Assignment 4 asked us to interact directly with a mixture of ordinary people in the form of intervews. I chose to tackle the question; How do men and women differ in the way they view the design around them? I found this question interesting as I recently did a project in the studio about different visual languages, the project really opened up my eyes to the amount of design that surrounds us in life…it’s everywhere! I wanted to see if others realised that everything around them is design and how they react and think about it, and in the process I could see if men and women were different in the way they think about these things.
I devised an interview outline including 22 questions asking numerous different questions about design. I started with; What do you think design is? This was to straight away gather an idea of what the person being question perceived design to be so that I could put it in to context with their other answers. I asked other questions such as; Do you think design has a big impact/influence on your lifestyle, do you get ennoyed or feel bombarded by design, do you like simple design or design with a bit more of a hidden message, why is this?
I asked a wide range of people, students, shop keepers, nursery nurses and those of other proffessions. After interviewing 5 people I was hearing a lot of the same answers and I felt that I was sometimes having to help them a lot with their answers. Everyone came up with a good answer when I asked them what they thought design was but they didn’t really follow this idea through in the rest of their answers and went off on tangents. Older interviewees would be more likely to list off numerous things that have been designed and say buildings, cars, art etc whereas suprisingly it was the younger people that would try and be more clever about there answer. A 19 year old law student said that design is “an idea that somebody comes up with and then makes it happen.” I felt this was a very nice answer.
Since my first attempt at interviewing wasn’t providing the answers I was looking for I decided to break down what design is and ask more specific questions to my next group of people. These simpler questions proved a bit more helpful at giving me conclusions about my overall question.
Doing two sets of questions has provided me with plenty of information about how people view the design around them. There are comments that are similar for each question but they are not in particular similar between men and women or age groups. A 45 year old man who is in the army commented that “I enjoy advertising that is clever, that makes me laugh and that will stick in my mind.” This is similar to a 19 year old art and philosophy students answer; “advertising that is funny and a bit different that has had some thought put in to it is most likely to attract my eye.” An overwhelming majority of all ages said that practicality and cost are what they look for in design over style. Everyone said that they would automatically ignore an advertisement if it was by a company that sells products that are out of their price range. Interviewees of all genders and ages like to build trust with a company and would try out a new product because they are familiar with the company.
After looking at all the information I gathered and disscussing it with my class mates I have came to the conclusion that men and women do not differ in the way they view design, its all about the individual, there personality, needs and wants. Other factors are a lot more important over gender, there proffesion, friends group, lifestyle and personality over ride whether they are male or female. Because design is basically everything in the world it is quite hard to conclude why people like certain design. The way someone grows up, the people that they have been in contact with through out there life and the education they have had all add to how people view design. It is all a matter of personal taste.