Understanding inclusive product design in Nigeria

A man wearing simulation gloves and glasses tries to open a sticky note padSimulating loss of dexterity, grip, and low vision helps product and packaging designers to understand and appreciate the relevance of considering capability levels in their designs. In June 2016, Duergo Limited ran a workshop with participants from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). (Nigeria has a population of 79 million.) They used the Cambridge Simulation Gloves and Glasses to audit a range of mainstream products. Several presentations provided a good background about the need for inclusive designs. However, the highlight of the workshop was the simulation of capability loss (empathic modelling) with the Cambridge gloves and glasses. 

Participants experienced several challenges in carrying out basic tasks while accessing products during the workshop. In particular, packs of noodles and a jar of organic spice were assessed and evaluated. Participants did not enjoy opening the packages with the simulation gloves, as they were unable get a grip when opening the sachet and the seal on the jar. In addition, participants found it difficult to read instructions on products while wearing the simulation glasses. The experiences of these challenges spurred suggestions and recommendations for re-engineering.” It should be noted that people without loss of dexterity or grip find packaging difficult to open!

The Cambridge simulation gloves provide insight into how limitations in hand movement can affect product use. Such limitations can be caused by various conditions such as arthritis. The gloves can build empathy with users, and can be used to examine the accessibility of products and services, helping to create better, more inclusive designs.

The Cambridge simulation glasses provide insight into the effects of vision loss on product use. They can build empathy with users, and can be used to examine the visual accessibility of products and services, helping to create better, more inclusive designs.

You can find more great ideas and solutions on the Inclusive Design Toolkit website.

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