Results of 2020 member's Survey

Overall summary:

Generally, members are satisfied with the current running of HSBNE, but there are many opportunities for improvement.

18 members responded, or 15% of our current membership. Emily acknowledges the biases and mistakes made when writing this survey, most noticeably the one on our pricing model: No option for ‘too cheap’ was available, and this rendered the question invalid.


Notable comments on being active at HSBNE:
“HSBNE gives many opportunities to be active in the group, though they are not always immediately visible”

“Being at HSBNE encourages you to talk with new members and the public. It provides a place to learn and share ideas without having a financial incentive behind it.”

“If you want it to happen… Do it!!! Share with other what you want to do and take ownership of what you want to do to make it happen.”

The question on satisfaction with pricing was badly written, and has been left out of the analysis. Notable comments on pricing included the desire for automatic payments, problems with duplicate invoices and the desire for members to be able to check online that they are up-to-date on their memberships.

Access (Summary of comments)

Members are happy with 24/7 access, although it was noted that bringing guests is difficult or unclear.

Community (Summary of comments)

The current system is generally considered good, except for difficulties matching members online names and real-life identities, particularly across different channels (forums/discord).

Documentation (Summary of comments)

Most members commented that there’s room for improvement, not a lot is up to date and it’s difficult to know the status of a tool at any given time. A couple commented on how long it can take for changes to become apparent.

Summary of Satisfaction on scale of 1-5, 5 being highest:

How satisfied were you with HSBNE before the COVID-19 pandemic?

Respondents were generally satisfied with HSBNE, notable comments include:
“It allows me to achieve things I couldn’t achieve at home due to space or financial limitations”

“Good setup however some tools are unfortunately often out of service”

“Great community, several cultural issues”

Maintenance (Summary of comments)

Generally, members were of the opinion that everyone should be cleaning up after themselves, and that machinery is what they are paying for access to. There were several suggestions for improvement

  • Complete the dust extraction project in the Woodshop
  • Machines in the Metal shop could be better maintained
  • Spare parts to be kept in stock to minimise downtime and to facilitate volunteers’ efforts to maintain
  • Better guides on how to maintain so it doesn’t keep being left to one volunteer
  • Being able to look up the status of a machine before arriving at the space
  • Implement maintenance schedules

Support for pricing changes based on volunteering model:

Exec team functions

Most vital roles were communicating with the Landlord and maintaining legal and insurance procedures. After that collecting fees and terminating memberships, followed by inducting new members, communicating with the general membership and applying for government grants ranked highly. Fielding inquiries, finding classes, building industry relationships and policing member behaviour ranked low.

The two standout projects that had noticeable support were co-ordinating with EDQ for site redevelopment and creating a working relationship with other tenants, followed by creating one style of induction. Startup and small business and renovation plans had little support.

What would you like to see when you return, or other comments : (Summary of comments)

Many members suggested more equipment (This was the number one request) and more classes or talks on interesting topics, followed by more communication from the exec, a weekly newsletter and improved tool inductions. Suggestions also included creating teams to work on specific space projects. One issue that was raised was the revolving door of new members, and the need for mentoring or some other system that would increase long-term engagement.


Great work summarizing the results Emily.

I think the main takeaway points (for me at least) are:

  • we should put more effort into linking digital identities with physical identities. Perhaps a requirement to include your first name in your discord screen name on the HSBNE server and/or forum?
  • documentation of tools and equipment is lacking across the board (in particular operational status). I’ve logged an issue for the portal to add an equipment tracking system to help with this.
  • common spare parts should be kept in stock for quick replacement (maybe each cause can create a minimum inventory they should keep at all times?)
  • implement mandatory maintenance schedules
  • more classes should be run
  • more communication from the exec about general goings on around HSBNE would be appreciated (ie recurring newsletter)
  • the membership price should be increased with a discount given (perhaps to current price) for members who take on a specific volunteer role

To summarize the summary of the summary: If you need a project, HSBNE has plenty :laughing:

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