When it comes to consumer behaviors, it’s no secret that Gen Y has heightened expectations from brands. With many options available, the winning choice must deliver on performance, durability, and quality. Products must fit seamlessly into consumers’ lives. And increasingly, internet connectivity to enable greater depth of information and community engagement is a must.
New Gen Y moms who pump breast milk are no exception. Breast pump manufacturer Medela was no stranger to these consumer pressures, and sought to improve their users’ experience. Regarded as the number one breast pump brand*, Medela sought a design and development partner who could work fluently with technology and could bring a compelling design and user interaction to their product experience.
*Based on a December 2015 AlphaImpact ProVoice survey.
Research & Insights
Research & Insights
Make It Smart
From research with moms in the U.S. and Europe, we learned that an IoT smart product could offer significant benefit for parents. Medela sought to incorporate key metrics tracked through their mobile app, which captured real-time tracking of pumping sessions, baby’s growth, and dirty diapers to provide moms with a seamless experience. We investigated how to define a next-generation breast pump that is connected with a companion app upon start-up. We leveraged wireframe screens to test with moms, and sharing our findings with the Medela team, which influenced the resulting seamless connection of their award-winning MyMedela® app with Medela’s first connected breast pump.
Launched in early 2017, Medela Sonata™ is one of the first internet-connected breast pumps. At 31.98 dB, it is the quietest personal-use breast pump available, and its responsiveness to changes in users’ bodies as well as the environment make it the highest performing personal-use breast pump.
We placed significant emphasis on creating the right look and feel for the product. Designed with moms in mind, Sonata echoes performance not only through internal capability, but also through its external form. A study in metaphor, the external shell wraps the interior screen as if to create a protective vessel for the milk within. The screen is sliced from the spherical surround, referencing the modern design language of homewares, while also creating an easier-to-use angled interface. Intricate “human interface” details like the breast pump handle and breast pump kit are harmoniously integrated into the form to create a visual language that moves across the product ecosystem. The vision for this breast pump focused on the product’s physical design. Relying on the design sensibilities of Continuum’s Milan studio, we ensured the design was elevated to meet a European aesthetic and appear more like a common household accessory than a medical device.
Sonata empowers moms to pump conveniently and discreetly with more confidence. Integrated with the MyMedela® app, Sonata offers seamless connectivity and real-time feedback, delivering on the connectivity moms expect. During Sonata’s first month on the market, Medela recorded record sales through its online e-commerce platform. The success of the launch continued, exceeding marketing campaign benchmarks for advertising and social efforts. Sonata has also attracted significant attention from media with original articles in The Huffington Post, Elle.com, People.com, and many others.