22 November 2008

Choosing a phone is a lot like choosing a boyfriend

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This unusual title is actually a quote by Younghee Jung, a senior design manager at Nokia, who travels around the world on behalf of the company to study how people interact with technology.

Younghee was interviewed by the Canadian Woman.ca site for an article that set out to understand what it means to design for women, and concludes that it really is about design for all.

“You can’t really generalize what women want, because you always have to consider the trade-offs. If I do need and like the functions, I will probably overlook the size issues. Choosing a phone is a lot like choosing a boyfriend. You cannot look at just one aspect of the product—he may be handsome, but he may have a personality problem. A mobile phone is something that you wake up with and go to sleep with.” […]

Even though they may ultimately use products the same way as men, starting off with womens’ inspirations for product design may be more helpful in creating a device that works equally well in a number of environments. Factors such as ease of use, while important to both sexes, can become more refined through the crucible of a woman’s dual roles in society, as she balances both work and home life, and needs her technology to function equally well in both situations. “When it comes to inspiring a design solution, what women think is a very interesting place to start with,” said Jung. “If it’s good for women, it’s good for men, too.”

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