Instructables

New page layout

I hate what you did to the web page it really sucks.

Tomdf2 years ago
I miss the featured instructable of the day, wasn't that always on the front page?

And as much as I enjoy the featured authors, it gets stale seeing the same thing right above the fold for a week or more (especially when there is another featured author on the right rail. The front page has lost that "what's cool today?" factor.
Project of the day lives! Hover your mouse over the Explore tab up top
+1 for project of the day... I miss that also.
Tomdf Tomdf2 years ago
I also don't care for the images being mashed up to the top. When explaining something, instructions typically go like this:
Image
Explanation of image/step
Image
Explanation of image/step

But with the images as they are now, we have to work with this format:
Image, image, image, image
Backpedaling explanation of all the images.

I feel that this a highly counter-intuitive way to present instructions, and gives a bit of an upper hand to people who can just write the images into the source code like this floating ornithopther I've put on the
pyager12 years ago
I think this is going to cause you to lose people. A lot of people have to pay for the amount of megs they use, and by making more pages to load in they are not going to go here anymore. I am limited to 5 gigs a month and I will not be using this site anymore.
It's just sad.
weldor2 years ago
what happened to the button that allowed me to see all steps. What about the down load as pdf button as well. I am not thrilled with the changes. functions that made it (imho) fast and easy (for me) seem to be missing. I liked being able to open all stepsat one time and being to QUICKLY scan through to see if tyhe ible was what I wanted.
The view all steps button was replaced with a "See All" button that stays at the top of the Instructable pages (below the project Title). The Download PDF button is right next to the See All button, but its a Pro-Member feature only (and I don't see a Pro marker next to your username).
dear canucksgirl,
thank you for the super fast response time! I wish the IT crew at my work was as fast!
I used the download pdf in the past and was not a pro member then. as a frequent user of this site I do not recall a notice of this change, but that is not to say that I simply did not catch it.
IIRC, members that have been here a long time that once had pro (but had then lapsed) were still able to benefit from many pro-only benefits; and I would imagine that this was corrected in the latest site changes.

I noticed that you haven't posted any Instructables, and if you weren't aware, you can earn FREE Pro-Membership by posting a feature worthy Instructable. Its definitely worth doing (and its the way I got my pro). :-)
thank you for the heads up on the pro status. I never think to record what I do because I just go out and do it and get it over with. That and I am not tech savvy (still using a flip phone) but I am trying to correct that.
Nothing wrong with that. I think there's more non-tech savvy members than ones who are. Just post an Instructable for something you've made/done that was either nice, or made your life easier! It doesn't have to be super complicated. There's also MANY contests going on all the time, that your project could be entered into, giving you a chance to win some really awesome prizes. So check the contests page.

I'll make you a deal. If you upload a profile picture and add some text about yourself, and follow me (kidding), then I'll send you a private message with 3 months of Free Pro. :-) You can edit your profile by going to your YOU page or by clicking on this link
DiamondBack2 years ago
I would like to have the Related 'ibles back, and would like to see the thumbnails across the top of the 'ibles again, too. With the thumbnails, I could "fast forward" to an area I wasn't familiar with, or would need further reading on. With the Related, it would allow me to spend more time reading more ideas on a subject I was interested in. And oftentimes, it would take me on a different path of interest, to a topic I didn't realize I was interested in reading about
"Related" is still there, in the same place...
gmoon2 years ago
Just a few personal impressions:

-- The inbox PM indicator is (apparently) only visible in the "You" page drop-down menu. That's unfortunate, I'd prefer an immediately obvious "incoming" visual on my "You" page. Maybe there is one; I haven't received a PM since the change...

-- The You menu(s) have been so streamlined/consolidated to the point where use is little more difficult (and I do tend to use the customizable shortcuts). A progression towards phasing it out?

-- On Explore pages with recent or featured Ibles, there's been a trend to go big with thumbnails. The trend continues; currently I only see six projects per page (and my monitor is HUGE).

I've always preferred to see more project per page, accompanied by more prominent text. I can visually scan that type of format much more quickly--which prompts me to visit / view MORE pages, while the current large image format just frustrates me...

-- The new instructable viewing format is pretty slick, and it's not bad. I think I like the "Jump to" button with the popup steps, because it's technically impressive, compact and kinda coolish, but I also expect my initial impression will cool.

Click fatigue is an important consideration. With the old format navigating Steps was look->click. Now it's click->swipe->look->(repeat)->click. So easy was exchanged for clean and compact.

