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QotD: Software for Men

Question: Is software designed for men?

My Answer: No. Software is designed for a user - period. Someone told me that Apple's predilection for "metal" is indicative of their favorable stance towards manly users, but what then of their pulsing "OK" buttons and soft fades and whizzy effects? Absolutely nothing, as none of it has anything to do with gender.

Software is software, and good software is meant to be used by as many people as possible with as many different perspectives as possible. If you were redesigning "Safari" to be gay-friendly, or more friendly towards American Indians, what would you change? Nothing. Same is true for "designed for women." What are you gonna do, make the Safari icon pink instead of blue? Gimme a break.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

5 Responses to "QotD: Software for Men"

  1. Erik,

    I wrote a story sometime back (yikes, 1999 it seems) about the male/female appeal of computers. It was in response to John Dvorak's rant against the lollipop iMacs and I thought it might be an interesting subject to go with. There is some interesting info included, but the piece is mainly intended for entertainment value -- so don't blame me if you the neuroscience isn't up to date.

    The Estrogenous Zone
    http://www.macopinion.com/columns/engine/99/09/30/index.html

  2. I think the entire question sounds like something that gender bigots would dream up (esp. the "literary" feminists) looking for a discrimination lawsuit to foist on the software industry.

  3. erik,

    what (or who) on earth brought up such a ridiculous question?

  4. Bud, perhaps you want to click the links and find out for yourself?

  5. Oops, sorry, missed the obvious link. The source statement is apparently buried somewhere at 37signals.com somewhere though; not about to click thru or search for a fourth layer of that onion.


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