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Brief Published: 23 Aug 2018

Designing Inclusively: August’s Best Mixed-Ability Packaging


Thinking inclusively about product and packaging is steadily becoming a must-do for brands. As noted in Packaging Futures: Diversity, consumers are demanding that companies consider individual experiences, and rewarding those that do with loyalty and praise. We look at two recent examples of inclusive packaging to reveal innovative strategies that cater to this market.

Since 2017, the packaging of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats has featured a large white heart where parents can write personalised messages on their kids’ lunchbox snacks. However, this design overlooked the estimated 64,000 legally blind children in the US (AFB, 2018). 

In response, Kellogg’s released a series of heart-shaped stickers printed in braille, conveying messages such as “You’ve got this” and “You’re a star”, that can be placed on the packaging. Also available is a cardboard audio box that plays a 10-second recorded message when opened.

Similarly, Xbox improved the packaging of its Adaptive Controller to serve mixed-ability users (for more on this gaming device, see our blog post). After hearing some users have to open products with their teeth, Xbox worked with disabled gamers to develop a “no teeth” design.

For the shipping box, cardboard and paper elements are used in place of tape to avoid the need for sharp cutting utensils. This joinery features large holes that act as easy-to-hold pull tags, with double-sided tags enabling access from both sides. Small enclosed boxes positioned at each end of the product offer protection without the need for bubble wrap.

Brands need to invite a diversity of users into the design process for a better understanding of how consumers engage with both product and packaging. Adopting a user-focused approach will help designs not only appeal to users of mixed ability, but also unveil creative interactions that inspire new enthusiasm for existing product.

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