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
9 May 2017
Data ethnographies: how do people live with data?
Data Ethnographies is a Lab of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Data Ethnographies investigates the implications of the increasing ubiquity of data in everyday lives and worlds. We …
28 April 2017
Global study: Leading companies bet on customer experience
A new report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals that customer experience is vital for business success, and establishes social media as the foundation for customer experience. The survey, which includes 600+ leaders from the …
28 April 2017
[Book] Quantitative Ethnography
Quantitative Ethnography David Williamson Shaffer Boswell Press Available April 2017 > Download Introduction > Watch video presentation This is a book about understanding why, in the digital age, the old distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research methods, between the sciences and …
22 April 2017
An anthropologist in the boardroom
"It is often tempting to think that the 21st-century world is so closely integrated and digitised that the issue of culture is becoming irrelevant," writes Gillian Tett in the Financial Times. "But behind the scenes, …
22 April 2017
Boston’s human-centered research to design middle-income housing
In Boston, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is conducting ethnographic, human-centered research to design middle-income housing that reflects people’s lived experiences, reports the Stanford Social Innovation Review. This includes intensive planning sessions in …
21 April 2017
ONE Design: a portal on Adaptive Path’s work with Capital One Bank
ONE Design is a content portal where Capital One, the eighth-largest bank in the United States, shares (many) inspiring stories of how their Adaptive Path designers "impact lives with humanity, simplicity, ingenuity - and empower …
21 April 2017
[Book] The Stuff of Bits – An Essay on the Materialities of Information
The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information by Paul Dourish MIT Press, May 2017 264 pages Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds, and online stores, are backed by the large-scale …
13 April 2017
How Silicon Valley is (ab)using behavioral science and nudging
In an extensive review of The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, the book by Michael Lewis on the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Tamsin Shaw provides a deeper criticism of the …

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.

31 March 2017
Experientia guide to Milan Design Week 2017

It’s that time of year again – Milan’s don’t-miss event for the design community is here. If you’re looking to get inspired at Milan Design Week, then check out our top picks for the latest edition, from Experientia’s designers, strategists and partners. Milan might be best known for its busy streets, traditional cafés and world […]

12 January 2017
Experientia’s CITYOPT project awarded prestigious French award for its sustainable development design

Following the 2016 Smart Innovation Award at “FIMBACTE Trophées du Cadre de vie”, the CITYOPT project has once again been recognized, this time in the prestigious French design competition: “Observeur du Design 2017”, in the Service Design category. In June 2016, CITYOPT won the first stage of the Observeur du Design. Now the project has […]

1 December 2016
More on upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Last month Putting People First announced the upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities in Nice France. Meanwhile we are pleased to announce the full event agenda (see below). This event will feature professionals from leading research institutes and industry gathering to present key initiatives which combine Energy Efficiency and Service Design […]

29 October 2016
Upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Invitation to the International Conference on Design & Sustainable Innovation for SmartCities Nice (France) 8 December 2016 On the 8th December 2016, the CITYOPT project will host an international conference on Design and sustainable innovation for SmartCities, at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, France. An open invitation to attend is offered to people and organisations who […]

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, panel judge for MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

See all articles