Increasing Organ Donation With a Check Box

Over 22 people die everyday in the United States as they wait for an organ transplant. This area of medicine is a particularly tricky version of supply and demand. But what if a simple check box was all it took to help increase the supply to the thousands on waiting lists?

Enter Libertarian Paternalism. Initially coined by economist Richard Thaler and legal scholar Cass Sunstein, this is the idea that ones behavior can be affected without removing ones freedom of choice.

“it tries to influence choices in a way that will make choosers better off, as judged by themselves”

Many countries have used this method to increase organ donation with a simple check box. They have moved to an “opt-out” method – meaning citizens must choose to NOT donate. This is  behavioral economics in practice. Law makers can influence behavior, but citizens still have the freedom to chose.

So what difference does this slight wording make? In Austria who employs an “opt-out” method, has over a 97% rate of citizens sighed up for organ donation. Neighboring Germany? Only 12%. One can assume that cultural attitudes and customers between these countries have similar feelings on organ donation. The only difference? Opt-out vs. opt-in policies.

Using the theory of Libertarian Paternalism to set “defaults” can be a powerful tool and should be used with respect. We must remember that as problem solvers we hold the ability to not only work through complex issues, but also “nudge” people in one direction or another.

Cultural Understanding Through Typography

Its easy to take for granted the relative ease not to mention the broad selection of character sets English writers have access to. But what happens when your languages typed characters are very close to a neighboring country with a completely different language? You get the The Balkan sprachbund or Balkan language area. This area that contains Serbia and Croatia share similar languages but different writing systems. To ease confusion between these languages.  Designers Nikola Djurek and Marija Juza used design to solve the problem. Enter Balkan Sans. This new font combine Cyrillic and Latin scripts into a single font set. This allows these neighboring countries to share content in a simplified manner. The designers state that the font system

 “… demystifies, depoliticizes, and reconciles them for the sake of education, tolerance, and, above all, communication”.

So whats this all mean? Say you were written an email in  Serbian  but you’re unable to  read Cyrillic? Just change the font to the Balkan Sans!

Why Its Hot

Just imagine the possibilities – education, entertainment…pen pals! This is just another example of how thoughtful design can have an immense impact on peoples lives.

Finding Empathy In Healthcare

As a student and believer in human centered design, empathy is at the core. Without “walking a mile” in someone’s shoes, truly understanding their journey is nearly impossible. Especially in Pharma, it seems that empathy from providers and partners is hard to find.  A recent Harvard study showed that 53% of physicians reported declining levels of empathy after several years of practice.

As science reveals more and more about disease, how can people truly feel empathy for some conditions they may have little understanding of? Klick labs has taken a shot at a real world “translation” by using bio-engineering and technology to “transfer” the uncontrollable movements associated with parkinson’s disease – they call it  “tele-empathy.

 

Why Its Hot

 As you can see in the video, even the twin brother is overcome as he, for the first time, can truly relate to his brother – imagine the impact on a doctor or care provider. This level of experience can truly give others empathy that could never be imagined before. With this type of experience do you think that HCPs may try different treatments or options? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Design Iteration to Reality

Design sprint, iteration, rapid prototyping – all wonderful things in a world of iterative design, but when you boil it down do any of these actually create something new? Too often prototypes are sent to the wayside due to production needs, cost or feasibility. We cant forget that the bottom line is business – at the heart of ti all is the question “will this product benefit the company.?”

So when AutoDesk engineers realized their prototype could save airlines $200 million a year suddenly people started to listen.

The prototype was for a new airline seat. In an industry where literally every pound matters replacing seat bases with a stronger and lighter version translates into thousands of gallons of jet fuel saved.

…one journalist calculated that just carrying one fewer bags of peanuts on flights for a year would save an airline $2,000 in fuel costs.

What makes this interesting however is the execution. The design, a “hive like” construction can very easily be 3D printed, but tend to be extremely difficult to mass produce. AutoDesk found a way to keep the design, but allow the part to be cast in magnesium.

The AutoDesk team worked and developed an entirely new way to combine 3D printing and the casting process to create the seats

The new seats could save airlines $100K per year, per aircraft. In addition to a massive reduction in fuel burn and emissions.

 

Why Its Hot

 Too often good ideas get put in the drawer, this shows that a good ideas not only can make it through, but create new innovations in order to make that a reality. Moral of the story: Keep Pushing!

The Art of Color in Design

No matter what type of design we take on – graphic, experience, code or visual; each will eventually employ color as a major pillar of the final product. Though following brand guidelines are paramount, we as designers have the opportunity to use the psychology behind colors to improve the overall experience.

 

Studies have shown that in many purchasing decisions, especially in retail , cite color and aesthetics as key reasons why a puras was…or was not made.

Why Its Hot

As we all work on diverse accounts, using color theory to create, reinforce or stop an emotion could be very beneficial. In our pharma work for example, imagine as a patient learns of a diagnosis, or is introduced to a new drug. What could they be feeling? What experience do we want them to have? And are the colors showin guiding them towards or away? These questions can help us drive creative and give our customers the experience they deserve.

The Future of Marketing or Invasion of Privacy?

