UX driving NPD for neurodivergent consumers – CosmeticsDesign.com USA

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By Kirsty Doolan
20-Jan-2023 – Last updated on 20-Jan-2023 at 18:35 GMT
Related tags: Design, Packaging, accessibility, inclusion, Cosmetics
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There have been a variety of “sensory beauty” product launches in recent years. Still, these were often designed to improve mental wellness, banish stress, or enhance sleep rather than cater to the needs of people with specific neurodivergent conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 
Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 5,437,988 (2.21%) adults in the United States have ASD, with the highest numbers of these people living in some of the States with the most considerable spending power: California, Texas, New York, and Florida. 
Those with a neurodivergent brain often have different needs and abilities than those with a neurotypical brain. They may feel sensory experiences differently, so beauty and personal care businesses could benefit from further exploring this ‘global sensory landscape.’
2019 study​ (published on MDPI) aimed to understand the global sensory landscape for facial cleansing/makeup remover wipes. The research was undertaken by the beauty and personal care giant Johnson & Johnson, the Center for Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior, Kansas State University, and a research firm that specializes in connecting sensory and consumer insights, Sensory Spectrum Inc.
Researchers sought to map out and identify the ideal facial cleansing wipe based on 71 attributes which were categorized into three areas: 
Researchers compared 13 different types of products on a wide range of criteria to gain insight into how to improve the consumer experience when using these products. These study results and existing consumer insights helped the R&D team establish strategies to guide product development for this category.
According to Lauren Goodsitt, director of global beauty & personal care at Mintel, while some aspects of diversity are now commonplace, consumers with various disabilities often continue to be neglected. “As the cosmetics industry strives to be inclusive, brands must continually evaluate consumer groups that remain underrepresented to ultimately evoke change,” ​she said.
She believed that along with considering the needs of those with neurodivergence in NPD, there were also opportunities for retail environments to be reassessed to accommodate these consumers better. 
“Small in-store adjustments, such as sensory accommodations and varied staff communication styles, can help to support consumers with neurodevelopmental differences,” ​she said. 
Recent product innovations for consumers with various disabilities can inspire companies that want to consider the needs of those with neurodiversity. These examples include:  

Source: Cosmetics
Published: 2019, 6(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics6030044
Title: “Understanding the Global Sensory Landscape for Facial Cleansing/Makeup Remover Wipes​”
Authors: H. Xing et al. 
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Related topics: Brand Innovation, Packaging & Design, Market Trends, Trends and Emerging Markets, Retail and DTC, Skin Care, Color Cosmetics, Consumer insights, Companies looking to the future
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