Instructables

Not crazy about the new picture layout.

It's been a few days now & I've viewed quite a few things in that time both on my laptop & mobile and having given it some thought and a few days to get used to it I have to say that the new picture layout really does not tick the boxes for me.
I can understand the desire to improve the layout where possible & I can understand wanting to show off the pictures at their best but it has been done at the cost of ease of use of the site.
it works fine on 'ibles with only two or three pictures to a step but what seems to have been forgotten is that many 'ibles have a large number of pictures to each step meaning that the viewer has to scroll through all the pictures before getting to any text then scroll all the way back up again to refer to any pictures being described, on some 'ibles this may not be a problem but on many others I predict it will.
The reason for the change has been given that "We wanted something that emphasizes your images in a format that is a bit more contemporary." which is all very well but I feel that the end result may well be that many images get overlooked altogether in an effort to get to the actual text of the 'ible & some 'ibles may simply get clicked away from because viewer's get tired of scrolling through image upon image to find out just what the 'ible is really about, I know I have already been guilty of this on at least one occasion in the last few days.
I guess if the layout remains members will have to bear this in mind & decide on that basis how many images they will use but I can see 'ibles that have large numbers of images particularly in the introduction getting fewer repeat visits than when we could simply click & choose the images we wanted to view in greater detail.
If I were able to choose between the old layout & the new one both to view & create 'ibles  I'm afraid I have to say that based on what I have seen over the last few days I would choose the old layout.
i appreciate that HQ is constantly looking for ways to improve the site & a lot of hard work & thought is put into these things but on this occasion for me at least it has had a negative impact.

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wilgubeast2 years ago
New release went out today to address one of the primary concerns raised in this thread. There should now be a "show more pictures" button that limits the number of photos shown when viewing all steps. As always, if you find a bug, please send it over to the bugs forum for fun and profit.
The 21/8/12 mod is a definite improvement, after breaking the old functionality. I'm not sure if it goes far enough yet, but the next few days should tell us.
I think the cropping rules still need work...
Jayefuu makendo2 years ago
I pointed this out at the time. I was told it would rarely be an issue. It's really, really annoying.
Attmos2 years ago
I had never thought about it that way but what you're saying does make some sense. I love having all the big pictures to look at, but when really trying to use an 'Ible with a lot of pictures it's difficult scrolling back and forth to read and reference pictures. Maybe a happy medium of ,say 5 best pictures displayed outright per step. Then all pictures after five be displayed in the old style.
crapsoup2 years ago
i like the new style.
I like it too.
"About:I am an Intern here at Instructables and I have a lot of fun! "

astroturfing....
I was under the impression this forum topic was created so people could post their opinions about the new layout I don't see why my working for Instructables has anything to do with it. I didn't say "I work for Instructables and I think their new layout is perfect." I simply said that I like it too and I do. I think it is a nice way to see Photo Instructables.
Staff feedback !== user feedback.
I, personally, find it insulting that my opinion is being discounted purely on the basis of which room I happen to be in when I express it, and I wouldn't be surprised if Penoloply felt the same way, but is (now that I've met her) just too nice to say so.
I agree. People don't check their opinions at the door to harmoniously become a "yes-man" when they take employment or become affiliated in any way with a company. I've never been shy to give my opinion in a medium that is discussing business decisions, nor have I ever been in a situation where my opinion would be deemed less important than those who use the services provided. There should be no exception here at Instructables.
That's not the point. By definition, the opinions on a product of employees/affiliates of the company that produced it are not external to the company. It should be intuitive why this is so, and why outside opinions are necessary and vital.
Dismissing the official opinion of the Company is one thing, but to dismiss everyone's opinion (including Interns and CT) is going too far. I fail to see why someone like Penolopy couldn't have an opinion contrary to her place of employment, however it just so happens that she (along with many others) like the change. Same goes for the Development Team. Its not unheard of for employees to make changes that they don't like or agree with. You do them because its your job and you don't contribute to a forum with your high regard for it as a result. So what's necessary and vital is the opinions of the collective group. To infer by your opinion, that someone who's been a member for a month can provide a more credible assessment of this site, than a staff member, Intern or CT makes no sense. The truly ironic part of most of the complaints on this page is they are not even talking about their own Instructables. They've taken the stance to complain for other members who haven't complained. As I had said before (in another comment), I would be more interested in hearing the complaints of members who's Instructables have been ruined as a result of this change.
To infer by your opinion, that someone who's been a member for a month can provide a more credible assessment of this site, than a staff member, Intern or CT makes no sense.

