Web Design: Do Men and Women Prefer Different Things?
As a rule, it’s not a good idea to stereotype or generalize based on gender. That being said, men and women usually require different things in a website, especially when it comes to design. Understanding these preferences can help both designers and business owners gear their sites and services more toward their intended audiences. Men and women differ in tastes when it comes to colors, lines, imagery and content. Different elements of the site’s content and design should be emphasized based on the target audience. Those differences are examined here with recommendations on combining the preferences for both genders into a gender neutral site.
Women’s Web Design Preferences
Women like to connect on a visual and emotional level. They prefer a site that uses 4-6 colors and typically want to see vibrant colors. They have a tendency toward fancier typographic styles and curved lines as opposed to straight, though a combination of lines is also favored. Simplicity in design is welcome, but the design must still offer something unique. When it comes to content, women prefer informal language. They want to have plenty of opportunity to share content with others and to partner with and support other women. Women want to make connections and aren’t afraid to get personal when it comes to businesses and brands. Content should be relatable, emotional, and it should tell a story.
Men’s Web Design Preferences
Men, on the other hand, tend to prefer designs that are simple and straightforward. Their color preferences are typically limited to 2-3 colors, the most popular choices being blacks, blues, greens and grays. They prefer straight lines in website design. Surprisingly, though simpler sites appeal to men, so do flash animations and 3D graphics, while many women find these elements unappealing. When it comes to content, men tend to prefer a more formal style. They want content that focuses on immediate needs, ambition and adventure. The site’s message should get right to the point of the issue without too much backstory or fluff. They want proof of product or service quality through statistics and testimonials, not through flowery descriptions. Men are less likely to share or make recommendations than are women, but the ability to share the site’s products and content should still be incorporated into the design for the instances they do want to share.
How to Appeal to Both to Create a Gender Neutral Design
Combining elements to create a gender neutral site isn’t as hard as it may seem. The key is to play to the preferences of both genders while not leaning too much toward either side. The site should have more than three colors to appeal to women, but these colors should be subtle, not too colorful or vibrant to avoid putting off men. A mix of straight and curved lines with a stronger focus on straight lines will be appealing to both. The design should be simple, straight forward and easy to navigate. Content should be presented in the active voice with well-chosen visual elements to make emotional connections. The overall image of the site should be clean and uncluttered. The website owner should answer the question of “What’s in it for me?” with both long term and short term benefits to appeal to both women and men respectively. The site and the product or service should exceed expectations. Finally, the design must make it easy to share and make recommendations to others.
Considering gender is just one of the steps you need to take to make sure your website appeals to your target audience. Infintech Designs’ team of experienced designers can help you to maximize your appeal. Why not get in touch today?
3110 Magazine St., #120
New Orleans, LA 70115