Form & Function, Health

Empowering Medical Information Design

by Bob Brown

In this TED Talks video, Thomas Goetz outlines an idea he and his team are working on to revise the design of medical information to make it more useful for patients. I think that this idea demonstrates the power of graphic design as a communication tool. By designing complex medical information in a way that is typically reserved for interpretation by medical proffesional and making it accessible for patients, the design actually empowers patients to make better choices about their health.

This idea of designing complex information in a more digestible fashion is not a new idea and it can be seen on many food products in the form of nutritional facts labels which clearly outline nutrition information. While the design of the nutrition facts label is by no means ’sexy’ it is by all means functional. Its functional design is evidenced by the use of the font Helvetica, considered by many as the most utilitarian of fonts, and its simple color scheme of black and white.

While watching this video, I encourage to you to consider how design can improve communication of complex information as it pertains to your daily life. Perhaps you would like to see a redesign of your phone bill, tax forms or airline tickets.

Related Links:
TED Talks
Wikipedia: Nutrition facts label
Ethan Frier: Info Graphic

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