That depends: if you want to know how casual visitors experience the site the opinion of someone who is new is probably more representative.

When I first tried using the site, I ran into all kinds of bugs and stuff that's counterintuitive as pluck; right now, all of that is getting harder and harder to notice and point out because I've gotten used to it. But the bugs are still there. And they may very well make newcomers give up.
If that's the case, I can say that the member who's been here (not quite) a month, likes the change. Penolopy simply acknowledged the new member (since no one else did) by saying that she liked the change too and it became a big debate over who's opinions were important. She's a genuinely nice person who takes the time to make new members feel welcome and it was unnecessarily rude of anyone to make her feel any less welcome.
Using that site as a response / argument invites a person to use it back at you (which I could). However, it wouldn't achieve anything, it would just prolong pointless-bickering.
Interesting reading though, my sister would like it.

L
I would be honestly interested to see which logical fallacy you think I have committed in the course of the conversation.

I don't think pointing out fallacies is a fallacy.
If I take your post of a link to be part of a debate / discussion, or otherwise an argument, then I could interpret it as follows:
(But you should really define what you meant more clearly, because I'm guessing here)

>fallacy-fallacy - you post the link to imply or accuse a logical-fallacy for the purpose of establishing it to be wrong.
>tu-quoque - "You avoided having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser - you answered criticism with criticism" - yes?
> ad-hominem - You attacked your opponent's character or personal traits instead of engaging with their argument.

L
I was saying Canuck's last paragraph was an appeal to emotion, not a valid argument against the comments she's disliking.

> Not applicable. I didn't say "this argument contains a fallacy, therefore the whole thing is wrong," I said "this argument contains a fallacy."

> No. I didn't turn anything on the accuser. I pointed out a fallacy - hardly "answering criticism with criticism."

> Pointing out a person's logical fallacy is the exact opposite of an ad hominem.

You can't very well declare that pointing out someone's faulty logic is itself indicative of a logically unsound position...
"I was saying Canuck's last paragraph was an appeal to emotion, not a valid argument against the comments she's disliking."

There was only one paragraph. If you meant sentence, then my last sentence was not fallacious.

Fact: Penolopy IS a genuinely nice person.

Fact: She takes the time to make new members feel welcome.

Fact: Being rude to her was unnecessary.

Where's the fallacy?
In short: in responding to a logical argument with irrelevant issues of etiquette/emotion (you're being rude/mean).

Ah, yes, I wrote that after scrolling down. I seem to have imagined a line break that wasn't there.

On to substantive issues:

First, "facts" one and two are actually opinions (not to mention that "fact" three includes the assumption that I was rude to her).

I made a logical argument. I assumed you were responding to my argument, which seemed to me a reasonable enough assumption. If your comment was meant to imply that my argument is unsound or that I am in the wrong logically, then the last comment to which I refer simply appealed to emotions (stop being mean to her! She's nice and you're unnecessarily rude!) rather than making an actual argument.

If, however, you're not claiming any sort of formal logical basis for quibbling with my position (and merely querulous issues of etiquette), there's no logical fallacy (just an irrelevant comment).
Do you agree with my previous statement : "However, it wouldn't achieve anything, it would just prolong pointless-bickering."?

L
I don't really agree that the (so-far) civil discussion we've (as in you/I/Canucks) been having is "pointless bickering." However, if you and/or canucks do, or don't wish to converse anymore, I'm fine with stopping.
What is the point?
It seems to be about a person's character, and I can't see anyone winning arguments around that.

"Penolopy Bulnick says: I like it too" is where we started, and look where we've got from differing opinions on what/why. It's not good.

L
actually, I started this pointless debate by saying I liked the new style. I really wish i hadn't, because now i get an email every day updating me on all the new complaints added to it. I think,Hey,maybe I got a comment from someone who checked out something I did, but all I find is more replies to this conversation.why is it every time i seem to come into a forum type environment, it always turns out to be people arguing over the smallest things. Everyone replying to this post has spent way to much of there free time getting nowhere, Including me. So be a pal, if you Still want to reply to this or any other comment above, do me a favor and post a fresh comment instead. Thanks a lot and I hope you all choose to find better things to do with your time.
I was trying to "turn it down" (people arguing over the smallest things) - You could post a topic on "threads being hijacked" (because now i get an email every day-) I just delete them, but other people may appreciate the value of your experience.

