Design, iron, fish, and condoms.

Sometimes, good design comes in handy in unexpected ways. Like ways that play with the human psyche to solve a problem.

This headline is a distillation of a great story I read recently on

Lucky Fish
The basic idea is this: in trying to make sure villagers stave off iron-deficiency health issues, these cute little lucky fish made of iron became an unlikely problem solver. It doesn’t necessarily feel right to plop a hunk of iron into your pot when you’re making soup. In fact, that sounds really unappealing.

Know what’s cute, also made of iron, but symbolizes luck and health? These iron fish.

Lucky Fish
When hunks of iron were distributed for the same purpose, no one used them, because EW. But recognizing the importance and symbolism of the fish in this particular village culture, a tweak in the presentation made all the difference! Now, it’s more or less standard to throw your lucky fish into the pot, AND the rate of illnesses related to iron deficiency has dropped significantly.

Brilliant! But to find out what condoms have to do with it you’ll have to read the Core77 article: How Designing Something Into the Shape of an Animal Can Actually Improve Human Health, and Why You Shouldn’t Put Condoms on Broomsticks.