In a nation where 73% of men and 63% of women are overweight, why is it that the majority of smartphone apps for weight loss are marketed to women—but created by men?
It is commonplace for women to feel more pressure to lose weight than men, and this pressure has led to a surge of smartphone apps dedicated to weight loss being available. But while many users of these apps are female, most of the apps, including popular ones like Lose It and MyFitnessPal, were designed by men. This in-discrepancy means that women’s needs are not being heard as much as they are being told what to focus on via these apps.
A common occurrence on many weight loss apps targeted to women is that they feature the same types of stereotypically female designs, such as the presence of flowers, or use language encouraging users to “get hot” rather than “healthy.” Activewear brands, such as Nike and Under Armour, have created fitness apps that promote their clothing lines for males and females, but also encourage exercising. With its broad appeal and recognizable brand, Nike’s app has the highest user retention rate according to a Gartner L2 report.
The lack of apps made for women by women is quickly changing, however, as apps designed by females for every purpose are rising. Not only can women now go to the app store on their smartphone and find fitness apps properly catered to them, but they can also find apps for more than just weight loss. From finance tracking to self defense and meditation designed for them by them, women-made apps are in for a big win in the tech world.