Towards Female Preferences in Design – A Pilot Study
Lishan Xue, Ching Chiuan Yen


The aim of this paper is to investigate gender perception as it relates to product language, identity, and preferences. Responses were gathered through a mixed methodology of descriptive and qualitative study, using data from semi-structured interviews with 72 participants, of which 38 were male and 34 were female. Three types of consumer products were selected as the design stimuli, combined with a selection of product properties having aesthetic, functional and social associations. In the interviews, initial responses from the respondents were mixed and associated with reservations about the choices available. Their immediate choices of models revolved mostly around expected ranges, reflected especially so in the choices of fragrance bottle designs. More in-depth interpretive and qualitative evaluation of the choices was conducted by suggesting schemes, references and associated expressions for analyzing keywords. References for directing gender-oriented design are proposed as a supplement to future design procedures. The study concludes by demonstrating how these schemes and references could help designers, for example by enhancing future designs of healthcare devices for women, with particular attention to creating a new culture of self-awareness and well-being.

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