Monday, June 22, 2009

Women and technology

There is a common belief that women and technology don't go together. If that would be true every housewife would need a training before she could start using her kitchen.

I've been asked several times to help "make the presentation appear on the projector" by the room full of men. So I think saying "women don't understand technology" is just an excuse for those, who are either not interested in it or are simply too lazy to deal with it on their own.

However I could agree that women (if I dare to generalise this not at all unified category) maybe have different expectations and needs towards technology. And I'm not talking only about design preferences or various period tracker applications. There is an interesting debate about the topic in the comments of this post.

Personally when it comes to computers and software, I want it to:
  • be simple (have good usability),
  • be visually appealing (not flooded with colors and animations),
  • allow customization,
  • speak my language,
  • have a bit of a personality.
Even though I am quite interested in the topic of gender and technology, I am still somewhat sceptical about gender specific technology. Firstly because "men" and "women" are not homogenous groups and most certainly not the only two gender groups. And secondly because attempts to find common characteristics in the gender groups usually means using blue vs. pink arguments.

So is it fair to say you designed software for women when it's not going to satisfy all the women? I think not. But I would definitely go for software with a little of personal touch.

Here's an example:
Beeing annoyed by endless windows popping up when least needed just to ask me if I am really sure about some action, I've wished I would have had different options than "No" or "Close". Having "STFU" or a third option "No. And never ask me again." did cross my mind several times. And I would definitely love to be able to rewrite certain commands in a more creative way. Of course that is not the only thing I'd like to change.

So what is the alternative? Honestly I don't know but if there is one, please do share it. After all the purpose of technology is to meet the needs of the people and not the other way around.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Geeky pop hits

Since we are more and more affected by a number of different online coomunities, it's probably only a matter of time before it starts to reflect in popular culture.

Actually I am quite surprised that we weren't yet honoured with pop hits like:
  • Only a click away,
  • Skype me baby one more time,
  • Tweets for my sweets,
  • I will always digg you,
  • Jenny from the blog,
  • Staying online,
  • Master and server,
  • Crazy little thing called Facebook,
  • Do you really want to block me,
  • I said I didn't google you but I lied,
  • Fatal error seem to be the hardest words.
I'd love to hear those. Wouldn't you ;)?