Feminine gamification viewpoint: design with women
A number of companies have started to involve women in their design process and in some case women have gotten so frustrated with the design of tools which were missing out on important features, that they designed a better version for themselves.
One example of the latter is the Bia sports watch. Two female athletes were fed up with big, heavy and ugly sports watches, which led them to investigate with fellow athletes what was impotent for them. The main findings were battery life wasn’t up to scratch furlong endurance training sessions, they were too complex and required manuals to understand them as well as them being too heavy to wear for a long time. The feedback resulted in the Bia watch which is slim and ergonomic in design, light to wear and has a simple one button kick-start for your relevant activity. A feature women asked for was an SOS button so they could send their geolocation to a family member at home in case of an emergency or if you run into trouble.
I totally understand why this is important, as an occasional marathon runner I often had strange encounters on the road when doing my long runs or if I twisted an ankle I always needed to make it all the way back home or to my car to make sure I could get help. Having the SOS feature is peace of mind for both the people waiting for you back home but also for the athlete who doesn’t have to worry about sticking to a certain time frame like you originally said. If training is going well, you keep going and the people at home can follow your progress with geo-tracking if you want them to.
The watch also gives you a positive note of feedback at the end of your workout, which my gamification mind really loves. Tracking progress is inherent and works in similar ways to the other fitness tracking apps. The watch has an impressive 17 hours of battery life and for the extreme sports enthusiast an additional battery pack will bump it up further to 72 hours.
What they do differently is they learned from their own experience and asked other female athletes how they wanted their sports watch to function. They continue to add updates when feedback comes in and is considered to be a company who listens to its users.
Which product have you come across where feminine features were part of the original design?