Reported on August 2, 2005 by The University of Glamogan is a first-of-its-kind study proving that men and women really are poles apart when it comes to what catches their eye on the internet.
This is important to consider when developing a new web site or revamping your current online presence. Is your target audience male or is it female?
However, it is not just as easy to say my target audience is male or female. For example, many household decisions, cars, furniture, appliances, etc. will have both parties involved in the process. However, the key question is during the buying process, which gender is more likely to view your website.
Over the past 3-years working with auto dealers, one thing that appears to be common is that it is usually the men that drive the process to buy, but it is the women who will ultimately decide whether the purchase happens or not. The question for local businesses is which of the genders is using my site and at what stage in their buying process.
Could this affect the outcome of somebody choosing to do business with you, maybe, maybe not. Usually I say this, a good web site design will not get you any more sales, but a poorly designed web site will surely lose you some.
From the University findings, Gloria Moss, Research fellow at the University of Glamorgan Business School teamed up with statistician Rod Gunn to conduct the research to discover if businesses and organisations are making the most of their web presence to help them reach their particular target audiences.
“We started off by looking at the personal websites created by 60 university students, 30 male and 30 female, to discover whether there were any major design differences. We looked at factors such as language, visuals, and navigation – the differences were immediately apparent,” explained Gloria Moss. “We compared the sites on 23 factors and differences emerged on just over half of these. This is a massive number”.
I think the real purpose of this posting is that business owners should at the very least be aware of some of the various decisions that go into successful website design. So if you are planning to build a new web site or redesign an existing site, be aware of your target market, be aware of the users and finally make sure that your designer (whether male or female) is aware of your requirements.
I want to thank Darren Barefoot and his blog for putting me onto this research.