L
I too notice that Penolopy  takes the time to make new members feel welcome, and I would say that is part of the internship.
Your comment reminded me that she usually uses at least one exclamation mark in comments, so maybe she isn't that enthusiastic about the new layout after all (in saying only "I like it too")?

L
Lol! I was trying to reply to crapsoup without drawing attention to myself. Guess you could say that didn't work.
Sorry about that.
You should have nothing to feel sorry about. :-)
Yes, it's hard to keep a low-profile with all these sharp-eyed people about...

L
Whoa, I was speaking of 'someone who's been a member for a month' in a very general sense, not thinking of anyone in particular. If anyone, I was thinking of myself, being a new member.

I don't doubt that Penolopy is a nice person, I'm not sure why you are telling that she is. And I don't want to get into all this stuff about who has been rude or nice to whom.
I just want to give my opinion on the new layout and the way it's been discussed here. That's all.
I am not dismissing everyone's opinion.

I am saying there is an inherent conflict of interest here.

Because there _is_.
I, personally, find it insulting that 1) people claim not to see the difference and 2) the "I'm insulted" card is being used to shut down discussion.
I'm not trying to shut it down, I just don't want my personal opinion dismissed as worthless, or to be classified as some sort of corporate shill, just because I happen to be posting from a particular location, and at the same time, these people are complaining that they are not being respected!

Why is the individual opinion of any of the nay-sayers worth more than mine?

As far as I am aware, the only people who actively dislike this new format are on this topic, and the majority of the views registered for this topic are down to the posters on the topic, rather than other members who are interested in the topic.

Do the maths - a handful of members don't like it, versus hundreds of thousands visitors who have started staying longer, and reading more projects, since the change, then the conclusion is obvious; the change is going to stay.

All if which is a long way of saying, I'm not trying to shut the topic down, I'm simply not going to stay part of it. If anybody else wants to join in, they're welcome.
Strawmen.

I neither dismissed your personal opinion as worthless, nor classified you as a corporate shill, nor said your opinion counts as less than someone else's.

But I DID say that staff opinions don't count as user opinions. They are _staff opinions_. As such, they don't go in the same box as "user opinions."

Staff !== regular users.

I don't understand why that's a controversial statement. It's actually definitional. You don't count as non-affiliated when you're affiliated, and I hope you're not questioning the necessity or usefulness of non-affiliated opinions.

And who's complaining that they are not being respected? Certainly none of the posters on the thread who dislike the format.

>the only people who actively dislike this new format are on this topic

Actually, no. I have spoken with several more (apparently, a statement worthy of much weight).

>Do the maths

So, you do have the data?
You don't see why working for Instructables has anything to do with it ?

Really ?

Most, if not all, of us are talking about step-by-steps, where the flow has broken down in the content/context ., not photo-ibles.
I, personally, like seeing all the photos for both photo and step-by-step Instructables.
Nostalgic Guy (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
I'm not sure you will feel the same way when you are trying to view an 'ible with a large number of step images & you find yourself scrolling up & down constantly to refer back to the relevant images.
Nor am I sure you will feel the same when you try to view step by step 'ibles on a mobile device & find you can't see any image comments & you are constantly opening images you didn't intend to.
As Steveastrouk says most if not all the comments here are referring to the negative impact the update has had on step by step 'ibles. the flow & ease of viewing whilst reading has been entirely lost.
I'm fairly sure that the lack of positive comments is more down to the twin facts that few people go onto forums to praise changes, and those that have don't want the same sort of reception that Penoloply got.
Jayefuu Kiteman2 years ago
+1.

Call me biased if you really want, but in truth I'm as critical of HQ as most, but less angry and more constructive about it. I think the new image layout changes are for the better. Flawed in a few cases, but I think the idea of moving away from users just using secondary images as a dumping ground is a good idea. I do hope they fix the excessive images for past Ibles though, and the non-standard width:height cropping issues.

