A study by Glamorgan University Business School's Department of the Fairly Bleedin' Obvious has concluded that it's not just a website's subject matter that determines whether it appeals more to guys or gals but - wait for it - "the appearance of the site also might play a subtle role", as AP explains.
This groundbreaking discovery will have women's magazine designers running around like headless chickens as they try to redefine the traditional front-page paradigm of souped-up motors, power tools and topless hussys shamelessly flaunting themselves under the strapline "You too can have a six-pack stomach and sex with fourteen supermodels by Friday".
Actually, it's a bit more subtle than that - but not much. The Welsh investigators found that women were drawn to pages with more colour and preferred "informal" rather than "posed" pictures. Men, naturally, showed a penchant for dark hues and "straight, horizontal lines across a page" as well as animated objects.
The Glamorgan researchers took these criteria and applied them to the websites of 32 Brit unis, demonstrating that 30 of them had a "masculine orientation" - thereby correctly reflecting the British academic tradition of "hard men doing hard research".
In the spirit of this essential contribution to a greater understanding of website design, we at Vulture Central did a quick straw poll among staff as to the sexual orientation of our own site. Ninety per cent of those who participated found the Register exuded "more testoterone than a cattle truck full of fighting bulls", although 30 per cent were worried that the bright red theme might be considered a bit too "feminine" for the hard-core IT market. Ninety-eight per cent of male staff bemoaned the lack of animated topless hussys shamelessly flaunting themselves on the site, while 50 per cent of the female staff (Lucy Sherriff) said it might be improved with a few scatter cushions and some nice new curtains.
The Reg Strategy Boutique, meanwhile, elected to have a pre-power lunch brainstorm to formulate an agenda by which the matter might be discussed at a later date, but summarised in a short Powerpoint presentation that they found the entire thing "sexually ambiguous", and are investigating accordingly. ®