Do men and women engage with websites the same way? That's a question I've been studying for the last six years. I've done extensive research on the differences between men and women focusing on:
- Their communication styles
- Their decision making processes
- Their design aesthetics (images, graphics, colors, etc.)
All of this affects how men and women interact with websites. There are specific website elements that are especially effective for engaging women visitors.
U by Kotex uses several of those elements. Let's take a look.
Engaging Images that Include Women
No surprise that women respond to images with other women in them. U by Kotex uses an interesting device of not showing full faces. This allows many women to "see themselves" in the images.
Men's brains are very compartmentalized. Women's brains take a more holistic look at their environment. On this site, different elements are not separated in their own neat compartments. Design elements and text are laid on top of images, rather than boxed off. There's more of an open flowing feeling. Some elements even bleed off the page.
Here's the U by Kotex home page:
Compare that to a more male/compartmentalized design
Use of Color
Women prefer the use of more colors and brighter colors in their design. The site uses lots of bright colors, especially in the bottom navigation. (Note: they also redesigned the packaging with more and brighter colors.)
Women often prefer more informal language. Language that sounds conversational is especially effective. This website uses direct quotes from real women, and the verbiage throughout is informal and fun. It feels like you're having a conversation with someone just like yourself.
Use of Irregular/Handwritten Fonts
Women are more likely to prefer irregular fonts. And anything that looks like actual handwriting is a magnet for women.
Use of Curves vs. Straight Lines
While men prefer straight lines, women prefer curves. You see ornamental curves throughout this site. I especially like the use of curves in the background of the site. I've seen sites attempt to use this "watermark" effect on their main pages, which causes huge readability issues. This site uses ornamental curves in a way that is flattering, but does not cause usability problems.
Read more posts in the category: websites designed for women.