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Does Your Staffing Reflect Your Audience?

by Miki Saxon

How many men claim to understand women?

How often do you hear a man say about his mom/spouse/girlfriend/plain friend/other female ‘I know exactly what she wants?’

Rarely? Never?

Then why do they assume they know what women want when it comes to user experience in technology?

No, this isn’t about hiring more female programmers; it’s about hiring women from backgrounds not typically associated with technology.

People such as Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist hired as director of user experience at Intel Labs, the company’s research arm.

She runs a skunk works of some 100 social scientists and designers who travel the globe, observing how people use technology in their homes and in public.

Social scientists (of both sexes) look at the world differently than your typical tech employee, whether in development or marketing.

It’s even more important when it comes to social media, where many companies are/were started and/or run by guys.

Guys who are often younger and being younger know more (if not all) about creating great user experiences—and when they do want help they tend to ask guys who are a lot like them.

Guys who tend to think of their audience as people similar to them in gender and age.

Not intentionally, but the unconscious bias is still there.

The problem for these guys is that women are a giant presence in social media, consuming more, interacting more, and in more ways, than guys; not only that, but average users are in their 30s.

social media review

It’s pretty much a given that women and men are different.

And that one of the benefits of age is experience and experience changes how people think, react and interact.

Knowing all this you may find it beneficial to hire a more diverse workforce, including people who have lived long enough to understand a variety of people from a variety of perspectives.

Image credit: Designed by http://reviews.financesonline.com | Author: David Adelman | Our Youtube


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