A few months ago we started the “co-create your community manager” process. The basic idea
is to let the community evaluate me and determine what my job is. This
survey is also meant to get an initial understanding of what the
community thinks our priorities should be and where they think Shapeways
should be going. This, rather long, blog post will present the results of the initial survey.
I could not go into every comment, suggestion or result. In some cases results, comments or an explanation of either of those would give people building copies of Shapeways too much insight in our roadmap, future releases or strategy. In that case these results, comments or explanations were omitted. The things I can share can be found below.
We asked you what the main subjects of the blog should be and the answer was:
If we look back over the last few months, we have in broad strokes kept to this order. There have been however fewer 3D modeling posts than requested so we will need to do more in the future.
Ordering and Delivery
We asked you what you thought of the ordering and delivery process. Congratulations to Customer Service, this is really a stellar result! And comments from people saying things such as, “You guys are AWESOME! You have the best customer service of any company I’ve ever worked with” were heartwarming for the hardworking CS team. People did indicate however in the free form responses that there had been with some individual 3D prints. We are working to improve our quality and process controls in that area.
Community friendliness and helpfulness
We also asked you what you thought of the friendliness and helpfulness of the community and these numbers are good but since community is core we would like to improve them very much. In future surveys I will try to drill down to why certain people think we are unhappy. Also people there is bias here since the participants of the survey are more likely to be happy about Shapeways and to see Shapeways as being a happy place.
Business Development & Partnerships
The top five answers to the question of whom we are to partner with were:
1. The open source software community
2. 3d modeling software companies
3. inventors and hardware hackers
4. design schools
5. groups of hobbyists
If we look at these five, more of my attention has gone to the bottom 3 than the top 2.
Top 3 projects
One of the most important questions asked you to “choose the top 3 dream projects that Joris (the Shapeways Community Manager) should try to implement for Shapeways.”
1. Lower the cost of buying at Shapeways
2. Add wax 3D printing as a 3D printing process
3. Add a better 3D view of the models so people know what they’re going to get
We’re happy that you guys also want us to keep costs low and reduce them even more. We have not yet been able to introduce wax but we will do this as soon as we can get the quality up to our and your standards. I did not work on the third issue at all.
The long winded thing I am trying to work on.
Free form responses
The most interesting part of the survey to me was the free form responses answers, particularly to the question, “What is the one thing that Shapeways should improve more than anything else…”
The top cluster of responses was centered around, “Navigation of the website feels clunky. clicking around is painful” or other comments such as “website design needs to be your priority” relating to website usability. We hope you guys can see the strides we are making in that area.
The second biggest category of responses was related to the first and was specific suggestions to improve the website.
- “Better search/recommendations/ratings”
- “solve the thin walls issues”
- “The artist page/profile, portfolio,sales overview. We need a good system to work with.”
- “better and easier workflow for model upload”
I would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey. Now that we have these results the next step is to devise a way to pool, gather, track and learn your feedback and ideas continually. Are surveys the best way to do this? Should we have a “council of community members” to voice your opinions? Should we rely on community meetings?