The Pink Side Of Dark: about sexist tech products

Good points made about “macho-dominated technology landscape”, sexist marketing, “pink coding” and other “dumbing down” of tech products in Casey Johnston’s article on Ars Technica.

“The poorly thought-out tech product for women hardly needs an introduction. Rare is the week that goes by without a company (or a Kickstarter) deciding that there just aren’t enough products for women amid the macho-dominated technology landscape and rolling out a new pink monstrosity.

It’s probably unfair to say that many of the most offensive products targeted at women cropped up because someone’s wife, girlfriend, or mom casually complained once that her smartphone wouldn’t do what she wanted, and suddenly she needed a solution tailored to her feminine ways—but it’s easy to envision that backstory for many of them.

Products that target women tend to fall into three basic problem categories through flaws of logic and, in some cases, morality.

Problem 1: Looks like a “woman’s product”

The simplest tactic used to target women is giving the product a stereotypically feminine design—pink, purple, sparkly, curvy, and so on. Contrary to popular belief, women are not biologically wired to like stuff that is pink or tiny or pretty. Some, however, are culturally wired for these things, as history and research on product segmentation show. They’ve been conditioned to believe pink and delicate things are made for them because the two are so often linked, and eventually this conditions what they choose for themselves. But that does not necessarily make it okay to reinforce this coding through your product marketing.

Continue reading (and have Santa read): FLOWCHART: HOW NOT TO DESIGN A “WOMAN’S” TECH PRODUCT

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