I've never personally cared for the "new" multi image format in step-by-step ible, vs. the old format (one anchor photo, with thumbs), but that plane has already sailed...

But otherwise, I like the overall effect of the new format in individual projects. And a lot of other small graphically clean improvements on the site...
I have to say I fully agree with you on the subject of the big thumbnails, I have viewed fewer 'ibles since the change than I ever have before, I think the layout is harsh on the eye & not at all attractive in fact it reminds me of the mail order catalogues my mother used to get when I was a kid in the 60's.
I used to be able to navigate around quickly & easily & see a good deal more on my screen now I have these huge thumbnails I have to spend three times as much time scrolling around to see what's there.
As for the "You" button & menus I'm afraid it reminds me FAR too much of Facebook, as I have said elsewhere in the forums it is so small it's almost like it's apologizing for being there, like you am yet to receive any PM's since the new format but I do hope that there be will some sort of message alert or I can see lot of people complaining bitterly about it, I also use the customizable shortcuts & find the new format clumsy and pointless, what was wrong with it the way it was? if it's about looking cleaner that could have been achieved without reducing functionality simply by altering the design.
Agreed on the thumbnails (I'd prefer to see four across the page), and why make the thumbnails larger, yet showing less or the original image?
5 across was best for me. I have Multiple Sclerosis and it causes painful cramping and curling in my hands and fingers. Used to be, with the old way, I could spin the mouse wheel once and check out the whole page of new instructables. Now, to do the same takes several with bad flashes of pain each time. As a result, I've visited here far, far less. I wish there was a way to return to the old page, it was far more handicap friendly.
" I could spin the mouse wheel once and check out the whole page of new instructables."

Did you know you could use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll up and down the page? Or page up and down. Then you can tap rather than curl your finger.
It would appear that there is a pre-formatted size for the thumbnails (more like palm prints in my opinion) which crops out a centrally weighted section of an 'ibles primary image.
This is resulting in the cutting off of heads & loosing parts of pictures from the sides, this would of course not be a problem if everyone were to have their subject in the centre of the picture but that isn't always the best way to capture the image you are after.
Once again this is a case of the person who wrote the 'ible being second guessed by someone who thinks they know better than the author how their work should be presented, just as we had with the last "update" which spoiled the look of so many 'ibles by globally changing the page layouts rather than giving grandfather rights to existing 'ibles & only changing the layout of new ones.
In future we will have to remember to do a really bad cropping job on our primary image leaving a huge amount of space around our subject which MUST be smack in the middle of the frame or suffer the consequences when half our subject matter disappears from the "palm print" on the screen, kind of detracts from the idea of promoting "better quality images" that was used as an excuse for the layout changes in the last update.
>-- The inbox PM indicator is (apparently) only visible in the "You" page drop-down menu. That's unfortunate, I'd prefer an immediately obvious "incoming" visual on my "You" page. Maybe there is one; I haven't received a PM since the change...

I can confirm that there isn't.
Kivu2 years ago
Sort of miss the related instructables, contests, ebooks on the right hand side. Because of those, I would find instructables I never knew existed, or it would lead me to explore other ideas and areas. Also, those ebook thumbs are waaaayyyy to big. In some, I have *no* idea what the ebook is, just a partial picture of what I don'r know. Could you kinda go back to the old format somewhat (looking down, shuffling feet, with an aw shucks look on the face..... ). Thanks
canucksgirl2 years ago
What I like about the new layout:

The Explore section is cleaner. Its awesome that you view up to 90 projects on a page. I like the changes to the Instructables. The photos look better and its super handy that you don't have to scroll all the way to the top of comments to view all steps! And I love that we can see how many have selected the 'ible as a favorite.

What could be improved with the new layout:

On Instructables, the stats section is gone and so is the rating system... It would be nice if those were available.

Comments (IMO), are way harder to follow. The extra white space at the top and bottom of each comment is taking up a lot of unnecessary space and it takes longer to scroll down the page when there are a lot of comments. The previous version kept things closer together (which I preferred).

This tiny comment box (with larger font) is also annoying when you want to type more than a sentence. It should be larger, or grow to the amount of text you type (versus having to drag the box into a larger size).

Preview also doesn't include the paragraph breaks.

I really don't care for the whole "YOU" thing at the top. The lack of a constantly visible "INBOX" link is a mistake (again, in my opinion). Not all members get a notice about PM's, so you have to constantly open up the "YOU" options to see if you have messages (really don't like that!)

Oh ya...