Headlines…and voice prompts were made this week as Burger King launched the “Hack the Home” campaign. The short 15 second TV ad uses the premise that there is so much great about the marquee product that the spokesperson couldn’t possibly name everything, so then the character states” OK google…what is a whopper”

Leveraging the activation phrase of the popular in home device, causes anyone with a Google home to hear about the Whopper from wikipedia.

Though  the ad was cunning,  is it also an invasion of privacy? With the rise of these in home devices, tricky advertisers are always looking for a way to grab your attention. But as these new technologies emerge, what is the line consumers will draw?

 

UPDATE: Well, though creative, the internet rules the day and has completely hijacked the campaign. Though the ad team obviously thought of a creative way to launch the Google Home, they apparently forgot that ANYONE can edit wikipedia. The Whopper page is now in constant edit mode with everything from added ingredients like “cyanide” to new slogans like “the whopper is the worst burger ever created”. In addition, it seems now Google is not happy with the stunt, and has released an update to prevent the ad from triggering the device….well…it was fun while it lasted!

 

 

 

 

Authenticity Rules

Short and sweet- consumers are SMART…they are active, social and can see ( and will call out) a miss. On the other end, they can certainly carry your message and brand farther than a marketer ever expected.

Product Placement : Good!

 

Product Placement: BAD!

Create A Custom Sweater – No Perspiration Required

Adidas has taken the bespoke clothing trend a bit farther with a new machine that allows customers to design, virtually try on and then produce their own custom sweater. Using new body scan technology, the in store device exactly measures the customer and then allows them to design their own pattern from 100’s of colors. The machine then knits right in store and you get a custom designed sweater.

Why Its Hot

Creating immersive  VR/AR experiences that are truly relatable and useful is a challenge for any innovator. Finding ways to make something standard like shopping for clothes and integrated it with the latest technology is a great way to engage consumers that might not have had exposure to this technology. As we work to create the best experiences possible its not always the most flashy execution that makes the experience worthwhile.

Drug Discovery With Deep Learning

Pharmaceutical companies are often at a crossroads when it comes to the development of new drugs. The current FDA process not only takes an enormous amount of resources, but also time. These processes put a large burden of risk on Pharma and could be a deterrent to future innovation.

Why Does It Take So Long?

The typical drug can take upwards of 18 years to hit the market, then (assuming all is approved) companies only have a relatively short amount of time to sell the drug under patent protection.

A large amount of time is spent just identifying which compound might be a solution for the problem at hand. Thousands of tests occur even before clinical trials are conducted.

How Can We Make This Better?

What if the sciences could get a jump start on those 1000’s of possible compounds? That’s just what Atomwise has done. Partnering with IBM they have leveraged their powerful AI data platform to create, model and test compounds and a molecular level.  This allows the team to rapidly test compounds and compute score around the likeness of effect. In addition, Atomwise can use current compounds to find treatments for other diseases like Ebola.

Why Its Hot

 Using the latest in powerful processing will allow more advancement than ever before. As computing power continues to increase, so does the opportunity to solve complex problems in the most efficient manner. This not only leads to more opportunities for development, but reduced time to market.

 

Managing The Internet Of Things

All you have to do is look at any coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) you would have been bombarded with devices that are now internet connected. From bike locks to light bulbs it seems that everything is getting connected. While a sexy interface accompanying app may be “whats hot”, in this new landscape what is truly useful? Author Douglass stated

“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

And I think that holds true. Technology should be seen as seamless and useful rather than only being flashy. So…with that line of thinking, why would anyone need an wi-fi connected oven?  Well GE thinks you do, and I agree.

The GE Appliances team has developed Kitchen OS, a way for appliances to interact with applications. Using the Drop Scale kitchen crusaders can now get the exact ingredient measurements, steps and even oven temperature to ensure a perfect pizza

Why Its Hot

This seamless integration between technologies solves a problem many are familiar with, but most have no solution for. By using IoT in a non obtrusive and useful way GE is effectively leveraging technology to better the experience for their customers.

If Brands Were Honest

Plato is quoted as saying

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.

In today’s marketing world, that sometimes seems to be the case. But in a world where consumers can do their own research, what is the risk to brands who stray away from the path of being truly authentic?

Being honest, truthful and authentic includes the ability to poke fun at ones self.  Designer Clif Dickens created a website – Honest Slogans that does just that. My personal favorite is the honest slogan for “Hot Pockets”

Why Honesty Is Hot

 In a crowded market, being totally honest is a way to get a reaction, a laugh and most importantly attention. When brands can own their mistakes, or perceptions they can build trust and loyalty as consumers relate and appreciate their effort.

Honesty In Action

My favorite example of this is Arby’s.  Arby’s and Pepsi Co. had a contractual agreement to have Pepsi featured in two TV commercials each year. When the Arby’s marketing team was closing out their year, they found they only did one commercial.  Being honest about their mistake resulted in the following commercial:

 

Not only did they honor their agreement, but owned their mistake. This honesty created a great commercial that stood out from other fast food spots.

Examples like this show that brands who own their honesty have the ability to turn the truth… into profit.