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Inclusive Design - a people centered strategy for innovation

A practical introduction to Inclusive Design for Businesses & Designers - how to get started!

OXO Good Grips

This case study describes how OXO innovated in the kitchen utensil market by focusing on people with arthritis. Their range of Good Grips products have become international bestsellers that make life easier for everyone.

PROBLEM

Why can't kitchen utensils be easier for people with arthritis to use?
Sam Farber, the founder of OXO, saw his wife having difficulties holding kitchen tools due to her mild arthritis. He saw an opportunity here - to help people with reduced dexterity as well as create kitchen tools that were more comfortable for everyone.

APPROACH

OXO worked with ‘real people’ to understand issues with current utensils.
They held workshops and focus groups to see the difficulties faced by older people and people with arthritis. They studied the effects of reduced strength, grip and coordination when handling kitchenware. This allowed them to identify key issues and write a more broad-minded, well-informed design brief. Expert users, such as chefs, were consulted for their experience and input. Able-bodied people also participated to ensure that ideas were relevant to the mainstream market.

Further research into functionality and ergonomics was combined with user insights. This influenced the style, weight, look and feel of every product.

RESULT

Iconic designs and an annual growth rate of over 30%.
Over 500 products exist in the Good Grips range. Many of them have become international bestsellers. OXO’s Salad Spinner is its most popular product. The salad can be spun by pressing down on the large, black button, removing the need to grip and turn handles as on existing salad spinners. The design is simpler to use and can be operated by wet or arthritic hands. It takes little strength to make it work.

Oxo has won over 100 design awards and sees Inclusive Design as a philosophy as well as a profitable business practice. It continues to set the standard for user-friendly kitchen utensils.

We wanted to appeal to the broadest possible market, not just a very specific market of arthritics and the infirm”

Sam Farber, Founder, OXO

IDEA: OXO’s innovation was a jug that could be read from above instead of the side. The scale also uses red text on a white background giving good colour contrast for most liquids.

INSIGHT: People were constantly bending over or lifting up the jug to read the scale. They had to do this several times to get the level right.