REDUCING STIGMA IN
Dwellbeing approached us for new concepts and product ideas to be brought to market. With a strong focus on removing stigma around disability aids. The challenge was not only integrating disability aids into modern environments, but empowering individuals to use the products, whilst reducing any physical or emotional barriers the user may face. We have a passion for inclusive design at ISLAND8 and were only too happy to take the project on.
We began immediately with user testing of previous products. For this reason we visited homes where shower stools and mobility aids were used daily, subsequently mapping out the key issues individuals face when using these products, confirming that in fact it was the emotional issues faced by users that affected them the most.
Our findings told us that younger users especially felt that there was a stigma attached with shower stools. For example, having a friend over who sees the stool made the user feel uncomfortable and anxious, regardless of anything being said. In particular there is a strong relationship between the stigma these products suffer from and the very industrial and medical look they have. With this in mind our goal became to design a stool that fitted the modern aesthetic for bathrooms. A product that is perhaps fun or even sophisticated.
One thing to remember is that users have highly different versions of beauty. After all beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We therefore designed the new stool to be customisable. Materials were chosen that could be highly adaptable in finishes and colours, as well as being interchageable at the assembly point. By breaking down components that were considered the norm and creating a matrix of user insights we developed able. The new shower stool combining highly customisable frames and materials to create a new attractive solution for disbaility aids.