Forums/Official Stuff/Ponoko Announcements

What we're working on for you + progress status

Kristen Turner
posted this on July 10, 2013 17:08

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.

See updates here!

2. Faster turnaround 

So you can quickly prototype your products and get your orders out to customers asap.

Here! Done! See updates here, and here.

3. Cheaper shipping

Because sometimes shipping is more expensive than your order, and that just doesn't seem right.

Done! Check out our less expensive shipping options here and here!

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.

Done! See updates here.

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 a daily tweet with estimated turnaround times

 

Update July 12: Faster turnaround – we're running a trial period to provide 3-day turnaround for a small fee based on the size of your order. Find out how to get your laser cut order made in 3 days.

 

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 August 26: Faster turnaroundHERE! DONE! You've now got options for 10, 5, 3, or 1 business day making time on your orders. Here's a walk-through of the site changes and how to choose your making time.

 

Update September 2: Lower pricingwe'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 testing of 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.)

shipping.png

 

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.)

estdeliverydate.png

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:

 

order_status_screen.jpg

 

 

 

Update December 21: Simplified user interaction – Two Updates here:

1) We've simplified updating your order quantity. Previously we had 2 places you could select how many times you wanted to make your design. Too confusing.  Now there’s just one (see below), and you can order just 1 or up to 9,999 (instead of just 99).

 

order_screen_quantity_cropped.jpg

 

2) Rename your order.  Easily keep track of different projects by giving them a unique name.  Previously, orders were named after the first uploaded file name.  Now "new_lasercut-fixed_revised-FINAL.eps" can simply be My Awesome Project or Whatever You Want to Name It

rename_your_order_cropped.jpg

 

 

Update February 18: Lower pricing & cheaper shipping - Two updates!

1)Free shipping on laser orders over $100 - Now all laser cutting orders over $100 are automatically shipped for free! Details here.

 

2)Lower pricing on laser cutting - Prime members can now save 51% off their making costs. See a breakdown of the lower rates.

Update March 10th: Faster turnaround & cheaper shipping - Two big updates today!

1) Faster Turnaround - We've expanded our making team and increased the amount of hours spent laser cutting.  As a result, US and NZ customers will see a significant improvement on the time it takes to make their laser cutting orders.  Previously, orders that were not expedited would take 10 business days between being received to being shipped out.  Now, orders are shipped out in 8 days.  Additionally, those 8 days are actual calendar days as opposed to business days for those ordering in the US.  

To give an example:  Previously an order placed on March 10th would be shipped on the 24th.  Now, an order placed on the 10th will be shipped on March 18th in the US, and March 20th in NZ. That's a 4 day improvement for New Zealand customers, and a 6 day improvement in the US!.

 est_delivery_date.jpg

2) Lower Pricing on Shipping - We've added a new choice for shipping: USPS Priority Mail!  When shipping smaller packages like a P1, USPS will be significantly less expensive than UPS, and in most cases, faster too!  You can now compare your shipping options when completing your order, and choose the most cost-effective option for your order.

USPS.jpg

 

Comments

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Mike

I wish I had known about your survey before it closed.  I have tried several times to use your service and given up every time because you use a format that is not supported by any CAD package that I know of.

The single most useful improvement you could make to your service is to accept artwork in DXF format.

 

July 13, 2013 23:47
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Kristen Turner
Ponoko

Hi Mike, thanks for your comment. There were other people representin' for DXF, but it was only 1% of all requests — which is why you don't see it on our current top 10 list. (We included everything that hit 5% or more.) But we know that there are people that want this, and supporting more softwares and file formats will broaden our customer-base. Hopefully we can get through this list fairly quickly, so we can work on DXF acceptance.

July 16, 2013 13:27
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Liudr

Very good turnaround for me! I ordered on 7/30 and the laser cut was done and shipped on 7/31. This usually takes 10 days in the past (I last ordered around 4 months ago).

August 01, 2013 20:58
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Kristen Turner
Ponoko

Thanks Liudr! That's great to hear.

August 06, 2013 12:14
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Vitaliy Levit

I've ordered both a 3D print and laser cut from you guys - so far so good! Really love the service. There's quite a bit of excitement from the time I load up the design to the time it gets delivered. One thought I had is that it would be really nice to receive a picture of the finished pieces right before they get shipped out. This would help curb anxiety and better manage expectations. Might also help catch any defects before it goes out.

April 23, 2014 15:06
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Robert Curry

I would *love* to be able to engrave on the other side of a cutting, it would open up a ton of possibilities. I understand that this is a pretty big hurdle though, do you think it's likely one that you'll be tackling in the short or medium term?

June 04, 2014 12:46
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Dan Emery
Ponoko

@Robert. This is something that has been asked for a few times and is something we're interested in testing out. Watch this space.

June 05, 2014 12:15