23 September 2016 by Calan
A couple of weeks ago we reached out and asked customers to give us their feedback and experience with their Looguns. Firstly, thank you so much to everyone that replied, the amount of feedback was incredible and has provided a deep level of insight into where we stand after our first production run.
Overall the feedback was very positive, especially considering the issue with the seal that has now been replaced on all devices. Having analysed the results, we averaged between 7 and 8 out of 10 in most categories, including your overall experience with the Loogun, and whether you'd recommend the Loogun to a friend. While feedback is mostly very positive, there are some customers that are having problems with performance, which we believe in most cases is due to batteries, and we’d like to help resolve these wherever possible as they can be easily corrected.
The main purpose of the survey was to discover the areas we can improve and I wanted to share these with you.
The new seal
As one of our early backers you’ll know we had an initial problem with the seal. These have been replaced and have almost completely solved the issue. There are still a very small number of people experiencing some leaking so if you didn’t add your email address, please contact us so we can solve it for you.
We’re also working on a total seal redesign that will put this to bed entirely in future runs. We’re busy prototyping two new designs and are also looking at a full reservoir redesign so there’s a lot being done to ensure this won’t cause any further headaches. It’s quite bizarre that this has caused the biggest problem for us as we saw no issues during prototyping or pre-production, but at least it's limited to a very small number of units.
Batteries to be included
Using the wrong batteries is causing the biggest overall problem. Out of everyone who rated the overall experience 7 out of 10 or lower, 75% of them are using batteries that are not on our recommended list.
This is very interesting and very worrying for us. The Loogun requires a good level of power, and not all batteries are capable of providing this, regardless of brand. The vast majority of AA batteries, including those made by all the top brands such as Duracell and Energizer, are meant for low-drain devices. Please don’t think that just because you tried a Duracell battery that it should work, it’s just not the case, the Loogun requires high-drain batteries which will last for 6-9 months in a Loogun.
This poses a significant problem for us, because it means that anyone who uses low-drain batteries is likely to have a poor experience, which hurts us personally because it’s not the experience we want you to have with your Loogun.
Also, because we aim to sell the Loogun in retail stores and other channels, we need to ensure that people won’t just return the product if they’ve used the wrong batteries. What most people don’t realise is that retailers can be brutal in how they treat returned products, so this is something we need to be very careful of to avoid having perfectly good Looguns discarded to landfill.
So, what we’ve decided to do is include a set of batteries in future production orders. This adds some complexity in terms of shipping, but it means we can ensure every Loogun works efficiently. The downside of this is that it goes against our environmental goal of encouraging the use of rechargeable batteries, but hopefully after the first set, people will choose rechargeables as they’re simply better on all fronts.
A larger reservoir
This is definitely the most requested improvement. It’s also interesting because it’s directly related to your chosen batteries. The weaker the batteries, the more water you’ll use and the quicker you’ll have to refill your device.
In terms of our longer term plans, we’re looking at the design and how to increase the water capacity. This isn’t a quick change as it will require retooling a lot of parts so it’s something high on our list of improvements but it’ll take a while to implement.
The noise level of the motor
To be completely honest, this is the thing we thought would cause the highest number of complaints, but it hasn't. The tricky part is that it’s notoriously diﬃcult to reduce noise entirely on higher torque motors without using a very expensive one, and doing so would compromise our price point, so it’s not an easy win.
What was really interesting is that one of our survey questions was whether the noise causes embarrassment, and it turns out that 71% of people are not embarrassed by it, so that’s a decent result but it’s something we’re looking to improve over time.
Currently, our motor is mounted directly to the frame, transferring its vibration directly through the plastic mouldings and amplifying the sound produced, eﬀectively turning the body into a speaker diaphragm. What we’re currently looking to do is to see if we can use a soft silicone or rubber plug to separate the motor from the body to help absorb some of these vibrations. This may reduce the noise transmission through the casing, reducing vibration felt during operation reducing the volume of the motor.
The second source of noise emanates directly from the operating motor. Placing open cell foam around the motor could reduce this by absorbing sound, however rigorous heat safety testing needs to be performed to ensure it won’t increase the chance of overheating.
So similar to the reservoir, this isn’t a quick or easy fix, but we are working on it.
Any problems, drop us an email
That wraps up the main points of feedback and how we're addressing them. There are also a number of smaller things we're looking at improving but I'll keep those for another post.
We’re in this for the long-term and are committed to ensuring your Loogun experience is the best it can be. Please, please, please, if you have a Loogun that isn’t working as well as it should be, do drop our support team an email so we can help resolve the problem.