We've compiled the survey results from our various audience segments into one master task list.
We've taken your top 10 requests and roughly put them in order of importance and priority for the Ponoko team to work on. We'll be testing out solutions to each one of these, and implementing the ones that work best for everybody. Check back here for updates to see what we're currently working on, and let us know what you think.
1. Lower pricing
So you can sell the things you make at a reasonable retail and wholesale price.
2. Faster turnaround
So you can quickly prototype your products and get your orders out to customers asap.
3. Cheaper shipping
Because sometimes shipping is more expensive than your order, and that just doesn't seem right.
4. More materials
Because variety is the spice of life, and materials are often a defining feature of the products you make and sell.
5. Better order status information
Because knowledge is power, and you want to know how long your order will take.
6. Simplified information / user interaction
This includes things in your myPonoko account — like an easier way to combine designs into a single order, straight forward design/material quantities, direct shipping to your customers, improved automatic file checking, etc — as well as web layout and content changes to make things easier for people new to the site.
7. Material samples
Because knowing what you've got to work with is critical to designing a new product. And they're fun.
8. Higher confidence in a first-time order
So you can feel excited, not anxious, about trying laser cutting for the first time.
9. More reasons to make stuff
From tutorial projects that offer step-by-step guidance to themed design competitions to the ultimative motivator — customers of your own — sometimes you want a little extra push to make something new.
10. Teach design software
Because to make stuff with Ponoko you gotta have a design file.
Update July 1: Lower pricing – we typically run promotions to discount the making costs (which are based on how many minutes it takes to cut your design). We know you guys like coupon deals, but we're looking into other ways to make the laser cutting service more affordable.
Update July 8: Faster turnaround – we're putting in some over-time to bring down our average turnaround times on laser cut orders. Typically this is 10-14 days for standard accounts and 6-8 days for Prime accounts. These lead times depend on how busy our production queues are. So to give you a better idea of how busy we are at the moment — and give you visibility of our progress in bringing down lead times — we'll be sending adaily tweet with estimated turnaround times.
Update August 1: Higher confidence in a first-time order – we've begun testing a simple email series to help potential first-time customers. We're testing different kinds of information to see what is most helpful to those new to Ponoko.
Update August 6: Faster turnaround – the trial period went great! 25% of all orders upgraded to 3-day turnaround. The fees we collected offset the extra work hours, and we managed to turn out 3-day orders while simultaneously bringing our general lead times down.
The tech team is at work integrating a 3-day option into the site. In the meantime, we've had several people ask to extend the trial deadline. So we've decided to keep processing 3-day orders manually until this feature goes live. Find out how to keep getting 3-day turnaround on your laser cut orders.
Update September 2: Lower pricing – we're digging through our data to figure out how to reduce our pricing without impacting our ability to maintain and improve our high quality service (now with high speed too).
Update September 25: Lower pricing & cheaper shipping – we're testing different pricing options to be able to offer lower pricing and cheaper shipping. Lots of things to think about and test to get the balance just right. It's coming; we're just making sure we get it right :)
Update October 1: Simplified user interaction – over the month of September we did some UX testingof the Ponoko ordering process. It was more streamlined with less buttons and stuff. The results were that the same % of people go to the finish line (ie placed an order) as with our current version. So we'll be giving it another shot — this time with *added* information based on commonly asked questions. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
Update October 24: Better order status information – we've got 2 updates on this!
1) We've simplified the language around our UPS shipping options. Instead of seeing words like "UPS 3 Day select early AM" we simply display the # of business days it will take to ship. (See image below.)
2) We display an estimated delivery date! When you review your order before checkout, you'll see an estimated delivery date. This date is based on the making speed + shipping speed you selected. If you need your order sooner than the estimated delivery date, you can go back and change your making and/or shipping speed. (See image below.)
You'll also see your estimated delivery date on the order confirmation page AND your order confirmation email! We're working to display your estimated delivery date on your order status page too.
P.S. Now that we display estimated delivery dates, we will be discontinuing our tweets of average lead times.
Update November 19: Better order status information –
Done and done! In addition to the updates listed above, we have updated the order status page. Now all order status information is accessible in one place, and we've added a nifty progress bar to show the status of your order. Check out the screenshot below: