Co-creating for inclusivity

19.11.18

Emma Mankarious

Trainee Research Executive

Categories Blog

Xbox’s packaging solution for the new Adaptive Controller, a gaming handset for those with limited mobility, overcomes barriers to entry (literally).

 

Zip-ties. Plastic clamshells. Scotch tape.

Packaging can be a nightmare to navigate for any consumer, but for those with disabilities, these annoyances become barriers that stand in the way of their purchases.

 

The new Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed with the needs of gamers that have limited mobility, in mind. Microsoft was tasked with finding disability friendly packaging solution to couple with this new product offering.

 

And came up with this…

This is the culmination of collaborative work done with disabled individuals to find out what their specific pain points were regarding inaccessible packaging. The insights were then used to create specific design solutions that dealt with these issues head-on.

 

“I think as a case study of Inclusive Design, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is going to make a brilliant example of how you do it, and how you include your audience and design with a population, rather than for a population.”

  Solomon Romney, Microsoft Learning Specialist

 

The scope and potential for Inclusive Design is broad. When we design with those who are least able in mind, we end up improving the lives of everyone. Economists refer to this phenomenon as ‘positive externality’ but here in the design world, it’s called the ‘curb cut effect’.

Image: Matheus Bertelli

Originally advocated for by wheelchair users, curb cuts (those depressions in the pavement you might find yourself at before crossing the road) have been used to the benefit of many. Mums with prams, cyclists, and tourists carting luggage around have all benefitted from Inclusive Design.

 

It makes sense then that this new Xbox pack could set the standard for packaging design more broadly. Sparing us from the tedium of un-twisting twist-ties, inclusive packaging is something we should all be pushing for. Who likes wrestling with shrink wrap anyway?

Me trying to get into a heat-sealed blister pack