Tag Archives: Habit

Mask pocket – customer insights during COVID-19

Wearing a face mask is mandatory in many restaurants. However, we take our mask off when the food comes. Experts often suggest diners to bring a clean, breathable container like a small mesh laundry bag or a brown bag to put the mask in. However, I have not formed this healthy habit yet. Therefore, I often place my mask on the table and then blame myself.

Recently, I found a clever solution for this issue at Joo Ok, a Korean contemporary dining restaurant in Seoul. This restaurant does not blame me but helps me follow rule.

Joo Ok is the creation of Chef Shin Chang Ho, winner of a Michelin star in the 2018 – 2021 editions of The Michelin Guide to Seoul. Its cuisine captures the essence of Korea’s four seasons, based on fermented jang sauces and vinegar, the pillars of Korean cuisine. Perilla oil pressed from seeds harvested in Chef Shin’s mother-in-law’s vegetable garden in Jinju, and some 30 varieties of homemade vinegar, brewed using proprietary recipes, are the stars of Joo Ok’s cuisine.

In this restaurant, diners are provided with mask pockets made by recycled paper. Certainly, they are not permanent and feasible solutions for every single restaurant. However, after having experienced a carefully designed mask bag, I start considering whether a mask bag is on the table when evaluating my restaurant experience.

During COVID-19, customer insights have been consistently discovered and converted into interesting new products, like a mask spray with essential oils.

Why do people exit the bus at the front door?

At Quora, someone asked “Why do people exit the bus at the front door even when it’s not crowded?” It received seven answers.  

 

  1. Habit. If a bus has two doors it is actually more efficient for passengers to exit by the back door as any new passengers enter through the front door. However, most people use the front door when exiting out of habit, sometimes even walking the full length of the bus to do so.
  2. I do it for two reasons. First: I do it because I may be transferring to another bus. And believe me, getting out the back door vs. the front can make the difference between making your next bus and missing it. It happens sometimes, and i never know which time it will be. Second: I do it so I can thank the driver personally. They have a tough job. Lots of people abuse them. I like to treat them well.
  3. Because it is safer. Using a back door bears the risk that the bus driver won’t see you and could slam the door on you or depart while you are in mid-air. It has happened to me on more than one occasion.
  4. I do so mostly out of habit but also so that I can thank the driver. These women and men sometimes cop abuse that is quite unwarranted in my view. They deserve the same courtesy as everyone else and for getting me to my destination safely and comfortably. 
  5. Maybe they were closer to the front than rear. Maybe they did not feel like walking to the rear. Maybe they were unsure if the rear is crowded. Maybe they were absent-minded and accidentally took the front. Maybe they figured it doesn’t matter. There could be many ‘maybes’, all with their own reasons, only way to be sure is to ask.
  6. Handicapped people find it easier to use the front. The driver can pull closer to the curb and “kneel” the bus to make it easier for cane-users. Wheelchair-users need the ramp in the front of the bus.
  7. If they are sitting right at the front of the bus it is the closest door. It is normal to just exit at the closest door.

 

All the answers were based on the assumption that people should enter the bus at the front door. I used to have the same thought before I went to Prague and Nagasaki where the front door of the bus was designed differently.  

 

 

At these two cities, passengers get off the bus at the front door. In other words, at Prague and Nagasaki, people exit the bus at the front door not because of habit or convenience but because they are educated and trained. Something that was taken for granted to me was not to them.

 

 

 

 

How can we improve our postures while drinking coffee?

In Hanoi, Vietnam, there is Cafe Giang, a famous local cafe known for its egg coffee. Last year, this place was introduced by CNN travel with the title of the egg coffee in Hanoi: where to get your caffeine fix.

