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

martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com
Fri Apr 6 03:53:53 CDT 2001

Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers

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It would be interesting to see if there were other factors in play for
the 1st part of your test.

But the second one is a biggie in terms of copywriting. People who
write (well) for exhibitions have known for a while that simple, direct,
active words do *much* better. I once benchmarked a community
nature reserve's visitor leaflet, and it was all written as "The reserve
was founded in 1953 after an extensive consultation period...zzz...
It is run by a committee elected from a representative....zzzz"

I tested an alternative which made the reserve and its resources the
star: "Go and see this!" "Hey, try that, it's fun!" kind of thing, and it
*much* more successful in communicating to visitors. They adopted
my version very quickly, although there were a couple of committee
members who insisted that their version (and yes, they were the ones
who wrote the original) communicated better.


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

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?"

Another interesting item was the relationship of passive and active verbs
in the text link. My link was originally "How does it work?" Nobody saw it.
It didn't matter where it was on the screen, the size, or the color. When I
changed the link to "Show me how it works" (active verb) I started getting
an ~80% click through rate.

Very interesting...

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