Monday, January 29, 2007

The target pill bottle isn’t a bottle, it’s a system

A great example of an ergonomically designed product ...

"It’s unfortunate that the 2005 design of the Target pill bottle has too often been treated as just a product design and graphic design solution. Yes, it received much earned respect for being a collaboration of graphic design with industrial design and for its sensitive approach to addressing sometimes life-threatening circumstances. But perhaps because it’s been put on a pedestal at the MoMA we forgot to check out what’s going on behind the scenes at Target.

Target appropriately calls the bottle ClearRX, describing it more broadly as a, “prescription distribution and communication system.” That’s because it required quite a bit of work on the back-of-the-house to make the pill bottles work on the front-of-the-house.

Let’s take one aspect of the design as an example. The bottles have rings that fit around the collar of the bottle which are color coded to identify different members of the family — 7 colors in all. The concept is simple enough: make sure you’re not accidentally taking someone else’s prescription just because the bottles look similar. However, the implementation is much more difficult because Target has to ensure the right color ring is going around the right subscription. Therefore Target’s Pharmacy IT system has to track which family member has which color ring so that the colors are not accidentally switched with prescriptions are being filled."    (Continued via adaptive path)    [Ergonomics Resources]

ClearRX - Ergonomics


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