(CNN) — Everyone at Hanoi’s humble Cafe Giang however, is after something more than just a caffeine fix. They’ve come for “cà phê trúng,” or egg coffee, a Hanoi specialty in which a creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is perched on dense Vietnamese coffee. While destinations across the city now serve it, this cafe claims to have invented it.
There are hot and cold versions. The former is served as a a yellow concoction in a small glass. It’s consumed with a spoon and tastes almost like a coffee flavored ice cream — more like a dessert than coffee. The hot version comes resting in a small dish of hot water to maintain its temperature. The strong coffee taste at the bottom of the cup seeps through the egg — the yellow layer on top — and is quite thick and sweet, though not sickly.

A tasty coffee with creamy foam impressed me. However, I was more impressed by the low stools. In this cafe, people bent their knees and pressed their hips back on the stools, much like doing a squat exercise.

Squats are a mainstay in about every program for trainers. The strength, power, flexibility and balance that can be gained from squats make this exercise a staple in any routine. Some people claim that we should do squat exercise everyday. Others argue that the forgotten art of squatting is a revelation for bodies ruined by sitting.

I believe, we are not only what we eat but also “how we move.” I learned this only after having gone through painful days to form a new habit such as moving computer mouse using left hand or doing computer tasks at standing desk. I suspect Vietnamese people, at least, look healthy because they develop a healthy posture habit. I may need to import their low stools to improve my bad posture habit.

Standing desk: New way to work

I suffered from minor shoulder – and wrist pain for a long time. In order to lessen the pain, I decided to train my left hand for using the computer mouse a few years back.

Certainly, using mouse with my left hand was very challenging in the first couple of years. However, 3-year of intensive practice paid me off. I could click, drag, and drop icons using my left hand without noticing that I did so with my left hand.

After having succeeded this “experiment,” I made another decision recently to relieve back pain; standing up while working. I first searched for standing desks or stand-up desks, then read online posts (e.g., reviews by Mark Luckch and Alan Henry), and then created my own standing desk by putting together empty paper boxes.

My DIY practice showed the effect Instantly. I became free from back pain, paid more attention to my tasks, and most importantly, became exhausted at evening as I “exercised” all day long. In short, I was tired at day and slept well at night. Finally, I bought a height-adjustable table from Varidesk. 🙂

20150408_Desk(2) 20150408_Desk(4)

 

Behavior change requires time

Changing behavior is important but challenging. Thus, it attracts huge attention among practitioners as well as researchers. For instance, Charles Duhigg introduced various examples in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Professor BJ Fogg at Stanford University proposed a behavior change model at the Persuasive Technology Lab. Designers graduating from the ID, Illinois Institute of Technology summarized the mechanisms and tools on their website, Brains Behavior and Design Group. Most recently, Professor Dilip Soman at University of Toronto teaches Behavioral Economics in Action at his online course.

DesignMarketingLab_Behavioral Economics in Action

For me, I have long wished to be ambidextrous. In Asia, however, using left hand to do something (e.g., eating, writing, pointing, etc.) is not viewed appropriate and I had no chance to practice my left hand. Therefore, I have experimented myself since when I left for Canada whether I can practice my left hand so that it performs as well as my right hand does.

Brushing teeth with my left hand was relatively easy at night. However, doing so in the morning was extremely challenging. Although I have brushed teeth with my left hand for the past 10 years, I often find myself brushing teeth with my right hand when I am sleepy or tired, which is often the case in the morning. Indeed, ten-year is not sufficient to master brushing teeth with my left hand probably because I did not stop brushing teeth with my right hand.

I had different experience regarding controlling the computer mouse. Certainly, using mouse with my left hand was very challenging in the first couple of years. However, 3-year of intensive practice paid me off. I could click, drag, and drop icons using my left hand without noticing that I did so with my left hand. This habit relieves the shoulder pain and I can work longer than before. Three-year was sufficient to master using the mouse with my left hand probably because I completely stopped using the mouse with my right hand.

DesignMarketingLab_Left handed mouse

I plan to start sketching/drawing with my left hand this year. Different from brushing teeth or controlling computer mouse, I have not drawn before. In other words, I have no habit to unlearn but need to develop a new habit only. I hope skipping the unlearning stage takes me less time/effort to master sketching with my left hand.