Designing for Disabilities




How might design influence the disabled community?

Solution: Focus on drivers of adaptive vehicles

By focusing on disabled drivers of adaptive vehicles, Phill is an app concept that helps drivers fuel their vehicle, independently.

Meet Phill

Disabled drivers can use Phill when on the road or near their phone by activating through voice. Drivers focus on a task at hand, and Phill will handle the rest. Once you arrive at a gas station, Phill will notify the store attendant. This is especially helpful for drivers who have difficulty exiting their car to push an accessible button located on gas pumps.

Voice Enabled

GPS; Google Maps

IoT; "Smart Gas Pump"

Apple Pay

How It Works

Drivers of adaptive vehicles have the ability to fuel their car, anytime on the road. When a driver becomes low on gas, initiate the mobile app and drive to the designated gas station.

Voice Enabled, so driver's focus on the road

IoT; The "Smart Gas Pump"

Creating a smart gas pump that talks to your mobile device allows the driver to notify an attendant that they need assistance. Currently in some states, drivers are expected to honk their horn or flash their lights to get an attendants attention.

Who is the adaptive driver?

By focusing on the principles of IBM design thinking and the SPRINT process, further insight into who the adaptive driver was explored.

By visiting Mobility Works of Austin, a further understanding was gained of how people operate an adaptive vehicle.

The Adaptive Drivers Point of View

“Driving an adaptive vehicle means everything to me—it’s given me independence. However, fueling my car is the one thing I’m dependent on [when driving].”

The Adaptive Driver

For Tom, driving an adaptive vehicle gives him the freedom to be independent. Tom is a young professional with a family and he has Muscular Dystrophy. His disability prevents him from fueling his car independently because he’s unable to lift heavy objects like a gas nozzle.

The Whole U.S. Population

When you look at data that's bring presented about American's with a disability, it's over 49 million people. Out of this percentage, 25 percent is employed, verifying the need for Phill for people who have trouble fueling their vehicl.e

The Interface Design

A/B testing

Overall users felt that a humanized experience with an attendant created an overall positive influence.

Profile photo

Users prefer having an image of an attendant next to the attendants name

Live Map

Users prefer a live map in real time when driving to a gas station. 


Users said breadcrumbs helped them achieve a task from start to finish.

Invision prototype

Invision Prototype

Why it Matters: The Problem with Gas Stations

Field Research

Market Opportunity where Phill fits in everyday

For Tom, driving his vehicle gives him mobility to be more independent. These are all potential points in time where Phill can be of assistance to Tom where his wife or his friend are not around to help.