That’s an issue that the Royal National Institute of Blind People decided to take by the horns. In an effort to provide accurate information and privacy for blind or partially-sighted individuals, the RNIB created a tactile pregnancy test prototype that allows the consumer to feel, not read, their results. This isn’t new for RNIB as it ran a similar test with Clearblue and “Be My Eyes” for the visually impaired. The delightfully useful experiment lets design do all the talking without compromising the privacy of the individual using it.
Pregnancy tests are an incredibly personal matter. In an RNIB video, various women with visual impairments discuss their predicaments with the average pregnancy test kit. One complains that it is not fair that when using the traditional design, she is not the first person to receive the private information it delivers. “We had no one else to ask so we actually ended up asking a neighbor ” another recalls to RNIB, describing how her pregnancy test was inaccessible to her by design.
“That’s none of their business but you have to make it their business by bringing them in to help you,” another explains while discussing the fear of being judged for the result. The ergonomically designed prototype raises its nodules if there is a pregnancy. Instead of a screen relaying the information and requiring an individual to read the line or lack of it, the tactile nodules confirm for the user without bringing a third party into the case.
In the Design For Everyone campaign, RNIB states, “From dealing with finances to accessing private medical information, privacy matters no matter who you are. But blind and partially sighted people are often denied their right to privacy due to inaccessible design and information.”
If this tactile test goes mainstream, we’ll have a wonderful example of a design that is useful for everyone regardless of their ability to see.