Products and services with inclusive designs can reach four times the number of intended consumers, new research has shown.

A joint study by the Centre for Inclusive Design, Adobe and Microsoft has revealed people who experience difficulty accessing or using products are not included in the design process.

It found the ‘household goods’ and ‘clothing,footwear and personal accessory’ categories, which comprise products used by most of the population, would be greatly impacted through inclusive design.

This impact would see a $4 billion increase in revenue for these retail categories.

Five million Australians across the country are unable to access products and services because of poor design, yet they possess over $40 billion in annual disposable income.

This number includes people living with a disability and seniors, however there are millions of Australians who are also
vulnerable to exclusion due to location, gender, ethnicity or financial status.

‘The Benefit of Designing for Everyone’ report, which was conducted by PwC, found that retrofits of products can reach up to 10,000 times the cost of introducing inclusive design earlier on.

Findings from the report showed that the Australian education, retail and financial services sectors can benefit from implementing an inclusive approach in the design process.

In the retail sector, there is a $4 billion potential increase to revenue from better designed products and services.

PwC chief economist Jeremy Thorpe said the benefits are significant.

“Inclusive design is a no-regrets process that creates significant benefits which are currently being left on the table. It is an overlooked step in maximising the potential of Australian business and ensuring a more productive Australia.”

Within the retail products sector, up to 20% of Australians are unable to access and use goods appropriately.

According to the report, a variety of retail products that were originally designed with edge users in mind are now used by a wide majority of consumers.

Electric toothbrushes were created for patients with limited motor skills but have also become popular with consumers who don’t have this issue.

Last year, Coles introduced an autism spectrum-friendly low-sensory “Quiet Hour” experience in 173 of its stores.

The initiative has not only impacted shoppers with autism, but also shoppers who want peace and quiet while they shop.

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