The industry of consumer electronics has experience a popularity explosion due to our technology driven society. Often this industry is geared towards men and their tastes. But a shift is happening in the way companies are designing and marketing their electronics. Many have started to realize the long overdue idea of catering to the tastes of female consumers. The New York Times published an article by Michael Marriott discussing how many companies realize that most consumer electronics are bought for home use. Items such as camera's, computers and cell phones are now being designed and manufactured with the busy lives of women in mind.
An interesting pattern that I noticed throughout the article was the mention of "ease of use". Now, part of me hopes that this aspect of the marketing and design is just focusing on easy to use products for customers in general, as opposed to "dumbing down" products like remotes and digital cameras for women. It does seem to me that often times in the technology industry, it is assumed that a woman will not be able to understand the complicated use of a SLR digital camera because she is somehow easily flustered. Nancy Durante, chief executive of Durante Design, who was quoted in the article, believes there is a different reason, "Women are busier than men. great puzzle. Men get great gratification out of that. I'd rather read a book, "she says.
So how these companies are making an effort to appeal to female consumers? Well most importantly, they have shied away from simply "creating a pink or pastel version of the same black or silvery item coveted by men." They are making cameras smaller and more lightweight. Laptop carrying cases are more stylish. Many digital cameras have one-touch transferring to computers. Some notebook computers even come with the keys spaced further apart to accommodate the longer nails of female buyers. Another progressive marketing tool is to show the usability for both men and women. It is helpful to cater to both the sensitivity of women and the male love of technology. With top electronics companies taking notice to female consumers, now's a good time to be a gadget gal.