One last point... it's not a democracy, it's a business. They'll make decisions based on Google analytics stats not minority power user's ranty views.
Y'know, at some point, accusing everyone who disagrees of "ranting" stops being annoying and verges toward gaslighting.
I don't think that comment was aimed at "everyone", do you?
I think the comment was aimed at multiple people holding the opposite opinion, given the plurality of "views."
Nostalgic Guy (author)  Jayefuu2 years ago
I'm not angry although being accused of it can raise my ire.
I want to be constructive but again it is difficult when someone has decided for me that I use secondary images as a dumping ground, that everyone has the equipment & skills to produce higher quality images & the assertion that it is OK to completely disregard so many peoples hard work with comments like "there are some that are silly to the point of being unreadable" which the author presumably thought was witty.
Personally I found it crass & insulting to all the members whose work provides the vast majority of content for the site, the content which brings people to the site. the content that makes it worthwhile paying to advertise on the site, the content that pays directly that authors wages because without it there would be no content, no site, no advertisers & no job.
I for one am fully aware it is a business & as such don't expect a vote of the entire membership every time someone wants to make a change, however having been involved in the constant development of not one but three sites when I worked in IT I am also aware that digging in of heels, ignoring criticism & disregarding negative impact IS NOT the way to impress or satisfy your customers.
That is why we beta tested everything on a variety of people not involved in the IT team & quite a number of whom were not even our own employees, if anything showed ANY negative impact it was shelved until it could be made to work properly not just rolled out & to the devil with the consequences.
I don't think your name was mentioned RE dumping secondary images. You not being guilty of that though, does not make others not guilty of it. Many do. I certainly do. I think the new layout will encourage me to use secondary images better, that's why I like the new layout. I would go back and correct my old Instructables, but Wilgubeast has already said that they're looking in to adding a "More Images" button to cut the flow off after several large pictures. It sounds to me, contrary to your accusations, like they're listening.

RE satisfying customers. The vocal ones on the forum (you, me, 10 others) are probably less than 0.0001% of users. And likely 0.001% of authors. True, many unhappy users may have not liked the change and chosen to put up with it, but with a user base where the majority are internet users passing through once or twice, the best way to tell if a feature is beneficial is to make the change and see how it affects traffic. A tonne of features that people are now happy to use and love were unpopular at the time. They stayed because they increased traffic. Have you seen a screenshot of the site from 1, 2 or 3 years ago? The changes to the front page caused a far bigger fuss than this, from a tiny tiny tiny proportion of the user base.

"Guilty" ? Of a new offence. Its rare that you can be retrospectively guilty.
Irrelevant much?
Well hardly, you've just branded a whole chunk of your user base as "guilty" of doing something that they did to illustrate their work, and which, through no fault of their own is now deprecated, so you are effectively, like Wilgubeast, making fun of them, pointing at them and saying their stuff doesn't look good and they ought to do something about it.

If the "view secondary images" option happens, it will certainly help fix it.
I made 2 instructalbes it the time it to this conversation to happen....and i still like the new layout.
That cornbread looks tasty :)
thanks
Nostalgic Guy (author)  Jayefuu2 years ago
When you use a phrase like "I think the idea of moving away from users just using secondary images as a dumping ground is a good idea." you don't have to name people you are casting a generalisation.
Even if some members do dump less worthy images into secondary positions it does not justify ruining the work of so many who have created detailed step by step 'ibles such as Velomobile which I recall as being a very impressive & highly detailed step by step that was well illustrated & had a flow of image & text to be envied, now it is clumsy difficult to follow & I for one would have enormous difficulty replicating in it's current state.
I have to disagree with your idea that "best way to tell if a feature is beneficial is to make the change and see how it affects traffic" a feature can never be beneficial if it comes at the cost of damaging existing content, once again you are working on the principle that everything that is past is irrelevant.
I was here 1, 2 & 3 years ago, I have seen changes come I have also seen them go, at least some of those that went did so because the members made their feelings known.
My issue is not with a change in format my issue is with the way it has been done, the complete lack of options for the users, the damage it has done to existing content & the apparent ease with which HQ seems to be able to shrug off that damage without a care.
Who said I was angry ?
Exactly.
Fine. See how you like this one
http://www.instructables.com/id/the-S1-bullpup-bolt-action-remov-mag-rifle/step1/build-the-gun/

Now, integrate reading the text instructions with looking at the photos of the construction process.
wilgubeast2 years ago
We hear you. Despite having one of my projects rendered almost unreadable by the image layout change, I really like the new image layout. Many projects look better, many more look spectacular, and there are some that are silly to the point of being unreadable (like mine was before I moved some images around.)

There is a subtle, but important, change behind the new layout. Previously, we treated secondary images as second-class parts of an Instructable -- you had to click to find them, sometimes the thumbnails weren't even visible, and we even required visitors to log in to see them full size. This sent the clear message that only the primary image of the step was important, and secondary images could be ignored or treated as a dumping ground for images that weren't quite good enough to use as a primary. 

