Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Us. is an online platform and direct-to-consumer service that offers men medical help and prescription birth control, to ultimately share the responsibility of contraception. Us. is a hypothetical company created in partnership with LA Biomed, a research institute that is currently leading clinical trials on 2 new male contraceptive methods: a topical gel that is infused with hormones, and a contraceptive pill. While women have 12 options for contraception on the market, men only have 2—one which is surgical (vasectomy) and one that is 85-98% effective (condoms). Beginning with its name, Us. aims to shift the perception of contraception as a responsibility to be shared amongst couples instead of the current precedent which falls heavily on women. Us. provides certified doctors to facetime new patients via the app, patients to receive prescriptions online, and contraception delivered straight to the patient's door. The mission of Us. is to provide affordable healthcare and sexual education in a way that is light-hearted, accessible, and compassionate.
My approach was about placing the focus on the relationship between two people, by calling the company "Us." The emperor penguin is the brand's spirit animal, which represents nature's most endearing role reversal of courtship and breeding. Both the custom logotype and color palette borrow inspiration from the penguin.
When it came to the look and feel of the product line, I was inspired by reading a lot of research on masculinity in the Western world. In my own store audits of the male toiletries aisle, I noticed similar color palettes, rigid packaging forms, and the same celebrity representing masculinity for multiple brands. With Us. I wanted to change the narrative and provide a neutral product that serves a broader range of man.
While the contraceptive gel is not yet available in the market, I wanted the package design for the bottle to be user-friendly and uncomplicated. The current bottle used in the clinical trials requires a person to use his hands when applying the gel to the shoulder blades and then must rigorously wash the hormone infused gel off his hands after application. The new gel applicator bottle by Us. has a silicone brush at its head and a calculated squeeze pump that pours out the correct dosage each time. After squeezing out the gel, you can massage it into the skin with the silicone brush and eliminate the need to use your hands altogether. The front of the bottle also has an impression for the thumb, making it easier to reach the back and provide grip when applying the gel to the back.
Us. condoms come in a new packaging form that helps visually indicate the way the condom should be rolled on. One factor that reduces the effectiveness of condoms is that they will be unrolled incorrectly (inside out). You can imagine if one was infected with an STI, using a condom after rolling it on inside out, then putting it back right side on, would infect the other person, making it unsafe both as protection and as a contraceptive. The new form by Us. helps as a visual and tactile aid to guide the user to use the condom correctly, even in the heat of the moment, and in the dark.
Lastly, the contraceptive gel bottle, contraceptive pill bottle, and sperm fertility test device can sync with the app over bluetooth connection. Every time you squeeze the gel bottle or remove the cap and take a pill, the app will automatically record your intake. It will also send a reminder notification if you forget. One of the most common pain points my interview subjects complained about was remembering whether or not they took the pill. Currently apps that women use surrounding fertility and contraception require a manual input of information from the user. The Us. app simplifies the process with automatic tracking.