Do you use wearable technology? Whether you wear tech during work or personal times during the day, one thing is clear to most women. As with most products for women or for both genders, men design them, and they don’t understand the female segment of their target audience.
Following are seven simple things that men need to know when designing wearable tech for women:
1. Women are smaller.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but much of the wearable tech out there is designed for men’s slightly larger-than-women average size. Not all women are petite, but we definitely have different sizes and proportions than men.
2. It doesn’t have to be pink.
For a long time, product designers who were looking to appeal to women had a simple solution: Make it pink! Since pre-adolescence, many women have outgrown the color pink often associated with femininity. Offering a variety of shades to compliment womens’ homes, offices, or vehicle interiors is a smarter bet than just taking the “men’s version” and making it pink.
3. Make it durable.
Men might perceive that women take better care of their electronics than men do. Which is typically true, but mothers often have 3-year old cyclones in tow. Designers need to focus on products that are long-lasting, with shock absorbers…for when little ones decide that mommy’s latest gadget belongs on the floor.
4. Make it accesorizable.
Face it, many women love to decorate and personalize things. We want our tech to reflect our personality, our mood, and sometimes even match our outfit. We can to be able to change wallpapers, skins, and cases at our whim. To truly succeed with women’s wearables, designers must look at how fashion and design brands can create additions to their base product. Just look at the iPhone accoutrement industry. One word, huge!
5. Designer collaborations, please.
Whether it’s created by a fashion designer or a world-renowned industrial designer…women like high style. We typically have a deeper appreciation for smooth, clean lines and gorgeous finishes than men. The design team behind Google Glass were all female, and for good reason. When it comes to women’s wearables, designer collaborations are the best route for wow-ing female consumers.
6. Fitness tech is everything.
Women love a good workout. The key difference between men and women when it comes to fitness tech is that women tend to gravitate more towards fitness brands and personalities—For instance, Tracy Anderson or Jillian Michaels. Designers should focus on brand partnerships to further bring these fitness personalities into the homes of female fitness fiends.
7. Mommy tech should be designed by mommies.
At 2014’s CES, female attendees commented unfavorably on how overwhelmingly, staggeringly male the attendees, speakers, and panelists were for the CES Mommy Tech events. As a woman and a woman who has never had a child…I would find it incredibly difficult to design wearable technology for mothers. I don’t know their unique challenges and needs, and I definitely can’t speak for how comfortable something would be for me to wear while carrying another human being within my body. Men need to take a seat, and women who have never been moms need to take a pause. Wearable Mommy tech needs to be designed by mommies and for mommies to be truly effective.
About the Author
Mischaela Elkins is a freelance writer, marketing professional, and graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a BS in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and Finance.