A Critique of Kei R1 (May 2020 release)

A Critique of Kei R1 (May 2020 release)

We've finally shipped out all Kei R1 kits and would like to talk about some of our findings and tweaks we're planning to make for the upcoming R2 buy.


1. Accessibility & Information Density:

We've participated in many group buys and have always been frustrated with the lack of updates. This time around we've experimented with updating through Discord and Geekhack threads. While most buyers were able to keep up to date, we've come to the realisation that Discord is an unsuitable platform for those looking to stay updated and for others who end up repeating answers for the same questions. Lots of information frequently gets buried under other conversations over time which in turn can frustrate some buyers.

There's just too much information everywhere.


i. Discord
For R2, we plan to update through the same platforms and refresh the site's Update tab more frequently. We're also implementing some change to our Discord server including a locked FAQ channel and the recruitment of some friends who will help with bot triggers to address this issue.


ii. Ticketing System
We're also looking to direct more support messages through a ticketing system in order to free up time and energy for our daily operations. While Discord private messages are a great way to reach us quickly, they frequently happen (at no fault of the sender) at extremely inconvenient times. We're looking at ways to allow buyers to quickly get the help they need while maintaining our work schedules.



2. QC & Pickup Services:

We've worked through most of the units well but still had some minor annoyances slip by when during the QC process. Our first priority is to secure more willing hands and eyes to spread the workload during the process with a clearer workflow. QC mistakes happen when you're working 14 hour days for two weeks straight and we would like to avoid that for all future buys.


i. The Human Limit
We've also decided to implement The Human Limit clause in order to temper expectations. More information at our FAQ page.  
ii. Local Pickup
We're looking to allow for pickup slots for local buyers for the upcoming buy. More information to come soon.


3. Screws & Accessories:

Let's face it, some of the screws on the Kei weren't great. Our initial attempt to mitigate it by purchasing the screws on behalf of the manufacturer didn't quite work out. Moving forward, we would like to address this by testing the screws during the QC process.


In addition, we're looking to add the following without extra cost for all buyers of R2 and beyond:

  • Extra rubber feet
  • Extra o rings
  • Extra screws 


We're very happy that we've managed to complete the buy in about 5 months given the current pandemic and other extraordinary circumstances. Moving forward we're looking to work out kinks within the manufacturing process by meeting with the manufacturer once COVID travel restrictions are lifted.

As always, thank you for all your patience and we're so happy that many of you enjoy the Kei. We hope to have you on board for R2.

Image supplied courtesy of McGill Library.


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