Research has shown that the differences between the male and female visual cortex means that men and women literally see the world differently. From differences in sensitivity to color, patterns, and hue to being more or less sensitive to movement against a pattern, understanding and making use of these differences in visual processing is essential to many fields such as advertising, manufacturing, and video development



Understanding how color is perceived by the human eye is not only a lesson in physics and optics but, also, a lesson in human psychology. For many years we have understood that color is interpreted differently by different cultures and, in many cases, these differences are not only culturally significant but are important for both business and diplomacy.

However, until recently no one has attempted to see how color is perceived differently between men and women. Now, though, a group of researchers from New York’s CUNY college have done just that – and their findings have applications in fields ranging from psychology to fashion. In summary, the researchers found that:

  • Males are less sensitive to color in general than are women. This means, for instance, than an orange-hued object such as a clementine will appear more red to a male than to a female. Similarly, males will see grass and other green objects as being more yellow than will women. Understanding this difference in color perception is important for many reasons. For instance, it may be necessary to slightly alter a color of dye used in manufacturing clothes or other objects to make them appeal to men if men are the primary audience. Similarly, it may be important to take into account these perceptive differences in designing documents and websites or, perhaps more importantly, in designing way-finding and navigation systems or warning labels.
  • Women, however, are less sensitive to fine levels of detail and to rapidly moving objects. This information has lead researchers to theorize that many males prefer fast-paced video games because they are more sensitive to, an can better appreciate, movement and graphic detail where as females would be less sensitive to the graphics and would therefor find them less appealing. Practical applications for this knowledge include fine-tuning the levels of color, contrast, and detail in marketing campaigns and in video and graphic design to better catch the attention of the female audience. Further applications include making sure print and on-screen elements are designed around this decreased sensitivity to movement so that print documents and digital interfaces are clear, useful, and attractive to the female audience as well as to the male audience.

Ensuring that these visual differences are accounted for in any design takes practice, training, and more often than not, specialized equipment for color measurement and there are many solutions available depending on the situation and context of the design.

Via Inspiration Feed