I know I used secondary images in this way, and often didn't even crop or color correct them. Now, all the images of a step are visible, and they must each work to advance the story being told in the Instructable. Some images are given more weight than others, and, depending on the order of the images and their aspect ratios, authors have control over this weighting (it is not random; authors will figure it out and we can publish the cropping rules). Overall, this is good for all Instructables authors because it makes their Instructables more dynamic and forces them to think about how each image helps tell the story.

This change is good for the site, though there will be some growing pains as authors learn to meaningfully incorporate photos into each step. We acknowledge that a few projects don’t look so great after the change, and that some authors won’t want (or be able to) edit older projects to fit the new layout. As such, we’re looking into the possibility of making only a few extra rows by default and then an option to "see more images" at the bottom. (I can’t promise anything beyond “we’ll look into it” without frenzy going into a, well, frenzy.)

A great project will still be a great project. The fundamental showing and telling is still there, we’re just emphasizing the show a bit more.
I'm sorry you're unfairly taking the brunt of the displeasure here but as one of the only staff members responding this seems to be our best way to be heard.

Seems a little odd to ask the members to figure out the cropping rules themselves but I guess unsurprising since the new format was rolled out without fanfare. They should definitely be posted, the best place would be on the editing page itself.

I totally disagree about how the secondary images were viewed. The left to right thumbnails gave a structure and flow to each step. The beginning of the step was on the left, the end of the step was on the right. The words and images worked together to tell the story. You could easily read the text and view the secondary images. I never thought of the other pictures as "secondary" or "less important". I added the pictures that were needed, no more no less. Now that functionality is lost, unless the author makes every secondary image large which defeats the purpose, because you have to click the images which opens a window over the text.

If you go to a format where images after a couple of rows are hidden then that is a complete contradiction to the stated reason for the new format, "Previously, we treated secondary images as second-class parts of an Instructable -- you had to click to find them, sometimes the thumbnails weren't even visible, and we even required visitors to log in to see them full size. This sent the clear message that only the primary image of the step was important, and secondary images could be ignored or treated as a dumping ground for images that weren't quite good enough to use as a primary. "

In the end I think this change, in it's current state, only will benefit the top 10% of Instructables posters. Those with nice cameras, lots of free time, and higher than average computer skills will be able to produce great results but even missing on one of those areas makes the site less accessible. I have a nice camera and the necessary skills but I'm hard pressed to find the time as it is, let alone now that every single image must be edited and adding or removing a photo later means all the photo's on that step must be re-edited which in turn means you have to store all the original photos plus all the edited photos. The barrier of entry has been raised much to high and now the site is less accessible to the common user with a cell phone camera, limited photo editing knowledge and resources, and/or only a little free time for projects and posting. Personally I think any change should first be assessed on accessibility, "Does this change make it easier or harder for people to use our site?" is something that should be asked at every site development meeting.

Notice that every single poster in this thread is a PRO member, and all pretty active on the site, even outside of posting projects. On the Go Pro page where it lists the differences between the accounts it says: "Helping us to develop new features & publishing tools". Let us help you. In the future the staff should consider letting a group of active but normal (non-staff) users kick the tires and give feedback before release. We all want Instructables to be awesome, we want it to grow and to evolve, and in the end we are what makes the site successful, we are it's life blood. I hope you understand this is simply not the community resisting change, I think everyone here would love a new picture layout but it needs to work for how we use the site and it needs to add value across the board, not just to the power users.
Nostalgic Guy (author)  bwrussell2 years ago
A lot of good well articulated comments.
It seems to have been overlooked by many people that it is the members who provide the vast majority of the content of this site.
Unhappy members will post little & if they feel their work is likely to be spoiled again in the future by an ill conceived & poorly executed update they are unlikely to post anything, not a scenario that will attract too many sponsors or advertisers.
At least a beta testing group would ensure that they people who are as you say the life blood of the site get represented; as I said in an earlier reply I used to run a tech support department & was heavily involved in the beta testing of our sites, part of that testing involved members of staff chosen from every sector of the company & every level of IT skill.
Any group doing this for Instructables should I think follow similar rules but also involve every possible device for viewing the site as well as image capturing devices ranging from mobile phones through to state of the art digital SLR's.
The issue here isn't "does it work?" (because it does). The issue is that some members don't like it, and some projects have ended up looking silly in the new format.

I believe that one positive aspect of the change will be that members pay more attention to their extra photos; rather than dumping a dozen or more in the introduction, they'll consider how best to tell the story of the Make with more carefully chosen images.