What disappeared from the Q & A section? Everything is shifted to the left. So we lost something over there (which is why questions aren't centered like they use to be).
Is anyone else NOT seeing the "Next" button or paging options for the Q & A section???
I'm not seeing it.
Thanks. Do you happen to remember what was on the left on the Q & A pages? (The questions use to be centered, and are now to the left). Not really a big deal, it just looks different, and I couldn't figure out what disappeared...
I don't think it's the left, I think it's the right - there used to be icons and links there, I'm sure?
Could be. I assumed it was the left because the questions shifted that way. Either way, I hope it wasn't anything important... (some of these things take time to notice... like paging options, staff options). lol :-P
tytiger332 years ago
Get rid of the drop down "You" thing and put it back the way it was. The comment box needs to be put back the way it was too. As for the title and a few other things following you get rid of them now they waste valuable pixels.

I don't like the new picture layout. It makes it harder to view the comments quickly. I was a fan of the multiple thumbnails and the big picture box at the top of the page but the slideshow thing was nicer. I hate the direction the site is heading in. Sure it may look
cleaner but it isn't all that much faster.

What you need to do is let us choose our OWN personal layout. Or do what google does and let you choose to keep the older layout even after they update. If this is server demanding let me know because if it isn't I want this implemented along with personalizing of the page layout.

If there was any other game in town I would think of going there but there isn't and you guys realize this. And because there really isn't any other site to use you can get away with any horrible site changes you want without fear of people leaving.
You can hide the header so it doesn't tale up any space. There is a chevron at the bottom that collapses it when you click on it.
Letting people choose their own layout would turn this into the next MySpace. People think they can do better but it turns out that very few of them are actually graphic designers.
They're are other options, Lifehacker, hack-a-day, along with various sites specific to different topics.
The old search was pretty bad. It had no options to sort and refine results and unless you ran a search and then set it to graphical and ran it again the results were all over the place and frankly in accurate. As well as ugly due to Google putting in ads.

Your entitled to your opinion but you've just said you want everything to go back to how it was before which isn't constructive since it's not going to happen. And asking honestly: Why would they make "horrible site changes" just because they don't have many competitors? That makes no sense unless you're a Bond villain.
Header1.png
Saying changes ought to be reverted may be neither possible nor politic, but it is hardly unconstructive.
A general statement of "I wish everything would go back to how it was" is fine but just bringing everything in the update up individually and saying "Don't like it, hate it, horrible" is not constructive. Requesting, nay, demanding changes you know are impossible or implausible is not constructive because it doesn't help the product improve. The replay below is a little better because there's some explanation, but still a lot of generalized hate.
I repeat: strongly expressing dislike of all the changes may not be popular, and an expressed wish to revert them may have no chance of fulfillment, but neither are unconstructive.
I hate X = not constructive. I hate X because of Y = passably constructive (if Y is not idiotic). I hate X because of Y and it would be improved by Z = constructive (if Z is not impossible or idiot). He made it to the second one eventually. See tobe constructive it has to be helpful and impossible suggestions are not helpful. Next time someone asks you for constructive criticism tell them "I hated it and it should have been just like "
Ah it took out my brackets ... Just like (insert similar work by a leading professional) "
By own site layout I mean how each person sees it. Not each page is a different format chosen by the author. Legacy views are such a nice feature as well.

As for the no other game in town thing. Yeah you are the only game in town.
And from what I see you don't beta things with your audience. You just push random updates that may or may not go over well. And from what I have seen this isn't a good update.

The old graphical search was setup for COMPUTER MICE. The new one is beginning to look like search results for a TOUCHSCREEN. Now this is odd due to the fact that most people don't run FULL SITE on their tablets and that touchscreen monitors aren't very widespread on mid-range to low-end PCs.

As for the header it doesn't completely go away. It just retracts and wastes FEWER pixels. I don't like a white space at the top of my screen. It makes me think my monitor is dying..... AGAIN.
I see. Undoubtedly that would take a huge amount of storage because every page would have to stored in each possible format or it would really slow it down because a script would have to generate each page on a person by person basis. Also the site would never progress because the basic data on each page would have to stay the same or else info could be lost in different formats.
A mouse is more precise than a touchscreen so I'm not sure why that's a problem.
And to clarify, I'm not a member of the Instructables staff. I do wish they would beta or focus group but the updates aren't random, which again would be a terrible business model, they just have a few growing pains. After the update that changed the picture layout I was pretty heavily against it and made my displeasure known. A few months later I've come to see the intent and have seen it work well so this time around I'm giving the update the benefit of the doubt. I've still posted a pretty extensive list of minor issues and complaints but I've learned that just saying you hate everything gets you nowhere.
Have you considered stating your opinions, which are in themselves valid, in a more polite way?

