What does relief look like

tylenol-and-help1.jpg

It’s flu season, and lots of suffering people are wandering the drug store aisles in search of relief. These days it comes in many forms. 

But apparently the way we make choices, including cold remedies, is evolving. With more concern about how it makes us feel and less about what’s inside the pill. 

For instance, the last time you bought a car did you lift the hood and discuss valve timing with the salesperson, or when you bought your last piece of mobile technology did you ask how many megahertz the device operates at, or when you bought that box of Tylenol did you care whether it was loaded with plenty of Chlorpheniramine Maleate? Well I didn’t, and it turns out we may have design to blame.    

As an article in the NY Times’ Bits column, written by Nick Bilton points out, we care less and less about the mysterious technology of the things we buy and more about the experience of using objects and yes their design. Certainly the image above demonstrates that point clearly. For me the Help Remedies package makes the decision easy, Tylenol makes it really hard.  

As John Maeda points out in the piece, “We’re on the tail end of technology being special. The automobile was a weird alien technology when it first debuted, then, after a while, it evolved and designers stepped in to add value to it.”

I would suggest that there are a host a consumer product areas that are also on the tail end of technology, where consumers simply don’t care about the stuff that's in the product as much as how it makes them feel. Some marketers are catching on. 

Devon Luxmore-Rousset