Thinking about Sex?
One of the world’s leading product design consultancies, Smart Design, has a spin-off initiative called Femme Den that focuses on Designing for Women. Set up by 4 female designers, their motives do not stray far from the Smart Design methodology which uses “the understanding of people’s perceptions and emotional connections” as a strategic competitive advantage for their customers. It seems this is more important than even their customer’s brand! Very interesting.
“Today’s women have tremendous clout. In a recent study conducted by Growth Strategies, American women were found to buy or influence 80% of consumer and business goods and services. …Despite cultural shifts products and services are consistently designed without women in mind. And although many companies have recognized the female market to be a significant opportunity, they are failing to connect with this sizable segment.”
Everyone knows that designing for women is big business. Companies have tried and many have missed the mark with weak offerings such as pink products with monthly biological calculators, or some puke worthy cutesy character plastered all over it. Rather than assuming what women want, they should read Femme Den’s “Design & Gender: Thinking About Sex” white paper where they list out their five guidelines that can help designers “connect” with women.
Briefly their 5 points are:
1) Give her benefits not features.
2) Focus on the entire buying and product experience.
3) Consider her body. Yes, women’s ergonomics are different than that of men.
4) Consider her lifestyle. Including sometimes having babies.
5) Consider how it makes her feel. Do you think your product makes her feel less of a man?
The white paper is a pretty good and quick read, and I encourage all of you to download it for your reference. However if you want more, do check out their very excellent blog with many great examples of good or bad design for women. Nice if you are looking for case studies on how to better position your product to the female market.