"You need this, you need that"... no, actually they need no such thing. it's what you want, not what Instructables needs. Quite a different thing.
"I want this implemented" is fine to say... if you are the one paying for the changes. Are you?
Also the graphical search change is horrible. Give me the option to use the old graphical search setup.
bwrussell2 years ago
Here's some more good, bad, and ugly.
The "You" button is nice when it's dropped down but it is to small and should drop down on roll over or slide to the left into that blank space.
The front page is way too sparse. The ads are too big and running an ad blocker makes the first point even worse.

The new profile page is good overall. The addition of view count, type, and feature star (where applicable) is great. The list of followers and following wastes a lot o space to the right, having the items in 2-3 columns would look much better.
The new comment box is nice but it defaults too thin or needs to expand as the text does. Opening the rich editor after typing stills removes all paragraphs and a setting to default to the rich editor would be nice. The lack of rich editing in PMs seems to be an over site. I help a number of people with projects through PMs and not being able to link or format is frustrating.

The "following" header is actually nice, especially since it can be hidden, but it is very slow to load. If you scroll down before 5+ seconds it doesn't follow and then may or may not pop-in when it fully loads. The same goes for "Jump To" button. Speaking of the "jump To" button, it's status (open or closed) sticks. Meaning if you open it Instructable A it will be open in Instructable B and visa versa. Not sure if this is intentional but since it takes up screen space when it scrolls with the header it should default to closed. Also if you "Jump To Step 1" it doesn't account for the header when positioning the page so part of the step is covered. No more scrolling all the way up or down to change pages is nice though and I like how the jump to feature looks.

The "Step X" Banner on the picture is nice but I feel like it should be right above the picture and have the title of the step in it. This way if a page has enough pictures to fill the landing page you don't have to scroll down to know what the step is. Alternatively the step title could display in the header. Also it seems like in view all mode (and on the first page because it combines two steps) that there isn't enough separation between steps, especially if there is an embedded video or image at the end of a step. Moving the Step X banner up and stretching it horizontally with the step title would help draw the line between steps.

Something small that really bugs me and I really hope gets changed is that when viewing an Instructable if you click the "Read More" link in the Bio it doesn't just expand the box which is what people will intuitively think (like clicking "Read More" does on the profile page), it takes you to the profile page. There are three links to the profile page within that one box. At the very least the "read more" link should open in a new tab.

I like how the vote button drops down all the contests but it seems like the little winner trophy should, at the very least be a link to the relevant contest and optimally it would also have either a click or mouse over drop down or text box that says what it was a winner in.

The new search is awesome, defaulting to the type of content you're viewing is a nice touch. The new browsing is also nice but I've never understood putting the "# per Page" setting at the bottom of the page. Since changing it reloads the page at the top you have to scroll through the first set again. I don't know about everybody else but I rarely think to scroll to the bottom and change that setting before I start. There's a perfect little spot at the top. Having "Recent" and "Featured" in the Popular Channels is redundant since they are also below. In fact clicking the link on top just activates the button below. Not really an issue but you could have a couple more categories displayed.

The extra stats on the Instructables have gone, but not in the forum apparently) but they never worked for me so no loss. Personally though I like stats so I hope there is something in the pipeline to fix and buff up the current stats system.

Overall this appears to be more good than bad and if some of the kinks get worked out it will be a real positive.
With a little more use:
The reply button is most useful at the bottom of a comment so you don't have to scroll all the to the top after reading.
The new way replies are arranged is unintuitive. A reply to a reply goes on the same indent and that can make a thread very hard to track because you're never quite sure who is talking to who. My guess is it's going to lead to a lot of @username "tagging" so people know who's talking to who.
Hack42Moem2 years ago
Here's some positive feedback, too: I like the new search. It's much improved. You can now choose to search Instructables, Forum or Answers. (I still don't understand the difference between forum and Q&A, but that's a different matter).

I've also noticed I can now see Ratings without having to allow Facebook to run javascript. Another improvement.
Wow, I can even see the Favourite button now! Thanks for that!
Forum: more general chatter & debate, active topics stay at the top of the list.

