Gore and Guts

Well, not guts.

Hi everyone! I designed a medical device to help people with varicose veins and venous ulcers. I want to explain my problem statement well, but I am not sure that placing a picture of a venous ulcer in my portfolio is a good idea. :confused:

Anyone have this problem? Is there a good way to explain my problem without grossing out my readers? Or is it best they know the scope of the problem?

Thanks in advance for the feedback!

you could desaturate the photo or add a color tint over the whole photo with some nice type “problem statement stuff” on top or do a really detailed AI line overlay drawing instead or blur the whole thing to act like a background with nice tight callouts over it…

I have developed products for sacral and heel pressure ulcers, just as nasty as venous ulcers. No where in our marketing materials are there any photos or illustrations of ulcers. The only time we ever show a picture of one is in our clinical education materials which we only show to healthcare providers (RNs, etc) in an educational setting when they have to learn about this stuff to do their job.

I think using terms like “open wound” and “extremely painful” would suffice.

If you want to be traumatized, go to the medical library and find the skin disease book. By far the nastiest images in the library.

Thank you both, iab and Brett_nyc, for your feedback!

I am personally steering away from showing the ulcer, but am leaning toward showing an image of a scarred leg after the ulcers have healed. The scars are pretty gnarly too. I think it gives scope to people with no medical background without grossing them out.

Hi MC Robertscb!
My opinion is slightly different from what the others are saying.
I think it really depends what you are looking for. Are you looking for a job focused on medical product design? Or are you looking for a more general design position, or maybe a completely different category design?
I am focused on medical product design and made my portfolio with the intention of getting a job as a medical product designer. Therefore I showed the gore! Because that is part of it. I have a full page picture of a device I worked on among some pig intestines. Quite a gory shot, but it makes your medical designs real!
Same for the problem context. Toning the gore down, or removing it all together might show that you are a bit naive about the reality of the situation.
I noticed in interviews that the companies where I would do real medical design that they were really enthusiastic about the real pictures and it sparked their curiosity. But more general design consultancies and such, were less positive (but not really negative either).
So it is important for you to decide which usergroup (employer) you want to trigger with your product (portfolio). It’s almost like product design!

I 2nd the idea of a line drawing. You could get to an absurd level of detail before anyone found the drawing “gross.”

P.S. - let me beta test? I’m a varicose sufferer (though thankfully no ulcers)

Again, thanks for the feedback.

I am actually interested in Softgoods as my “end game”. The reason for the medical device is that my husband has a large DVT clot and gets venous ulcers at the drop of a hat if he doesn’t wear his stockings, or if his stockings get old. We live at the beach and he can’t get into water without risking getting an ulcer. He needed something that allows his stocking to maintain compression in water, and prevent excess breakdown from the elements. The problem was slapping me in the face!

Even though the project is a softgood, I want people viewing my portfolio to know it is a real design, like you said. It is research heavy, and prototype heavy.

Speaking of which,

I’d love to have another beta tester! The only prototypes I have now are one’s I have actually sewn myself, but I am working on getting a small run of 10 or so made for further testing. Maybe we can share contact info, and I’ll mail you one!

Also, I will post this project here once I get it into my portfolio layout.

One of a designer’s primary jobs is to bring attention to the important parts of the what they are researching/designing. That being said, you need to decide if such imagery is critical to communicating those important aspects. Highlights what you want and let the rest fade into the background.

Show you solution in a way that is acceptable to the general public. How would
this solution be shown in a brochure? Probably with a model or a rendering
showing a drastic situation very much toned down.