29th May 2006

Ladies Map

Women are unable to read maps!
  1. Pose the above thesis while in company.
  2. Sit back and relax.
  3. Enjoy the fierce discussion heating up.
Ten to one that you'll hear numerous examples. How many times did the gentlemen had to park as to have a good look on the map of their own?

Wait a while till peace returns. Then heat things up again by posing the following:

Maps are designed for men!
The discussion will heat up fiercly for a moment or two. But in the following silence somebody will ask you: Now, what do you mean exaxtly?
Men Women
Men navigate using a combination of direction and distance. The exact route is less important. Women navigate along a list of points of recognition.
140 km south-east-south is a perfect route description to a man. Left at the flower shop is a perfect part of a route description to a woman.
A man looks for a road that matches the direction. To a man a map with unreadable characters is still usable. Woman look on a map for points of recognition, read text. They look for names of streets, exits, junctions. A woman will discard a map with unreadable characters as useless.
One way streets, dead ends, blocking poles, rivers are nuisances to men. This obstructions force a detour that deviates from the desired direction. Detours, roadwork are disorienting for women, a confusing disrupting the sequence of points of recognition.
To men, maps are a smaller verision of reality. A man uses a map to find a route that matches the direction. Maps lack points of recognition for women. The flower shop is not shown. There is no clear sequence of points. A map is troublesome to women.
Women are able to read ladies maps!
Now, women are able to read maps. If only those maps would show a sequence of points. There is no place on the map for irrelevant things like direction and disctance.

Now, a design that follows this train of thought: A map for driving from Gouda to Heijen.

A12 A2 E31 N264 N271
Gouda Utrecht Intersection Deil Exit 5 Gennep Heijen

Real World Test

The test is very succesfull, for a couple of minutes, till we reach the first junction near Utrecht.

I underestimated the differences between man and woman. Of course... a woman needs more details!

Version two

The second version:
A12 A2 E31 E31 E31 E31 N264 N271
Gouda Intersection Oudenrein
Intersection Deil
Intersection Valburg
Intersection Ewijk
Intersection Neerbosch
Exit 5
After bridge
Now, I don't know yet if this really works. This second is yet to be tested. Join me, cross your fingers, keep your hopes high.
Women can read maps!
Till next nut,