Q&A: less interactive between posters - a question is asked, answers are given. In theory, the questions are technical in nature, focussing on Making, but in practice we get a lot of questions about homework and the opposite gender. No bumping is possible.
Okay, but the forum has Burning Questions, which seems to overlap.
Burning Questions is a relic of history - there used to be "Burning Questions" contests where members posted projects that matched the questions asked by visitors, or that matched the most common search-strings that brought visitors here. (That is the origin of my Whiskey Still project, for instance).
That does explain it. An internet fossil!
(No, not you... Burning Questions.)
WAAAAAAY too much empty space.
Not at all impressed by the new "You" button, it's so small it seems as if it's almost apologizing for being there at all, I really don't see why so many sites seem to think they need to look like Facebook, the old shortcut bar did a perfectly good job, was simpler to navigate & to be frank it's not like you don't have the space for it now is it?
How long I wonder before the "awesome changes" one day leave the pages so "simple" that we are presented with a blank screen.
+1 to the space. It looks like I've accidentally loaded a mobile version. Also the ad size is way to big. They take up a large percentage of the landing view and if you're running an ad blocker, as I suspect a large number are, then there is even more white space.
Jayefuu2 years ago
I like that I can now have 90 per page on the explore page!
randofo Jayefuu2 years ago
Me too.
Jayefuu randofo2 years ago
Though it would be nice if it were set by the URL not javascript, I can't bookmark it set to 90 at the moment :(
M3G2 years ago
Is it just me, or have the ratings on instructables disappeared? I can't see them, did they get moved from the "about this instructable" section or have they been done away with? I can see that this page has a four star rating but I can't see something like that on the instructables.
WWC2 years ago
I used to use the random feature, but its not there anymore. Why did we loose that?
Hack42Moem2 years ago
I'm not happy with all the gradients and shadows. They're all the rage now. Must we really be like all other pages on the web? This site used to be crisp and, well, different.

Also, the default window for commenting is ridiculously small.

Lastly, I'm not a fan of the way the pictures for my Instructables are now shown on my user page. Did you really have to crop even more off?
"Lastly, I'm not a fan of the way the pictures for my Instructables are now shown on my user page. Did you really have to crop even more off?"

Oh god, I didn't notice that. I spent ages cropping mine so they looked perfect square, and now they all look naff. :(
Kiteman Jayefuu2 years ago
Huh...

Oh! They're all off-centre!
Jayefuu Kiteman2 years ago
No, they're no longer 1:1 ratio.
Kiteman Jayefuu2 years ago
:-(
ewilhelm2 years ago
Could you please be more specific? Perhaps upload an image of how you'd layout the page? Thanks!
See my comment for an example.
I have to say I miss the buttons for "Recent" "Featured" etc for each category on the front page, I want to choose for myself where I want to go not be forced to the featured items every time I go into a category, there is a ton of empty space on the front page why take away a navigation option & as a result reduce the usability of the site AGAIN.
The images on the category pages are way too big, with so much white in the background they are harsh on the eye & for members with slower connections (believe it or not there are people out there who don't have super high speed connections folks) will take an age to load, slower loading means reduced hit rates folks.
I think the pictures are too big. For example, this well illustrated Ible, seen in single page view
http://www.instructables.com/id/ControlBox-An-internet-connected-knob-to-control/
......is about three miles long, with the huge pictures and you reach the "TL-DR" stage very quickly.
I absolutely agree.
The blank space may make for a more aesthetically pleasing look, but when you're trying to move around the site it's the ease of navigation which matters, and with the new picture size and 'wasted' space this means many more mouse clicks.  The large images on the 'explore' page especially makes scanning recent Instructables much slower.
Why waste so much margin on the left and right ?
Hoopajoo2 years ago
I agree. I much preferred the 5 smaller images to the 3 huge ones per row. It made scanning over the new instructables much easier and time efficient when with a single spin of my mouse wheel I could browse 20 instructables compared to just 3 now. Also, the comment typing area is ridiculously tiny for those who type in-depth comments. It's just fine for those who only comment 'IDK, LOL!!11!' , but for those of us who wish to convey our thoughts a little more completely, it makes preview far more difficult. Yes, I know there is a preview button, but I know I'm not alone in preferring to proof-read while I type.
I have to politely say I agree, it just feels a bit harder to navigate, the old look is more suiting.
kelseymh2 years ago
Which Web page? If you're talking about this one in particular, I completely agree.
caitlinsdad2 years ago
Did you join in the morning, came back in the afternoon and noticed the changes and made your comparison on the basis of that? Suckage needs to be quantified here. And cite examples for your argument.