Helen AdlerThis is my grandmother. About four years ago, she mistook my grandfather's medication for her own. His name was Herman. Aside from their first names which start with the same two letters and the dosage strength, the bottles looked identical. Luckily, the effects were minimal.
Old BottlesHere are three different points of view of the same bottle. Reading the labels is extraordinarily difficult, not just because of small type size and poor print quality… consumers have to turn the bottles in a circle in order to read information…which leads to poor comprehension and retention.
Old WarningsBlack print on dark backgrounds lacks contrast making warnings difficult to read. The labels that do have a lot of contrast like "take with food” and “do not take with nitrates” is an improvement... But what’s a nitrate? The graphic icons themselves are misleading. The “take on an empty” stomach icon can be confused for a gas tank.
The SafeRX labelInformation architecture is combined with intuition. I divided the label into two sections: primary and secondary. The primary information is at the top of the label. This is most likely what the patient would like to know first. No other information is allowed to infringe on that primary area. The secondary information is below the black line. It’s still important, but not as critical as the instructions. The pharmacy logo is off to the side.
Color CodingIn the SafeRx system I used color to personalize medication. No two people in the same household will have the same color medicine package, facilitating identification. Color is one more way for a patient to process information in a short amount of time. It helps avoid confusion.
SafeRx BottleThe D shaped bottle has 2 grooves on the back that rest along the length of each edge. The information card can slide in and out of this groove. There is space on the card for pharmacists to print what time the patient should take their medicine. It can also be used to hold the SafeRX magnifying lens.
I contacted Target.I knew Target would be an excellent platform for my product. They’re committed to their customers and always go the extra distance to create customer loyalty. They’re also committed to great design. It’s the essence of their brand. I just knew they would be willing to take a risk with this sort of innovation.
I was right!Target took the idea and me under its wings. Working together, we refined my ideas and developed… the ClearRx system.
CollaborationIt was an endless collaborative effort, including Targets's technology services, pharmacy team, pharmacy operations, pharmacy training and the marketing team, to name a few. Target hired industrial designer Klaus Rosburg to develop the final shape.
ClearRxOne by one, we developed label, bottle, and card designs that achieved my initial goals and met the real-world needs of patients and pharmacists.
Color CodingMy idea for color-coded labels to personalize prescriptions for various members of a household was translated into color-coded rings. These rings — available in six primary colors — attach to the neck of the ClearRx bottle.
New LabelYou’ll notice the label is pretty close to my original. Information is presented in a clear and intuitive hierarchy.
Patient Info CardWe designed a patient information card, which is securely tucked in the back of the bottle. It summarizes common uses, potential side effects, and other information that patients may want to know. The new information card stays with the bottle at all times and is provided in addition to the written monograph.
New Icons designed with Milton GlaserI worked with Milton Glaser to update the 25 most important warning and instructional icons. Consider the old and the new icons for avoiding taking medication while pregnant …the need to read all instructions before taking a medication …or that taking medication could cause drowsiness and impair one’s ability to drive.
Grandma and MeClearRx is raising awareness in the medical community, the design community, and in popular culture. People are paying closer attention to what the patient gets at the end of the day. Throughout this process, I have learned first hand that design has the power to make a difference.