The Degree prototype is being tested by 200 participants living with disabilities. With feedback, the product will be refined until ready for commercial launch.
‘Inclusivity.’ It’s a term that is coming up more and more frequently as humanity strives towards a more equitable playing field that addresses the historic exclusion of marginalized and minority voices and needs.
On the topic of diversity, most discussion circles around race and class, but adaptive design studio Sour and inclusive creative agency Wunderman Thomson are highlighting a different and often overlooked perspective with their new project: accessible deodorant packaging designed for people who struggle with mobility or visual impairments.
The packaging is called Degree Inclusive and was designed for Unilever’s deodorant brand Degree (which appears as Sure, Shield, or Rexona, depending on where you are). Lead designer Christina Mallon has limited arm mobility and was able to bring in the point of view of a person with disabilities. She says, “As a disabled person, I’ve experienced first-hand the challenges of living in a world of conventional design where most products and services are not designed with the disabled community in mind.”
The Degree Inclusive design has an easy-grip shape and a larger roll-on applicator that allows for more coverage in one swipe. The magnetic closure makes it much easier for users to take the cap on and off, while the hooked lid lets the deodorant hang in case only one hand is accessible to the user. The label also features instructions in braille for the visually impaired.
Mallon wanted the design to feel natural, as many accessibly focused tools look medical. “It was very important to us to create something people don’t have to use but want to use,” she says.
Currently, the Degree Inclusive prototype is being tested by 200 participants who are living with disabilities. With their feedback, the Degree Inclusive product will be refined until it is ready for a commercial launch.
If you think that this may not be relevant to you, think again. Not only do one in four Americans and one in five Brits have a disability, but as we age, our mobility, vision, and motor skills will decline as well, so it is in everyone’s best interest that more agencies innovate designs with inclusivity in mind.