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 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. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.
Meet the team that undertook the initiative of opening up one of Harvard College’s most popular undergraduate course, “Justice” with Michael Sandel (justiceharvard.org/). Find out how their focus on social integration increased engagement and online discussion on the Justice site and other social platforms, empowering the audience to join open conversations creating a global intellectual resource. Hear how the team shifted focus to topic rather than brand to allow for the creation of user-generated content without negatively affecting the Harvard’s brand. The team will share the social and digital approach used to build engagement, including their ongoing strategy to leverage user generated content to keep the course and the topics relevant. Lessons include:-Making the case to loosen brand control for the sake of engagement-Maintaining brand strength when opening content-Combining online learning with social media-Managing and engaging in conversations on multiple platforms
9th–13th March 2012