MSN is rolling out a new home page design. I checked out a preview. What I find most interesting is that the new home page includes many design elements that appeal to women.
Here's the new MSN home page design
How the new MSN home page design is female friendly
Research has shown there are certain design elements that are persuasive and pleasing to women. The new MSN home page has tapped into some of those design aesthetics.
Open elements vs. boxed elements
I've seen this in many of the websites targeting women. Designers are making elements less boxed off, more open. They are using more white space and fewer lines separating elements. While men's brains are more compartmentalized, women's brains look at things more holistically.
Truvia is a an example of greater use of white space and open design elements
Compare this to Sony's website with elements that are more clearly boxed off
Brighter colors other than blue
Many websites rely on tried and true blue. Seriously. Blue, grey, black - these are the colors you'll find on many sites today. These are cooler colors that men prefer.
Women respond to warmer colors and prefer more colors in their design. The new MSN home page got rid of much of their blue and even has brighter colors in the top navigation.
It will be interesting to see how the new design is received. As with any change in design, there can be initial discomfort. But I find the new design to be cleaner, simpler, better laid out, and, yes, more female friendly.
Read more about what design elements appeal to men and to women.
See examples of other websites designed for women.