It’s high-time that women also had a look-in

I have just received a call for entries for this year’s D&AD Awards and was horrified to see that the chosen judges for this year’s digital media categories are all male. Why is this?

The profile of Internet users is changing. By Christmas it is expected that the proportion of males and females on-line will be 50/50. User research has shown that women are interested in clear communication, ease of use and excellent navigation. All factors which require a new approach to many sites, forcing designers to think again about providing just flash graphics and animation.

If you look at the number of sites which have been launched by women’s retailers in this half of the year alone, you can see the trend growing. The rush for portals offering content to women is also a giveaway.

By choosing an all male panel, how can British Design and Art Direction expect to be representative in its judgement of the designs that are being forwarded?

Website design is not just about making something look good, it’s about what it does, how it does it and how enjoyable it is to use.

Young designers look to such associations to find a bit of guidance on what constitutes good design. D&AD does have a role to play and that is first to be balanced in their judgement of design.

Helen Charman

Associate director

Fitch – Digital team

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