Hair care brand Herbal Essences has introduced a new bottle design to help visually impaired consumers. Designed by Sumaira Latif, P&G’s Special Consultant for Inclusive Design, the bottles will feature tactile indentations to differentiate shampoos and conditioners.
Latif, who is blind herself, has been with the firm for over 18 years and worked with other visually impaired consumers to create the products.
“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. It was important that we invent a feature, a universally recognizable tactile feature, which would work for people who haven’t had the opportunity to learn braille.”
The shampoo bottles have been designed with four tactile vertical lines on the label, while the conditioner has two rows of dots to distinguish it.
“Making our products more accessible can improve the experience for everyone,” North American Brand Manager Lynn Hicks said.“While we designed this tactile feature specifically for the visually impaired, other, like seniors or kids, will also benefit from this feature.”
For many years, Luxury skin care brand L’Occitane also incorporated braille into the design of its products. On a visit to one of his company’s boutiques in 1996, L’Occitane en Provence founder Olivier Baussan noticed a blind woman sampling perfumes. After marveling at the intensity with which she inhaled the scents, Baussan vowed to make his company’s bath and body products more accessible to visually impaired consumers.
L’Occitane was soon adding braille labels to a few of its packages. Braille labels now can be found throughout the company’s products sold in L’Occitane’s stores worldwide.
Herbal Essences new products will be available from January 2019 in all of the brand’s North American stores.