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Case Study - Medicine Label Standardization in India
This UX case study is a hypothetical case study and only done for the educational purpose.
This case study addresses the problem with the current labeling system and conventions used by Drug manufacturers in India and the problems faced by users/patients. This study also go on to propose solutions in terms of setting a new design system to standardize the medicine label.
ROLE - My role in this project involved the Research on the use of drug in India, the medical literacy of people of India and the problems related to the current medicine label design convention used by drug manufacturers in India

Time - 1 week
User research

An online interview of 10 individuals from the age group 35-45 was carried out to understand the problems faced with the medicine packaging and their experience were recorded.

These main points were observed.

1. Difficulty in finding the main information and dates on the label.
2. Difficulty in reading the text
3. When there are more than 3-4 medicines it is very difficult to keep track of information and dosage.
4. Difficulty in knowing the price. Not visible easily.

2 out of 10 reported that they sometimes don't pay attention to the label and believe the chemist.
5 Said that they spend more than 5 minutes reading the label. They also said that the most critical information like Expiry Date and MRP is not clearly visible.
9 out of 10 said that they always check for expiry date.
8 of them said that they take at least one medication on a regular basis.

While all the users in the research had English as their first or second language. But the lack of labels and information in regional language is a potential problem when we take into account that the majority of the people in India speak Hindi or their respective regional languages.

A typical flow map of the user journey in the offline method of buying medicine is as follow
A typical online medicine buying user journey is as follows.
In both the journey/flow the important part is checking the medicine label or the information and description available on the web page.

In the offline method, the medicine had to be physically checked for important information. Sometimes the user take help of the chemist to know the information.

Especially the elderly and the people with vision issues have a hard time to check the validity of the information for themselves and often end u paying more than the printed price or buy medicine which are very close to the expiry dates.
There can be three ways we can approach the design for the label. Each has its Pros and Cons.

1. Text Based System
A text based system can be one in which an Alphabet is assigned to different information.
For example expiry can be denoted by E. The aim of this is to make the label more legible to see by assigning single alphabets and printing them in a tabular form, which can easily be spotted. But this could be a problem in different states where people only read and write regional language.

2. Symbol based System
A symbol based system is one in which instead of alphabets for specific information, we assign a symbol. the symbol can be chosen based on a survey of a large group of people. The symbol system will be very easy to spot in the middle of a text heavy label design. But this could be a problem where the label has to be printed on a very small size, the symbols has to work on every size. There can also be an issue with the symbol based system when it comes to user who is illiterate. However workshops can be conducted to spread awareness and train people in reading symbol based label and understanding it. There can be a high degree of ambiguity and confusion.

3. Color Based System
The third system can be a color based system, where a color code is agreed upon and it can be used in conjunction with any of the two systems mentioned above.
The problem with using only the color is for the color blind, and also the illiterate people who can not guess the color relation with the information.
However this system can be very effective given its high visibility and a majority of people already familiar with some of the color conventions used in real life. For example- Red is mostly associated with "stop", yellow is associated with "check" and green associated with "go".

In India, the color system is used in traffic lights and Railway system and majority of the population is fully or partially aware of the convention.

However each of the system is not effective by itself. There is a lot of guess work and ambiguity involved. In order to remove any doubt and make it more solid in terms of understanding, we need to mix and match and come up with a combination of systems mentioned above.

Below are the paper and pen sketches and an analysis of combination of various systems.
By analyzing the above low fidelity design options, we can sort the best options based on the ease of understanding and the visibility of the label.

We have introduced two variations in the color design element. One is the full color rectangle and other is the color triangle or arrow. During an unmoderated online testing with 5 participants it was observed that almost all of them preferred the first option due to its high visibility.

The most promising system that stood out in the analysis of the low fidelity wire frames are the following
1. Color System + Full Text Description
2. Only Text Description

Moving on to our next phase of making high fidelity design based on the analysis, we made the following labelling system.
High Fidelity Design of the Final Design Options and their variations
We used a tabular form system to make things organized and visible.
1. Text only system
We ditched our idea of assigning a single alphabet to a piece of information and use the full text to make things more clear.
2. Only color
3. Color Box + Text
4. Color Arrow + Text
Visibility test for scaling
A hypothetical medicine label design based on the result.
Case Study - Medicine Label Standardization in India

Case Study - Medicine Label Standardization in India