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.
DONE! We've added a dozen materials over the last seven months, and we've launched the first Design Challenge featuring new materials.
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.
LOTS DONE! AND MORE TO COME! We've made dozens of UI tweaks. See updates here!
7. Material samples
Because knowing what you've got to work with is critical to designing a new product. And they're fun.
See our progress here!
8. Higher confidence in a first-time order
So you can feel excited, not anxious, about trying laser cutting for the first time.
DONE! We've added a live preview to laser cut designs, and are now offering a 100% Guarantee to all orders.
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.
DONE! See updates here!
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 turnaround– HERE! 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 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 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.)
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.
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:
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!.
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.
Update August 8th: Three updates!
More reasons to make stuff -
We've added step-by-step recipes and instructions to help you get started, and added a series of helpful tutorials to our blog. We've also brought on a partner to help sell our Ponoko's top selling products to retailers. We'll keep you posted, and if you believe you have a hot selling product please let us know :)
Material Samples -
We've redesigned our material samples and you can now get a sample of any of the materials we offer.
Simplified user interaction -
We've streamlined the uploading process, updated the quote page & order history page, and done more bug fixes than you can shake a stick at. More updates to come!
Update Oct 2nd: Faster Turnaround
Same day making is here! Orders placed before 11am can be upgrade to same day making - You'll have your designs made and on their way to you tthe same day your ordered them. Upgrade to one day shipping and you'll have your order in your hands the very next day.
Note: In order to provide consistent making speeds for all of our customers, larger orders that exceed 200 minutes in making time are not eligible for same day making.