When the cropping rules get sorted out, I will also be incorporating them into my "How to write an Instructable" instructable, for easy reference.
Except in this context, that of design, "work" is actually a function of greatest user preference.
In that case, the number of people I have spoken to face-to-face that like the new format outnumbers the number of people on this thread that dislike it...
Surely as a scientist you would not advance anecdotal observations by one person as evidence...
This is not anecdotal at all - I simply counted the number of people who have expressed a preference, subtracted the number of people who have expressed a dislike, and I was left with a positive number.

It was you who used the phrase greatest user preference, after all (unless you think the users in the office don't count?).

Waitaminute - yes, it is anecdotal! You specifically mentioned the people you talked to face-to-face outnumbered the people in the thread who disliked it. If that's not anecdotal I have no idea what qualifies as such.
Both are countable by third parties, and (from where I sit) there's no hear-say involved.

Still, this is a bootless discussion for us both, since both those samples are greatly outnumbered by the number of anonymous visitors and members who are ststing on the site longer since the change.
Staying on the site longer perhaps because it takes longer to process all the images, both during the download and during the user's analysis of the content ? Can you disprove that with your maths ?

Picture rich pages HAVE to take longer to load now.
Unclear wording on my part. "Staying longer" = "looking at more of the site".

In the case of the mobile version, looking at an average of 50% more of the site (and the vast majority of mobile users arrive by search - the only significant change that coincides with the increase is the image-layout change.

So where they once looked at two pages, they now look at three ? Is that because the new layout means they have HAD to look at more pages, or they WANTED to look at more pages ?
Of course there's no hearsay involved from where you sit - you're the one making the claim!

This is anecdotal to the core. How is an outside party supposed to actually verify that claim? They can't. They have to take everyone at their word. There's no proof.

If it's bootless, why bring it up?
Not the way I count it (even if you include staff). 0_o It's 2:1 against! 10 people express that the change is bad/not practical/whatever. 5 defend it, all of whom, by the way, are staff or FT - excuse me, CT - (or similar).

I said "anecdotal" because I assumed you must be referring to in-person interactions and counting them as positive feedback. (To be clear, count me firmly against; I find the change terrible - it makes me not want to read about any project I click on).

I DO think users in the office don't count. They're hardly outside or unaffiliated. Of course they don't count if you're trying to see what the users like best. That's a bit like citing your mother in a job interview - there's an inherent problem, even though she knows you better than anybody.
That last paragraph is disingenuous - you know for a fact that being CT does not mean toeing the line, and the same applies to staff. It's a big group now, and has never been made up of Eric's yes-men.

Just because disagreements are not played out in the forums, that does not mean they do not happen.
No, it is not. (And no, I definitely don't, but for reasons I outline below that's largely irrelevant.) I've leveled no such accusations against you - ever, to my knowledge - and would appreciate the same courtesy. Just because you strongly disagree with me does not mean I am being disingenuous.

First, by my count more staff than CT weigh in favorably. So I'm speaking more to actual employees than CT. Secondly, you don't need to think that being on the CT means toeing the line to think that CT and staff cannot provide unbiased opinions.

You're a scientist - is peer-reviewed research reviewed by the same team that originally did it? Of course not. Why? Because being on a research team for your own project means you're a yes-man? Not necessarily (though that conceivably could be part of it), but because even the most honest, ethical, well-meaning researchers are too close. They're too close, and they have a vested interest in positive reviews of their work, whether they consciously know/admit it or not. Their opinions and work are counted in the original project and their defense of it - but that defense doesn't count as peer-reviewal, as outside approval.

Same principle here.
You don't think that your current place of employment might be a leeetle bit biased then ?

And you haven't addressed the EXISTING 'ibles rendered "rough looking"
True, but LiRa's point was about straight numbers.

Regarding the 100,000 existing projects, what would you like to see happen?
Not precisely.

My point wasn't "see, all these people disagree on this thread." My point was "you can't say 'it's great except that a few nincompoops are nay-saying' because user preference can be expressed with far more than an outright comment of disapproval - altered traffic patterns, for instance. Not to mention that staffers expressing approval for the new design is *not* the same data as comments from end-users who have no affiliation with the site apart from using it.
Er, are you asking me for the numbers to prove it's working? I don't have those, not being staff.

I do know that the changes have had a massively positive improvement on the mobile site - most visitors that way arrive by search, so the format does not attract them in the first place, but, when they arrive, those visitors are looking at almost 50% more pages than a few days ago. That is an incredible increase in anybody's book.
You don't want to use comments, so what else can we use?

