Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t quite know how to design for them. The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills.
This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Conversely, some designs, backed by user research, quantitative data, and a genuine understanding of women’s needs, have seen success and fulfilled their customers’ needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.