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Femme Den's Five Tenets of Designing for Women

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.

3. CRAFT A COHESIVE STORY: Women consider more than just the product itself. Design the whole experience with them in mind, from advertising and packaging to the retail environment and customer service.

4. IDENTIFY A SPOT ON THE SPECTRUM: For some tasks, women want to feel girly; for others, not at all. Nix the hyperfeminized stereotype and consider where on the spectrum this product should land.

5. REMEMBER HER LIFE STAGES: Are you designing for a 25-year-old or a 65-year-old?

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

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