On 'Shrink It and Pink It': Designing Experiences for Women

A session at Midwest UX 2012

Friday 1st June, 2012

11:30am to 12:20pm (EST)

Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend almost 60 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. They share content, influence purchasing, and engage in more social interactions online than their male counterparts. And yet, we still don’t 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. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs.

We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. By understanding how user behavior varies among the genders, we can understand how to design for a gendered audience. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.

About the speaker

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Jessica Ivins

UX designer, educator, and speaker. Faculty member @centercentre/@unicorninstitut. Formerly @happycog. I dig veggies, red wine, IPAs, music, and Oxford commas. bio from Twitter

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Time 11:30am12:20pm EST

Date Fri 1st June 2012

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