart Design (trash can, printer), K2 Skis, Nespresso (coffeemaker)

OXO'S GOOD GRIPS TOOLS aren't targeted to women, but adjustable handles, lightweight design, and neutral colors help women feel in control and well-considered.

Clear labels highlight the benefits of SIMPLEHUMAN'S TRASH CANS. Exteriors are smudge-proof, air suspension at the lid ensures a quiet close, and the deep canister fits into the kitchen while holding a week's worth of trash. Those are more enticing to female shoppers than its cubic capacity and stainless-steel finish.

Women tend to be the photo organizers in families. Lightweight and cordless, the HP PHOTOSMART 375 COMPACT PHOTO PRINTER appeals to them with one-touch printing and easy photo sharing.

Unisex skis are a major misstep: Wider hips and looser ligaments make novice women skiers nine times more likely than men to tear their ACLs. K2'S LUV WOMEN SKIS are specifically tailored to the female physique, without being hot pink.

The NESPRESSO ESSENZA D90 skips a techy interface for intuitive design, and it lets the user customize cups for guests with minimal effort.

A version of this article appeared in the October 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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