Adaptive design studio Sour and creative agency Wunderman Thomson developed accessible Deodorant packing for Unilever to make the product easier to use for people with limited mobility or visual impairment.
Called Inclusive Grade, the packaging was designed for the deodorant brand Degree – also known as Sure, Shield or Rexona in different regions.
To create the product, which Unilever describes as “the first in the world”, the company partnered with the adaptive design studio Sour and inclusive creative agency Wunderman Thomson, which is led by designer Christina Mallon, who also has limited arm mobility.
“As a person with a disability, I experienced firsthand the challenges of living in a world of conventional design, where most products and services are not designed with the disabled community in mind,” said Mallon.
“Being unable to access a basic utility like deodorant – something most people take for granted – has a big impact on your ability to move and therefore on your overall quality of life.”
The Degree Inclusive design has a number of new features in deodorant packaging, including an easy-to-handle format and a larger roll-on applicator that can cover more surface area with one swipe.
The lid has a magnetic closure that allows it to be removed and placed more easily by users with limited grip or visual impairment. The hooked lid also allows the deodorant to be hung up to allow one-handed use and the label features braille instructions.
According to Mallon, the adhesion on the bottom of the deodorant is its most revolutionary feature.
“Our partner Sour designed it in a way that not only has flexibility in how it is used and in size, but also in a way that seems to be part of the shape,” Mallon told Dezeen.
“Many accessibility features and tools look like doctors, so it was very important for us to create something that people don’t need to use, but want to use.”
The Degree Inclusive prototype is now in a beta test program that will gather the opinions of 200 participants who live with disabilities.
They will help to improve the product and the message for a future commercial launch, as well as help in deciding how the refillable product will be sold to the consumer.
According to Wunderman Thompson, affordable design leads to better design for everyone, as companies are 1.7 times more likely to innovate in other ways if they are inclusive.
The agency also pointed out statistics that show that one in four Americans and one in five Britons is disabled – not to mention that most people will experience a decline in vision and mobility at the end of their lives – even though products and experiences are rarely designed with these factors in mind.
“Everyone is disabled at some point in their lives, so skill must be taken into account in every design brief,” said Mallon. “This type of design must be the norm.”
Other innovations in inclusive packaging design include the easy-to-open box for your affordable Xbox controller.