My point is about where you are drawing your sample from, and the political incorrectness of disagreeing with your management's usual view of everything always being "awesome"

What would I like to see ?

Options for viewing ! The user configurabilty of how you see the site hasn't changed since I became a pro member.

Also ONLINE editing tools (cropping ???) and decent library management for your pictures, like the ability to alter tags on the fly, an option to make your tag searches case sensitive, or partial.

ALSO just CAPTIONS for photographs, nice, simple, easy to do captions beneath.

All things I am sure the beta team, or, as the French would dub them, le team champignon, as opposed to le team champion have been actively considering.
PM
Nostalgic Guy (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Speaking for myself it was never about it not working because as you point out it does although I have more or less given up using my Galaxy s2 to view the site as at the moment it's a waste of time.
Nor is it about not liking it, I agree that some 'ibles do look great & provided they are created with the new layout in mind future 'ibles will doubtless look fine.
My problem is that so much time & hard work contributed by so many people has been affected in a very negative way & the only recognition of this has been a flippant remark that "there are some that are silly to the point of being unreadable" not something that many people would like to read if it were their work that looked silly.
Why couldn't an update that didn't have such a negative impact have been made? if such an update wasn't possible then why not keep the old 'ibles as they were & only implement the update on new contributions? or better yet introduce it as an option, so members could choose for themselves if they wanted their work presented this way?
As I have said a few times before I'm not resistant to change, I just feel that people who have put in so much time & effort should be treated fairly & not have that work dismissed so easily.
By the way in case anyone has been wondering I'm lucky, my own 'ibles don't look too bad under this layout so it's not sour grapes because my work has been spoiled.
As a whole, I don't think that many members have been adversely affected by the changes. I certainly haven't looked at everyone's ibles, but for the most part, I've seen very little to complain about other than some Instructables where the member placed a large number of photos to each step (perhaps a few more than were necessary). As you've pointed out, your ibles don't look bad. I've checked all of mine and I think they look fine and I don't see any need to change them.

That being said, I think there's room for some improvements (as outlined by wilgubeast), but I don't think its necessary to entirely dismiss the new layout. It seems to me that all the members that did spend the time to carefully create their Instructables are finding they are still more than acceptable now. If I'm wrong, then it would be nice to hear from those who have seen their ibles ruined by the change.
Yes, please do publish the cropping rules, including the rule that determines whether the image notes show up or not. Since long image notes are currently cropped on viewing pop-up images, do you also want us to learn how to meaningfully write short image notes?
If I read you correctly, if a photo is not of primary image standard, authors should not include them (even if they are otherwise informative or helpful)? I'm curious to know if this change is intended to reduce the number of images authors are uploading? Perhaps you can give us an example or two of instructables that now look spectacular with the new format, so we have an idea of what you're looking for.
To address some of your, and others', concerns:
  1. We're working on getting the cropping rules up in the forums.
  2. There should be some image notes bug fixes in the near future. (No timeline beyond "soonish", as there are only so many pokes the dev bear can stand.)
  3. Emphasizing images should encourage authors to take better photos. Curtailing photo uploads is the opposite of the result we want. Raising the bar for photos is in the best interest of readers and builders, and, as always, authors who use great photos will help their readers the most.
Here are a few projects that look pretty wonderful since the switch: Death by Oreo Cupcakes, Fatoush, and a Desktop CNC mill. One that looks kind of rough: S1 Bullpup K'NEX Rifle.


PS If you're reading a forum topic about a site redesign, considering the ramifications of photo layouts on other members, and wondering what the cropping rules are, chances are pretty good that you're a power user. Thanks for caring so much, everyone.
Hmm; yet all your paragons have relatively few secondary images. Like it or not, this design change tells your authors to provide fewer photos. I doubt anyone is going to publish anything in the style of jeff-o’s velomobile again, for example, yet it worked really well in the original incarnation. Looking at my instructables, I also suspect that you’ll need all photos to be in the same aspect ratio to ensure the “right” cropping behavior – the layout works fine for my two photo instructables, whose photos are either all square or all landscape. A bit Pinterest-y and uninformative for my liking, with text reduced to a footnote and the image notes largely deprecated, but they look pretty. In fact, given that photo instructables are more about showing off than showing how, there is no real need to include routine (if useful) photos in them anyway.

