Tuesday, July 8, 2008

She wants more women in the industry

When Hyper Island student Martina Tranström was out doing her internship at Big Spaceship in New York, she couldn’t help but notice that out of 40 web designers, only two were female.

- This made me think about the male dominance in the entire industry. Lots of women want to work with design but somehow women who want to work with webdesign end up as project leaders, Martina says.

And she decided to do something about it. As her final project at Hyper Island she has designed and created a website for women in web design.

- The purpose of the site is to be a forum and a platform for women who want to be inspired and get advice from others in the industry, she says.

Why, in your opinion, aren't there more women in the industry today?
- I think a lot of women believe that is a lot more technical than it is. Working as a web designer is so much more. It is the best job ever. It is international, creative and interactive.

How did you work with this project?
- I started by contacting She Creatives, a Swedish network for female web designers and a London based network called She says. She creatives wanted me to make this website for them, but I wanted it to be in English and for the members of She says and other women in the industry as well. As I wanted to know more about what women wanted from a website like this, I interviewed women who are already in the industry. And to find out why there are so few women in the business I interviewed young women who are studying media in Highschool.

What did the survey show?
- That lots of girls want to work with web design, but as I said, many of them think that it is too technical. But working as a webdesigner is not technical at all, and I found that the more the students knew about the work that web designers really do, the more interested they are. So what they need is more knowledge and other women to inspire them.

And what functions would I find on the website?
- One function is "A day in life", where you follow a web designer during one day, to see how she works. Another function is the forum where you can discuss things and ask others for advice. There will also be videos where role models in the industry answer three questions such as: 1. What inspires you? 2. Why do you work with web design? 3. What is the best part about working with web design?

Was it difficult to get people to participate and share their stories?
- No, sometimes they hesitated, but when I told them who else were in the project they did it.

What inspired you when designing the website?
- I looked around at other websites that I liked. I didn’t want it to be girly or pink and cute. I wanted it to be simple.

What is the next step?
- I really want to make this project work and I am now discussing different ways of funding. We’ll see how it works out.


ellinor bjarnolf said...

Sweet.Lycka till!

Jodi Neufeld said...

I'm a female web designer, and I'd love to see your site and participate. What's the link?