Every Day, Another Learning Opportunity

We were recently in Cornwall for a short break, and on The Isle of Wight before that. Both places were very conscientious in keeping guests and residents safe and properly masked and distanced. It was pretty impressive, actually, and even the places which initially struggled were learning as they went along, making things run more smoothly.

Sure, there's the odd glitch, such as lack of information or description on the menu app many establishments use, but by and large they're doing their level best!

Since I normally stay indoors at home, it's rare that I'm actually called upon to wear a mask, ironically enough, so these trips gave me plenty of opportunity to user test my masks and other manufacturers. Here's the key things I discovered:

  1. My ears are abnormally small, and as a result, wider elastic straps are not always the best option for me,

  2. Moreover, the silicone adjusters which were so hard to come by initially are not super comfortable for me, and often slide off from my ears. I think that could be down to a combination of factors, but I assume it happens to me more often when there's not a lot of elastic to adjust--i.e. longer straps.

  3. The porous white elastic found in disposable surgical masks are by far the most comfortable and less taxing, due I imagine to its lightness and tension when stretched. This makes me think the original thin strips of jersey is the best way forward, and not standard elastic, or the deluxe super dense corded variety.

  4. A thin elastic strap which can be adjusted by simple tieing was much more comfortable!

  5. I'm still breathing in most other manufacturers' masks when exerting myself. There's room for innovation here, such as the silicone mask cage now sold, but other ideas, so watch this space!

  6. My husband is still the pickiest client by far, and to date very few masks can resist fogging his glasses. My very first attempt at Dome shapes works the best for him, but subsequent enhancements I've made have left his glasses foggier. He's suggested some padding along the nose wire which might help alleviate this.

  7. My preferred nose wire, flat and sturdy aluminium strips do eventually split in half from use and probably from being left in when washed. I am sorry if any of the masks sold to you have done the same, and will happily send you more.

  8. Because of #7, I am rethinking how I insert the wires, and am guessing I should make it easier for people to access the wires.

I'm keen to incorporate some of these improvements in my next designs, and hope to have new products tried and tested for sale. Thanks for your support throughout.

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