april experiences over-communication
  • Experience

Reusable Totes, Holistic Branding, Opt outs, and Empathy

By Happy Medium

Our most memorable experiences of April are all over the place. We discuss bag fees, toy twigs, over-communication and a whole lot of empathy in our in-box.

reusable tote bag

Bag Fees Nudge Us to Actually Re-Use Our Re-Usable Totes


I’ve always liked the idea of reusable totes, but never seemed to remember them when I went grocery shopping. I didn’t mind so much because I did have some select use cases for disposable plastic bags, but my needs get outpaced quickly and you end up with one of those plastic bags stuffed with more plastic bags.

Moving to Minneapolis, from Des Moines has surprisingly cured me of my forgetfulness. Now every time I go grocery shopping I have several totes stuffed in my pockets. I’d say that this is due to two very small nudges in the bag experience.

The first would be the plastic bag charge. It’s a negligible cost but it’s an explicit reminder of how my decisions impact the environment.

The second would be that because it’s a transaction, it forces a social interaction with the cashier that I want to go as smoothly as possible to avoid any post purchase anxiety. At least for me, it’s been brilliant at helping me do the small things that I want to do to help out.


We have a bag charge in Denver and even though I was always pretty good at it, now I never forget one. I do not care about the 10 cents but it some how a great reminder.

  • Doug Choi – VP of Creative
  • Jill Patterson – Director of Talent
early bird

Holistic Branding Leaves us With Full Hearts and Full Stomachs


Early Bird in Waukee was a wonderful experience. 

Any experience where it’s incredibly clear no stone was left unturned is a major win in my book. The build out, the branding on different pieces, even the children’s toy was “colored twigs” and on brand with their name rather than crayons.

The food was delicious and I will absolutely be back.



I love the colored twigs. What a great idea!

  • Katie Patterson – Founder | CEO
  • Doug Choi – VP of Creative
etsy empathy

Etsy and Revel Nail Make an Impact with Empathetic Opt Outs


While I know there’s been some controversy around Etsy lately, I’m still a fairly avid user and I was just reminded of an experience they do yearly that I admire. They send out timely emails that give users the option to opt-out of email communications around Mother’s Day, and if I recall correctly they do it for Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day as well. The emails are succinct but kind and ensure users they won’t be removed from all email communications. I know they are not the only brand that does this, as I just received an email from another, much smaller brand that I’ve purchased from making the same offer. I feel like this is a kind way of looking out for your users and their best interest.


  • Sarah Chesling – Senior Visual Designer
over-communication starch pet hospital

Over-communication and Seamless Booking Services Help us When We’re Overwhelmed


Like everyone else, I am busy juggling multiple calendars and just barely keeping myself organized these days. And unfortunately, remembering exactly when and what shots my dogs are supposed to get an annual basis is never at the top of my mind. In years past, I’ve often found myself getting a last minute notification or post card and then scrambling to get an appointment booked.

This year, though, Starch Pet Hospital in Des Moines stepped up and offered a seamless experience to make sure I got Rufus taken care of. Beginning two months ahead of time, they sent me weekly reminders that Rufus was coming up due for a check-up, included a list of what shots/test he’d need, and a link to their online booking system that took less than 5 minutes to schedule. They even called on Monday to confirm the booking. The mental load of getting him scheduled for his annual visit was completely lifted and I am so appreciative. If only they’d also come pick him up and drop him off…



I can barely keep my regular human appointments straight, so this sounds great.


I cannot tell you how happy I was when the online scheduler worked!

  • Carina Woodward – Client Success Lead
  • Doug Choi – VP of Creative

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