P&G’s march for better inclusivity in the workforce has crossed into product design with the addition of small tactile notches for consumers with a visual impairment on Herbal Essences’ shampoos and conditioners.
From January 2019, Herbal Essences’ Bio Renew shampoo bottles in North America will feature four line indentations near the bottom of the container, while conditioners will feature eight small dots. The change is a small one but will help those with a visual impairment tell the difference between the bottles autonomously.
P&G claims the new designs make its Herbal Essences brand the first mass hair care label to cater to those without clear vision. The conglomerate partnered with media brand Attn to make the announcement today (11 October) – World Sight Day.
The development was led by P&G's special consultant for inclusive design, Sam Latif, who is blind herself. She explained that the company chose not to use braille as many people with little to no sight have not had the opportunity to learn it.
“For someone like me ... independence and confidence come when the world around you is accessible,” Latif said. “In the bathroom, knowing the difference between shampoo and conditioner can be challenging. It’s just a little thing but there are hundreds of these little things that we have to spend time looking for every day.
“While the solution might sound relatively simple, we process hundreds of bottles a minute, so changing a manufacturing process is complicated when you’re dealing with those kinds of quantities.”
Herbal Essences’ North America brand manager, Lynn Hicks, explained she believes there to be a solid business case behind the implementation, nothing that while the feature was designed with the visually impaired in mind, “others, like seniors or kids, will also benefit from this feature”.