Information Design series: Visual Communications Theory – On Information Design 2009/2010
The lecture series is prepared in collaboration with Petra Černe Oven and Pekinpah Association
‘Visual information about medicines for patients: designing for Don Quixote?
Karel van der Waarde
20 april 2010, 19:00, Architecture Museum of Ljubljana, Fužine Castle.
Samenvatting presentatie van lector Karel van der Waarde:
‘It is very hard to handle medicines properly without visual information. Leaflets, packaging, websites and pharmacist-labels provide patients with a plethora of texts and images that aim to inform about dosage, correct way of taking, side effects, warnings and storage. Unfortunately, this visual information does not seem to result in ‘effective instructions and warnings’ and frequently leads to confusion and anxiety. Medical errors, persistently increasing costs of medicines, and ineffective use are seen as unavoidable and part of this system.
Approach: Developing alternative prototypes
An analysis shows that four assumptions about ‘effective communication’ related to information about medicines are malignant. These assumptions hamper the development of appropriate visual arguments that might support patients to handle medicines appropriately. Fighting these ‘windmills’ requires substantial efforts without benefitting patients. The development of alternative genres that could provide patients with reliable and understandable information about medicines is essential. Novel prototypes that show what clear and understandable information really looks like are urgently required.’