As you design your product packaging, it is crucial to keep your entire audience in mind. The best packaging will be inclusive and accessible to everyone in your audience, regardless of whether they have disabilities. From ensuring your packaging is simple to open to considering how people will get information from the packaging, there are a lot of things to think about.
Make It Easy to Open
The first thing you likely think of when you consider the accessibility of your packaging is how easy it is to open. Ideally, your packaging will have several methods of opening it or getting the product out, as various people have different limitations. At the very least, try to limit things such as twist ties or plastic wrap that hold the product in place.
Minor Differences for Visually Impaired Customers
If your lineup includes multiple similar products that a customer would use together, such as a shampoo and conditioner or several steps of a shaving treatment, consider how the packages would feel to someone who cannot see them. Savvy companies will make at least small differences in the packaging shapes so customers can distinguish between them based on touch alone.
Remember that while people with sight can easily tell two identical bottles apart as long as they have different labels, this is not the case for those who are visually impaired.
If it is not practical to change the shape of your bottles, then consider imprinting symbols on each bottle. Including braille could be more challenging and is not as inclusive as you may think, as not every blind person knows it and it can be hard to learn. But just using a different imprinted symbol on each bottle would only require customers to remember a handful of symbols.
Consider That There Are Degrees of Visual Impairment
Because of the importance of visuals on your packaging, it’s crucial to keep in mind that visual impairment is a spectrum. Many people have poor vision but can still see somewhat. While they could rely on the symbols or shapes you incorporate for those who are blind, you can also adjust your packaging to make it easier for these people to see.
For example, focus on graphics with high contrast and choose fonts that are easier to read. This will help this group of customers feel acknowledged. Look at other designs for inspiration.
Think Outside the Box
As you plan your packaging, take the time to consider your customer base as well as how they will use your product. Then, consider if there are small changes you can make to the packaging that makes the product easier to use. One excellent example of this is Grace Beauty, which made minor changes to traditional packages of beauty products to make them easier to grip for people with disabilities.
When In Doubt, Ask Your Customers
If you aren’t sure whether your packaging is already accessible and inclusive, or what changes you could make to it to improve its accessibility, ask your customers. A simple survey can get you plenty of results. That is especially true among people who have strong opinions about ways to improve your packaging to make it more accessible.