G – Gender Inspired Technology
If you meet the expectations of women, you’ll exceed the expectations of men.
Women are a demanding, economically independent and very diverse target group with a high affinity to design and technology. However, their needs are still not properly considered within the development of ICT, because research and development departments are often dominated by male engineers. Consequently, products often represent gender stereotypes instead of solutions based on real human needs.
As a follow-up to the successful ‘Women’s Phone’ project, an interdisciplinary research project G – Gender Inspired Technology was conducted by Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost at Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs) with IxDS and Europäische Akademie für Frauen in Politik und Wirtschaft (EAF).
Interdisciplinary participatory research on gender and design
Over the course of a year, we invited 55 female participants to explore the impact of ICT on their everyday life, through design methods such as Cultural Probes, or by creating prototypes within Co-Creation workshops representing their visions and desires of future communication.
Based on the huge amount of qualitative insights from the different disciplinary perspectives, IxDS developed a typology of seven female ICT user profiles, 13 personas, 60 conceptual ideas, and 60 use cases.
From research to marketable products
In a further step, IxDS transformed these promising seeds into 10 innovative product concepts for smartphone apps and OS enhancements. Each one was prototyped as a video story and evaluated with the target group and a male control group.
After largely positive feedback, a selection of these concepts are currently being developed into marketable apps.