Herbal Essences Announces Inclusive Bottle Design for People With Visual Impairment


We’ve all grabbed the conditioner bottle when we really wanted the shampoo bottle. If you have a visual impairment, though, it might be tougher to figure out which bottle is which. To help blind and visually impaired customers, Herbal Essences announced Thursday, on World Sight Day, that it has redesigned its bottles to help people distinguish the two hair products.

The haircare brand is the first in the U.S. to feature inclusive design, according to Procter & Gamble, the company who owns the brand. The bottles will have tactile indentations to differentiate the shampoo and conditioner to avoid “in-shower confusion.”

Each shampoo bottle has four indented vertical lines, and the conditioner bottles have two rows of indented dots. The features will be placed at the bottom of each bottle’s back label.

Sumaira Latif, P&G’s special consultant for inclusive design, lead the initiative. Latif is blind and worked with others with low vision to create the design. Latif said she used to put elastic bands or other materials around her shampoo, so she could know which bottle it was.

“Imagine the daily challenges, like choosing matching clothes in the morning or simply taking a shower after a long day,” Latif said. “As a blind person, you must do these things using touch rather than sight. You don’t really know which bottle the shampoo, conditioner, or soap is… you have to get creative.”

Latif said the design needed to be universal because many people haven’t had the opportunity to learn braille. The redesigned bottles will be on the bottles of the bio:renew line starting Jan. 2019.

Herbal Essences joins a growing number of brands that have adopted inclusive designs. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies recently released braille stickers and audio recording boxes, so parents can send their children with visual impairments love notes. In May, Microsoft announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which features larger buttons and ports, so gamers can hook up joysticks or other adaptive gaming devices.

Photos via Procter & Gamble, Twitter


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