Why Designers Need to Talk About Sex

It’s about time the design industry got serious about gender differences.

We talk about sex all the time.  Without fail, we get one of three types of responses:


1) From men:  a defensive, yet dismissive “This is stupid.”

2) From women:  a rebellious and animated “Girl power!”

3) From smart-minded people:  an eager and ambitious “Makes sense…and cents!”

The first two types are irrelevant. The third type of person is able to talk about gender with all the potential and promise it offers, yet without all that emotional baggage. Gender is a touchy subject and most people are either too uncomfortable or over-heated to talk about it smartly.

We say, let’s throw caution to the wind and talk about sex and money. Women want and need better, more thoughtful products. That’s why we do this. And, paying attention to women makes business sense and can add tremendous value to our clients (and their consumers!). Whoever gets it right will win big.

The gender dialog is missing from the design world today. We are here to fill that gap with more than just theories; we’re here to deliver results from design strategies to products on the shelf. Gender should be part of every design project in the same way designers consider ergonomics, function, aesthetics, etc. Our message is simple: understanding gender is the new way forward; it is an untapped design tool that can make a difference in design and business.


So sit back, take a deep breath, and let’s talk about sex…

Until next time.

Love, The Femme Den

P.S.: We would love to hear your thoughts–do you have any personal gender stories, either work related or life experiences in general, good or bad? Please share them with us!

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The Femme Den is here to save good women from bad products. They started as an underground collective of international women at Smart Design, searching for answers in a world that was not designed for them. They’ve now grown to a leading team of design researchers, industrial designers, and engineers who are paving the way for a deeper understanding around design and gender. They speak around the world on the topic, working to stimulate positive change in the design and business communities.