Authors will of course adapt quickly to the new rules but you’ve made many (at least of my) existing step-by-step projects look like a dog’s breakfast. For example, http://www.instructables.com/id/Loft-beds-with-bookshelf-ladders/ used to be a pretty nice looking project. All the photos taken were culled, processed, cropped, annotated etc., but most of them were never intended to be part of a casual read – they just illuminated some detail for someone who planned to actually try and make one. And now that project is an unsightly mess of boring, poorly cropped, randomly arbitrarily laid-out and largely note-free images, and is going to remain that way unless I go and redo or delete half the photos. That’s not likely – I care, but probably not that much…
I wouldn't go so far as to say that your Instructable looks like "a dog's breakfast". I just looked at it for the first time today and I don't think its that bad.

In my opinion, what your Instructable does is demonstrate a point that wilgubeast said about secondary images and how the change was intended to give equal value to ALL images and not just the main image of each step.

It took me a little time to get use to the change but now, I actually prefer the idea of Instructables that include well thought out images instead of a bunch of supplementary images that were largely buried in a string of thumbnails that you had to click on just to view. In some cases those images weren't even worth the time to click on, so if it nudges members into doing a little editing then I don't think the new layout is a bad thing.
Yes, but most people will have designed their ibles so that secondary images are SECONDARY to the main images, and are there to support, if needed, the main image. Forcing people to see them, and increasing screen clutter is a GUI no-no.

Steve
I can appreciate the fact that some members might be upset that their secondary images are now on full display, but I think there are relatively simple solutions. It will require some minor editing and moving them to a final step (in a step-by-step Instructable) given a title of "Supplementary Images". I know not every single member is going to be open to editing their Instructables, but if they are really bothered by the change, in my opinion, adding a step and moving those secondary images isn't an overwhelming task (just one that each member has to decide for themselves).

Again, in my opinion, this change has had more positive affects than negative and I've been able to read through Instructables at a much faster rate than before as I'm not having to open an endless string of images that the author is referencing. That alone is a huge bonus! (imo). :-)
It also murders the site load time, and the amount of data to be served. Even on my obscenely fast new line this
http://www.instructables.com/id/Facet-V1-Velomobile/

Is taking over a minute to load. The site boast 800,000 users.
I must have a better than average internet speed as the page loaded up rather quickly for me. It is a long scroll to go through the project, but that's because it looks like a rather involved build to begin with. So maybe I'm not the best person to judge loading times...

Cool project though (don't know why I hadn't seen it before)... o_0
Its further from SF to UK than Vancouver ? ;-)

Dunno, but it illustrates the point. I think. Can you readily see how many MB a page "is" when it downloads ?
I ran a test through a website in Amsterdam for that ible (all steps)... Here's the results page.
AH, nice, and potentially useful link. TY
Indeed it is. YW. :)
Nostalgic Guy (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
I remember looking at that 'ible & being really impressed, I would love to see anybody build one from it now.
I'm not that ambitious at the moment (regardless of the presentation). :P
Nostalgic Guy (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
1. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to prepare the cropping rules page to coincide with the update not as an afterthought.

2. Image notes have been a recurring problem on Instructables as long as I can remember, perhaps it would have been a good idea to fix them first before introducing yet more variables. (maybe the dev bear should have been poked harder on this subject a long while ago.)

3. Emphasising images will only encourage authors who are able to produce better photos to do so, raising the bar for photos may well discourage many members from posting at all in the belief that their images are no longer of a high enough quality.

PS I started this forum topic because I do care as do many others a great deal about the ramifications of photo layouts on other members and all the time and hard work they have invested in their past 'ibles. I could not in good conscience say nothing when so much work has been spoiled & in many cases completely ruined by this update.
The first one has five pictures, pretty pictures, uncommented, but pretty.

The second I cannot comment on, apart from thank you.

The third is now just cluttered with images.

The fourth is only a "bad to look at" ible by your NEW standards. In the old system, it was a great, detailed Ible, where the user could review all the detailed build. Now, you say it "looks kind of rough"

You STILL haven't addressed the EXISTING 'ible issue. All the Ibles now branded "kind of rough" are going to stay like that.

Why SHOULD you "encourage authors to take better photos" ? Members use the equipment at their disposal, at the time they make their 'Ible, they aren't produced professionally. I strongly suspect your new format will discourage posting - "it looks crap with 20 pictures, I'd better only post one per page.". It certainly discourages me from having more than one.

If you're having cropping rules, please give us all on-line cropping/preview tools, so we can see the effects before we post.
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