Young men primarily run the tech world, but the consumers most advertisers want to reach are women. Why? Women account for 85 percent of all purchases, according to The Next Web. This creates a huge gap between those creating the supply (apps) and those furnishing the demand. The solution: More women should be involved in the process of conceptualizing, building, marketing, and monetizing mobile apps.
Why Advertisers Should Want to See More Female Developers
There’s a reason advertisers love online publications that cater to women: Women make most of the purchasing decisions for their households. If advertisers want to increase sales, they need to talk to the people who will determine whether their products are worth buying. If advertisers want to reach these women on mobile, they need to advertise on apps that women are using, and if women are going to be the primary targets of the app, they should probably be in the process of creating it.
The sad truth is that, at the moment, most programmers are male. Women are still extremely underrepresented in STEM jobs, and this can ultimately cause developers to design an app without the female consumer in mind. Whether that affects the functionality, the design, or the marketing of an app, the creation and selling processes are hampered. When more women are involved in the process, from conceptualization to developing to marketing, they’ll be better able to communicate to advertisers how female consumers will use the app and make purchasing decisions because of it.
I frequently see developers and designers turn an app pink or add other stereotypically female-oriented elements as an easy copout to make apps “appealing to women.” Apps that truly appeal to women don’t focus on the surface, but instead offer substance. In order to inspire women to make purchasing decisions because of engagement with an app, the app needs to add value to women’s lives.
Who, you ask, best knows how to add value to women’s lives? Most likely, other women.
How Women Can Do This: Teach Yourself or Take a Note from Carla White
The first thing women can do is to learn how to develop apps themselves. Between online resources like Code Academy or in-person classes like Dev Bootcamp, there are many opportunities to learn to code. If you have zero interest in learning to code but still have an app idea you want to see created, all hope is not lost.
I recently interviewed a female app creator named Carla White. Carla broke into the app scene with “Gratitude Journal.” She had started journaling what she was grateful for after the passing of a relative, and she realized there had to be an easier way to do it. She wanted to share her experience with others and created the gratitude app. She had zero technical experience, yet she created an app that quickly rose to #1 on the lifestyle section of the Apple App Store and was even featured by Oprah Winfrey.
Apps We Want to See
It’s easy to say, “Okay, women, go out and create an app other women will use!” But when you browse the App Store, it can be overwhelming to attempt to think of something new. To help, I asked a few female friends of mine what kinds of apps they’d like to see.
Disclosure: There could be apps that accomplish these goals, but they either aren’t effective or aren’t marketed well — my female friends couldn’t find them!
- A fitness app that specifically caters to women, or as my co-worker described it, “doesn’t look like it was based on a men’s locker room design”
- A wedding app that could hold a user’s contacts for catering, flowers, etc., in one place and record payments and upcoming billing dates, as well as email or call the contacts straight from the app
- An app that can track down any product in a magazine by taking a photo of the page
- A baby purchase app that can track multiple registries for parents-to-be, along with a price comparison feature and lists to give parents-to-be ideas for items to register for
- And my favorite suggestion from a co-worker: “I’m just excited to see more cat apps”
I look forward to seeing more women involved in the app creation process, developing apps I’d want to use. I’d love to hear your ideas for apps — or apps that you’ve worked on
By Kelsey Meyer
Originally From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2013/07/08/why-more-women-should-create-apps/