Comscore just released a study last month (June 30, 2010) entitled Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet.
In short, women’s presence on the Web is changing, and as more of the world’s women get online, the design opportunity for designing for women will be the default.
I thought you mind find it interesting, especially since need to understand the opportunities for designing user experiences that resonate with women.
1. Women have surpassed men as online buyers (and they spend more) and their influencing is growing rapidly, in addition to the use of group buying or ‘flash sale’ sites (eg. Groupon.com LivingSocial.com). Social retail is an emerging area for women, due to their tendency to share and discuss with other others.
2. Women spend more time online (8% globally) than men and 30% more time on social networking sites than men.
3. Women are motivated differently in their use of social networking sites like Twitter. Twitter adoption is equal or higher than men. Twitter is used by women more for conversation, to follow celebrities or to find deals and promotions. Men are more likely to post their own tweets.
4. Social networking is emerging as a driver for women in the mobile sphere.
5. Women are using online entertainment (e.g. puzzle, board and card games) and functional sites (money management) as much as men (change in past behavior where health, apparel, baby goods).
6. Cultural differences in emerging markets (Asia, Latin America) will always influence online behavior by gender- an important localization issue.
7. Older women moreover men, are rapidly adopting social networking sites— and at the same intensity of younger women.
8. Women are still attracted to health content, community and lifestyle sites. However women are outpacing men in some areas of finance and are actively engaging in male-dominated areas: adult content and gambling.
9. Compared to men, women Bing users spend more time on Bing for search, than Google- and YouTube for video. Facebook, while visited more than men is unable to compete with regional social networking sites (such as CyWorld in South Korea, Vkontakte.ru in Russia, Mixi.jp in Japan or StudiVZ in Germany), especially among older women.
10. Women spend more time on Social Networking, Instant Messaging (IM) and Email than men globally.
11. The embrace of social networking and its importance to women has significant implications for content and user experience.
12. Women spend more time on photo sites and adopt photo sharing faster. Email usage is higher in the 45+ age group. Latin American women do more IM’ing than other women globally, with their use of email topping North American females.
* New Study-Gender differences in Web Usability. Spillers, Frank. http://www.demystifyingusability.com/2010/07/gender-differences-in-web-usability.html