Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Form vs. Function.

With all this talk about tech devices i.e. cell phones, i-pod and MP3 players, I was starting to wonder about how we choose between the different devices. There is a lot to choose from these days with all the different brands and models out now.

I have come across this observation and this is just a generalization that I made and may not fit everyone, so if you’re offended I am sorry. There is one major difference when choosing which item to buy between the sexes. Women mainly choose Hi-tech device on how it looks and feels. Compared to men where they choose a device mainly on the functions and features of that device. “What does it do mainly?”

Take for example cell phones because everyone is talking about it! Women mainly choose a cell phone by the way it looks and feels. They don’t care too much about the features of the device or any added features, such as the capability and the full range of what the device can do. As long as it does all the things that they want it to do say - making calls, sending/receiving text messages and taking and sending pictures if they want - they are happy. They are more concerned about the look of the phone. Compare to say when man chooses a mobile phone depending on the functions and features of the phone for say, PXT camera, video recoding, synchronizing your computer organizer with the one on your cell phone, video calling or even having a MP3 player on your cell phone, that what they care about more than how it look or the shape of the phone. It’s the capability of the phone that they are more interested in, even if they may never use all the functions, the fact that you could if the possibility arrived is more important!

This may be an excellent example of form vs. function. For woman it’s Form over function. Women care more about the look and form of the phone compared to the functions and the different capabilities of the phone, Compared to man where they care more about the functions and the capability of the phone over the look and form of the phone.

Example of this was: I was watching the “Good Morning “show on TV one morning where I saw they were advertising the new ‘Vodafone simple’. They described all the basic functions of the phone as being accessible at the tip of your fingers. Everything from sending and txt message to even finding out your own cell phone number is one button click away. They say the phone comes in two types - curvy and flat; and in two colures - stylish sliver and fashionable black, to go with any outfit your have! I know that designing or marketing a product to just women is not new, but have they design these phone on this basis. That simplifying a phone down to just basic functions would be good for woman.

This idea is just not isolated to cell phones and high-tech devices. This also applies to watches if you compare common male and female watches, man normally go for a big watch with a lot of functions: water resistances, stop watch, alarm clock, light , dual time zone, count down watch. Compared to women watches, which are normally smaller in shape with fewer features, and a very small watch face that is in my opinion too small that you would have problems seeing what time it is.



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