Product emotion research on smoking cessation with Nicorette and Nicoderm CQ


  • Held qualitative user interviews
  • Created conceptual model of a "quit"
  • Brainstormed 200 product concepts
  • Vetted concepts with smokers
  • Built prototypes and cad models
  • Finished product under nda

Quitting smoking is a nearly insurmountable struggle for many people. gsks Nicorette and Nicoderm cq products have an efficacy rate that is far lower than they would like. The products are technically functional, but there is a highly variable human element to the products' service that can not be ignored.

I worked with gsk as a summer intern and in a graduate level course at Carnegie Mellon to investigate this human element to smoking cessation and design a product to bolster patient treatment adherence with the goal of improving the products' efficacy rates.

Together, the class and I interviewed over 60 people for an hour each and created emotional maps to plot their feelings towards smoking and quitting smoking. The final output of the class was hundreds of emotional insights distilled into 7 product opportunities. From the data, I created a model that mapped the quitting process into the 3 main stages: the first week, the first month, and the years beyond. That simple model became the structure for communicating our research insights and product opportunities to gsk.

After our presentation, I was hired along with two other students to explore one of the opportunities the class had uncovered. We created over 200 concepts through divergent and convergent brainstorming methods including timeboxing, sketching, prototyping, and cad rendering. We vetted concepts with user interviews, gsk business units, retail store visits, as well as the Nicorette brand's ad firm and packaging design firm.

As we refined our final concept, I created a Solidworks model, renderings, and prototypes of our finished product. I then wrote, filmed, and edited a scenario video following a day–in–the–life of our persona Jerry to highlight the daily emotional moments where our product would help people stay on track with their treatment.

The team created a manufacturing and business plan to highlight the product's feasibility and estimated return. We presented our final project — research, prototypes, business plan, and steps for implementation — to brand managers and the vp of Nicorette and Nicoderm cq.

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