NEW PACKAGING EXPERIENCE FOR ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS 

For: A leading pharmaceutical company
While at: Smart design
Role:  Industrial designer, in charge of conception, packaging structural design, usability testing and prototyping, providing support to visual designer.
Challenge

A leading pharmaceutical company approached Smart Design to redesign their packaging and out-of-box experience for an injection device for medium to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. 
The aim of this project was to design concepts for the package structure, graphics and guidance that communicated the use of the device, providing confidence to patients and considering their entire experience from first use to disposal. 

These patients have already been on a long journey fighting arthritis. Good product experience is key to the patient’s therapy: the one place where they mustn’t struggle is when accessing the very medication that can help them fight their condition and understand how to use the medical device in the best way. 
Approach

After the data review of the client’s past studies and ethnographies, a co-creative session was organized with the various internal stakeholder to better understand their needs. A follow-up brainstorming session, focused on the ideal usage experience, was then followed by ideation sessions to translate a range of discreet solutions into holistic concepts, that were refined to create prototypes to be tested with consumers through an iterative process.
- Optimize the patient journey to improve the discovery and usage of the product 
By visualizing the behind the scene processes that capture the perspective of all relevant stakeholders, such as the training nurse, crucial touch-points were identified and redefined to elevate the understanding and discovery of the product by the patient and overcome challenges stakeholders involved might have. 
- Iterative prototype and ongoing feedback. 
I experimented with quick prototypes and paper prototypes. By getting two times through a loop of consumer feedback, followed by refinement, it allowed me to explore ways and system for opening, retrieving the pen and the IFU in a way that best meet user needs. ​​​​​​​
- Under The Skin Of An Ra Patient 
To develop a deeper understanding around the physical and emotional frustration that comes with RA, I  tapped my joints at strategic points to experience reduced dexterity. This mobility struggle allowed me to better evaluate the suitability of different packaging mechanisms, such as the access to the instruction manual, and through refinements, to create packaging systems that give back a sense of control at all levels of the product handling by minimizing joints movement. 
Opportunity

Putting patients in control of their own medication requires more than redesigning the access to the tool. To plug the information gap from the moment the patients get introduced to the drug at the hospital to first usage. Patients do not always remember this introduction and are most likely to get confused by the packaging when opening it for the first time at home. 
" I didn’t remember the training I received (...) 
The instruction are a tiny folded paper deep in the pack. I mean, how do you expect me to get to this? ” 
Outcome

The pack is introduced earlier in the journey, allowing sufferers to familiarise with the content during training, and providing nurses with graphical support during the explanation/patient training stage - therefore helping reduce the risk of misuse once at home. 
The entire pack experience was redesigned to minimise stigmas and offer a unique way to stand out from the competition. It provides a superior experience to patient by helping them to access, understand, and use their medication in a better way.