26 September 2009

Design and gender: going beyond shrink it and pink it

Be the first to share

Gender
Femme Den is a small internal cadre of designers of Smart Design — the company that was responsible for the OXO Good Grips kitchen tools and the Flip Mini Digital Camcorder — that is devoted to thinking about the differences between genders and what that means for product development.

“The Femme Den started as an underground collective of international women searching for answers in a world that was not designed for us. We’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.

Armed with our unique toolkit of know-how and fresh design methods, we create products that make a positive impact on people’s lives, particularly women’s. We bring our knowledge to life in the products we design–from the kitchen to the ski slopes to the emergency room.”

A series of articles on Fast Company provide more background on their work:

Forget “shrink it and pink it”: the Femme Den unleashed
by Kate Rockwood – From Issue 139 | October 2009
Boobs. The Femme Den talks about them easily and often — and about the challenges they present to designers. Backpack makers don’t seem to have a clue what to do about boobs. Ditto designers of unisex hospital scrubs, famous for their gaping V-necks. “One surgeon told me there wasn’t a woman at the hospital whose boobs he hadn’t seen,” says Femme Den member Whitney Hopkins.

Femme Den’s five tenets of designing for women
by Kate Rockwood – From Issue 139 | October 2009
1. EMPHASIZE BENEFITS OVER FEATURES: Rather than touting feature sets and specs (how fast or big or slick something is), make the product’s benefits clear. Who can it connect her to? How does it make her life easier? How will it save …

Design in action
by Kate Rockwood – From Issue 139 | October 2009
The Femme Den points to an array of products that smartly and subtly consider women in their design.

Examining design values: warm, cold, or just right
by Erica Eden – Sep 25, 2009
How products can hit a sweet spot between traditionally female (Warm) and male (Cold) values.

Designing for gender, when one or both parties reap the rewards
by Yvonne Lin – Sep 24, 2009
The most successful products are designed for one sex but embraced by both.

How companies can woo women with design
by Agnete Enga – Sep 23, 2009
When shopping, men tend to go linear and deep, researching a product in detail and then going in for the kill. Women go wide, gathering information that goes beyond herself and her personal needs.


Hunter vs. gatherer: gender differences on the mind
by Whitney Hopkins – Sep 23, 2009
Most of us are only aware of obvious physical or behavioral attributes that differ between genders. But our differences run deeper–to the way we think, the way we act, and to our primitive desires.

Why designers need to talk about sex
by Femme Den – Sep 22, 2009
It’s about time the design industry got serious about gender differences.

Introducing the Femme Den: going beyond “shrink it and pink it”
by Linda Tischler – Sep 21, 2009
The Femme Den aims to go far beyond the traditional “shrink it and pink it” strategy that manufacturers often employ when targeting the female market.

Sex and electronics – Part 1: women and smart design
by Linda Tischler – Jan 13, 2009
In the wake of CES, a pair of women designers offer some suggestions on how consumer electronics manufacturers could boost their market share by taking gender differences into account.

Sex and electronics – Part 2: Femme Den’s favorite gadgets from CES
by Linda Tischler – Jan 13, 2009
Here are the gadgets they loved at CES… and the ones they want to send back to the locker room.

Be the first to share
16 April 2015
Essay Collection: Designing Democracy
Designing Democracy: How designers are changing democratic spaces and processes An inquiry by the UK Design Commission March 2015 Abstract Featuring essays from leading designers, MPs and policymakers, 'Designing Democracy' asks what contribution design could make to improving both …
15 April 2015
The woes of a corporate anthropologist [Novel]
Satin Island: A novel by Tom McCarthy Knopf, 2015 From the author of Remainder and C (short-listed for the Man Booker Prize), and a winner of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, comes Satin Island, an unnerving novel that promises …
10 April 2015
We are citizens, not mere physical masses of data for harvesting
The deal we have struck with the information society over the extent to which our lives are shaped and our privacy invaded requires urgent renegotiation, argues law professor Julie E Cohen at the annual Law …
7 April 2015
[Book] Practical Empathy
Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work by Indi Young Rosenfeld Media, 2015 Synopsis Conventional product development focuses on the solution. Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and …
7 April 2015
Bosch uses UX approach to spark enthusiasm for electric driving
Bosch, the German multinational engineering and electronics company, is applying a UX approach to help spark enthusiasm for electric driving, and to develop a "fascinating" user interface for electric vehicles. The project website consists of three …
3 April 2015
Design prototypes for Nairobi, Kenya
In 2014, Ericsson and UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) entered a three-year partnership with the intention to collaborate around Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and sustainable urbanization. One of the first explorations was driven by …
3 April 2015
Opportunities for UX innovation in wearables
Until developers of wearable devices get the user experience down pat, the technology will struggle to gain adoption, writes Steve McPhilliamy on Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry (MDDI). "Understanding user behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyles is the …
3 April 2015
Automotive sales could grow 24% if retail experience improved
New ethnographic and quantitative research from DrivingSales identifies how the growing gap between consumer expectations and the current automotive buying process is suppressing car sales volume. Automotive sales could grow up to 24% if the retail …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles