Leveraging Disability to Design for All Consumers

The Problem

Creating ease-of-use solutions to fountain drink dispensers that ensure regulatory compliance while maintaining the overall “fun/sexy/cool” brand and design aesthetics of the organization.

“Accessibility” product solutions are frequently knee-jerk responses to regulatory requirements, creating solutions that fail to achieve a great experience for PWD or to maintain brand aesthetics. For this reason, reactionary design decisions fail to create directional design consensus, necessitating re-inventing design principles across product streams and regulatory adjustments.

RoDG was engaged to create such a design consensus while maintaining ease-of-use solutions for all.

Identifying common pain points of customers with disabilities

Creating a set of ‘guardrails’ to foster creation of user-centred design concepts

Reframing “accessibility” as a means of customer attraction rather than accommodation

Ensuring design elements were retainable and repeatable across platforms

What We Delivered

Through extensive user testing over a two-year design process, RoDG created a set of design “guardrails” to foster the creation of user-centered design concepts throughout the product design lifecycle. Key to the creation of these guardrails was reframing accessibility as a means of customer attraction rather than one of accommodation.

Embedded in the design process of these guardrails were a series of prototype review facilitation, focus groups by PWD users, and the delivery of custom design models.

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Design from Disability

Creation of design “guardrails” to create directional design consensus across cross-functional teams.

Uncomplicating Accessibility

Reframing of ease-of-use for design teams, from accommodations to customer attraction.

Hands Up, Hands In

In-depth focus groups with Lead Users with disabilities.

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Building on Ideas

Turnkey and iterative prototype reviews facilitated by RoDG. From idea to shelf.


Along with more customer transactions, increased revenue, and improved customer service experience for all, the end-product received the CES Innovation Award, New York Design Award, and was a finalist for the Edison Award. The “guardrails” process was later exported to other product streams, further increasing revenue.

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Higher Flow

Increased customer transactions, leading to higher revenue, via new product design.

Continuation in Innovation

“Guardrails” process laid foundation for future innovations in product packaging and future machine design, both of which increased consumer transactions.

Wheel Not Reinvented

Reimagining of ease-of-use to create directional design consensus, precluding need to reinvent process for future product design.

More Audiences, More Awards

Product (and Client) recognized by numerous design awards and nominations, all while enhancing brand appeal and aesthetics.