How a World First Deodorant For People With Restricted Mobility Was Created

Putting your deodorant on is awkward at the best of times. Ever tried rolling on some deodorant while you’re on the phone? Impossible.

For people with restricted mobility, visual impairments or other disabilities, everyday tasks like putting on deodorant can be a daily struggle.

Adaptive design studio Sour, and creative agency Wunderman Thomson have developed accessible deodorant packaging for Unilever to make a deodorant easier for anyone, with any condition, to use.

Called Degree Inclusive, the packaging was designed for the deodorant brand Rexona, also known as Degree, Shield or Sure in different countries. 

Shockingly, this is a world first. Never before has there been deodorant packaging designed to be adaptive to a diverse range of human conditions, from limited mobility, to injury, to loss of sight, to conditions like multiple sclerosis.

To create this “world first”, the company partnered creative agency Wunderman Thomson, led by designer Christina Mallon who actually lives with limited arm mobility.

“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,” Mallon told Dezeen.

“Being unable to access a basic utility like deodorant – something most people take for granted – has a huge impact on your ability to move and therefore your quality of life in general.”

The design of Degree Inclusive has a few features that are completely new to deodorant packing, including an easy-grip shape and a larger roll-on applicator that covers more surface area in just one swipe.

The cap has a magnetic closure that allows it to be taken on and off easily by users with limited grip or visual impairment, and the hooked lid allows the deodorant to be hung, enabling one hand usage. The label also features instructions in braille.

The Degree Inclusive prototype is currently in a beta testing, that will gather input from 200 participants living with disabilities before it arrives on store shelves. As well as helping to hone the product, the participants will also help with the brand messaging for a future commercial launch.

“Everyone becomes disabled at some point in their lives, so ability should be a consideration on every design brief,” said Mallon. “This type of designing should be the norm.”

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