[thelist] Do women view web pages differently from men?

Mike Roberto mjr at linkzero.com
Thu Apr 5 15:12:28 CDT 2001

>I was recently usability testing a flash timeline (very small group) and I
>ran into something very similar. The women found my text links much more
>easily than the men. I also found that the men asked for more bells and
>whistles. The first comment when they sat down at the machine was "Is there
>going to be music?"

Coming from a strong personal "anti-blanket-statement" mentality, a couple
questions came to mind about what you said.

How many people is enough to draw a clear line.  You say women and men, how
many?  2, 3, 10, 500?  It's hard to even enter this conversation without
coming to the table with good hard research to backup web usability and
gender relationship, not to mention all the other factors, age, time spent
online, familiarity with technology, media, etc.

Secondly regarding the flash comment, flash is a multimedia application.
My first question when viewing a flash app or presentation would relate
to sound or music as well.  But that's flash, and rightly so i think its
expected that when viewing a flash app you're obviously going to be looking
at something, people know flash can playback music and sounds, so a question
posed by either sex regarding sound when you don't hear any as the movie
starts, is
expected.  That's definitely not my first question when viewing a webpage,
fact if I hear midi or wav files start when i pull up a webpage i almost
guarantee unless i want that content badly, i've already hit the back
But i think the intent here is that flash is a multimedia app, and a
regarding that doesn't constitute needing more bells and whistles.

I wouldn't say men ask for more bell and whistles over women, because I
have any facts to back that up, but I don't have facts that support
either.  If someone does have a good reputable study done by a good source,
then i think that would more clearly identify these tendencies, rather than
drawing them from limited sources like our friends, family and coworkers.


Michael Roberto
< LinkZero >
<e> mjr at linkzero.com
<w> www.linkzero.com

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