How much clearer does it need to be? According to the Clearblue Easy Digital Pregnancy Test website, 1 in 4 women can misread a traditional pregnancy test. Citing a medical study sponsored by (shock) itself, Clearblue offers the digital pregnancy test as a sure means to determine if you’re pregnant.

Honestly, how difficult is it to read a stick that either has one or two lines, or watching a stick change colors? Apparently very. The inaccuracy of home pregnancy tests due to failure to read the instructions or misinterpretation of the results is well documented.

Admittedly, I’ve never been present for a live unveiling of a pregnancy test, but I’ve seen plenty of dramatizations. If a woman thinks she’s pregnant, doesn’t she agonize over the instructions while waiting for the results? Don’t people double check after getting a blue stick to see what blue means? Actually, many of the false negatives in the study are due to women using the tests too early before their menstrual, not because they can’t read a test correctly. Therefore, having a clear PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT digital read out would do nothing to alleviate those cases.*

Is this really a concern for women? I just feel that needing a clear PREGNANT result in words just shows the dumbing down of our society. I question the effectiveness of Clearblue’s marketing campaign. It relies on women admitting that they might be the 1 in 4 who can’t read a binary stick result. Maybe women who think they’re pregnant are already so insecure that they might fall for this ploy.

*Clearblue Digital also detects pregnancy sooner, which does alleviate those cases, but that is unrelated to the oversimplification of its test readout.

One response to “You’re PREGNANT. Yes You. That Means You Will Have a Baby!”

  1. My question is: Why didn’t they just use the “NOT/PREGNANT” system in the beginning? There’s nothing wrong with being clear and concise with your products, and this system (which only seems to show or hide “NOT” depending on the result) doesn’t seem more difficult to implement from a production standpoint.

    If you asked someone who’s never taken a pregnancy test what “blue vs red” or “line vs cross” or whatever other “pregnant vs not pregnant” could mean, chances are you’ll get varying answers, and that’s the problem with the current design—people interpret symbols differently, whereas people with an understanding of the English language will pretty much understand what “pregnant/not pregnant” means. Yeah people can read instructions, but if the signs conflict with 1) their intuition 2) what they WANT (to be pregnant or not), you get women frantically re-checking the instructions to verify the result.

    I don’t consider it a dumbing down of society as much as a sign of companies needing to be “cool” by using “graphic elements” in their products when all they really need is something that is easily understood. It’s indeed a marketing fail, but not on behalf of the consumer incompetence but rather on the marketing itself.