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Website Males Stuck on Mars, Female Website Visitors Are So Venus  

:: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 ::

A study of interest to usability passionate designers has been brought to our attention via CNN, called Study: Web site's appearance matters
"Not surprisingly, male subjects tended to assign higher ratings to pages designed by men, and females preferred sites made by women."

"Women seemed to like pages with more color in the background and typeface. Women also favored informal rather than posed pictures. Men responded better to dark colors and straight, horizontal lines across a page. They also were more pleased by a three-dimensional look and images of "self-propelling" rather than stationary objects.

With those standards in mind, the researchers checked out the Web sites for 32 British universities and determined that 94 percent had a "masculine orientation." Two percent showed a female-favored arrangement."

Related (in a weird way) - Men do have trouble hearing women, scientists find
"Men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music, while male voices engaged a simpler mechanism, it said.

The Mail quoted researcher Michael Hunter as saying, "The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices."

The most common question I'm asked in relation to my work is "Why is usability important?"

Usability, whether it's for web sites, hardware, software, phones, airplanes, gasoline pumps, etc. is dependent on the ability of the person to access it, understand it, complete a task(s) and most importantly, want to use or complete it. What works for one individidual, may not work for 134 others.

And sadly, especially in the case of web sites, the biggest hurdle is just getting the boss to understand that just because he or she likes or wants a particular design, doesn't mean it's going to work for everyone else.

Cre8asiteForums Discussion: Web site's appearance matters - study of men vs women
"As offline businesses have done for decades, the web will go through growing pains as more sites must increasingly appeal to women. The findings are pretty much what print designers knew years ago, so I'm surprised that no reference was made to that."

New, or maybe new to you

Matt Bailey describes Keyword Strategies – The Long Tail (Source: SearchEngineGuide News)
"The principle of the Long Tail is the opposite of focusing on the top 10-20 keywords for marketing their sites. The “top keyword” concept is reinforced by agencies that contract to gain rankings for 10-20 terms, maybe 30. However, when studying the referrals from the search engines and the traffic they generate, those that focus on the top 10-20 terms may be missing the majority of their market."

Alert!

Cre8asiteForums is moving! It looks as though this weekend is the date for our big move. We're changing servers and forums software, and implementnig new things from our long "wish list".

We expect to be off-line for a few days. Please stay tuned for exact dates and times.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 8/17/2005 09:41:00 AM

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