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Inclusive design: Groupe SEB and APF France handicap join forces to develop best practices guide, the “Good Design Playbook”

Groupe SEB and APF France handicap have partnered up to develop a best design practices guide for universally accessible objects and services, with the support of the French national funding agency for the preservation of autonomy (Caisse Nationale de Solidarité pour l’Autonomie [CNSA]). The “Good Design Playbook”, which is available in both paper and digital format, is intended to be a resource for all stakeholders who wish to bolster their approach to inclusive design.

It’s important to remember that any one of us could develop sensory, cognitive, or physical difficulties which could make day-to-day activities considerably more difficult. Current manufacturing standards do not consider these different types of disability.

Inclusive design Good Design Playbook

Inclusive design: pivotal to the Group’s corporate mission

Inclusive design embodies Groupe SEB’s corporate mission to contribute to better living for our consumers.Thus, to ensure better accessibility to our products and services (instruction manuals, apps, functional features of appliances, product repairability services, etc.), Groupe SEB takes people with disabilities into account when designing products and services to immediately and concretely identify any potential obstacles that could be encountered on a day-to-day basis.

Whether because of illness, advanced age, disability or temporarily impaired movement, (holding a baby, an injured hand, etc.), these situations must be factored into an in-depth evaluation at the design phase to help people in need maintain as much autonomy as possible in their daily lives. Many of these quotidian objects and services are not designed to allow for this.

As corporate citizen, we are committed to always factoring our consumers’ differing needs into our product design. The Group is already mobilizing itself in this regard, and thus will be able to deliver tailored solutions to address societal issues, such as an aging population. We have also committed to training our employees in order to raise their awareness of these issues. A better understanding of the difficulties that some of our consumers have in using our appliances will lead to better performance in this area.
Vice President of Sustainable Development, Groupe SEB
Inclusive Design Good Design Playbook

“Good Design Playbook”: a universal design initiative

As part of the CNSA’s call for projects “Handicap et perte d’autonomie : innovation sociale par le design” (“Disabilities and loss of autonomy: social innovation through design”), Groupe SEB and APF France handicap decided to collaborate on a shared methodology: the “Good Design Playbook” for increased autonomy.

Kim Hembold, Groupe SEB Design Director, commented: “The goal of this partnership is to redefine and re-establish design standards for the products we use every day. Thanks to our commitment to inclusive design, we dramatically improve each and every one of our daily experiences. It also helps us discover new approaches and new ways of innovating. With the ‘Good Design Playbook’, this expertise is shared with all, for everyone’s benefit, and in a fully inclusive manner.”

Inclusive Design Good Design Playbook

Going beyond its inclusion of people with disabilities, the joint initiative addresses a more general societal issue: preserving autonomy for all by practically applying the principles of accessibility and universal design. The services and products included in the initiative have been designed for persons whose mobility has been limited as a result of a permanent or temporary disability or aging, for instance, and are as a result easier and more convenient to use for everyone.


The open-source “Good Design Playbook” is available in both paper and digital format. It is intended for all social actors, including nonprofit organizations, companies, governments and public bodies. The Playbook aspires to make bold new steps in the approach to inclusive design. The project provides a review of case studies that may be used for reference. Its goal: to find workable solutions for the most vulnerable persons from an inclusive design standpoint.

Click here to consult the “Good Design Playbook” (available in French only, English version coming soon).