Instructables

The Clinic

Welcome to the clinic, a place to get help and constructive criticism on your projects. Here's a brief intro on what it is, written by AngryRedhead:

"Some Instructables don't get the attention that they deserve. Many times the reason boils down to presentation, and if the presentation is off in one way or another, an Instructable might flop no matter how wonderful the project is. The presentation of an Instructable requires a certain set of skills which involve story telling, technical writing, planning, and photography. Even the most experienced technical writers and photographers still benefit from an edit or an outside opinion. As an author, it's difficult to see the flaws and errors because your thoughts and experience fill the gaps that might leave readers puzzled. It happens to every author.

If you feel you have an Instructable that isn't getting the attention that it deserves and you would like some ideas on how to improve its presentation, please post a link to it! We're not here to tear it apart or to tell you that you're the most horrible, stupidester person in the whole wide world. We're here to give you ideas for improvement and hopefully get you more attention and recognition for your project ideas. Think of this like editing or proofreading which is something everyone needs regardless of experience, intellect, and knowledge.

If you would like ideas on taking your idea to the next level and making it bigger and more awesomer, please say that you would like this extra advice. You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best instructables have."

So... that's what this forum topic's for. There's a team of seasoned Instructables authors watching this topic, waiting to give you help!



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Kiteman3 years ago

Starting your first Instructable?

Then you need to read this how-to guide.
(Please remember that comments here are the opinions of those making the comments, and do not guarantee that your work will be Featured or win a contest.)

Well new i'ble - http://www.instructables.com/id/Absolute-Beginner...

Any comments or suggestions to make it feature worthy?

It did get featured, good job!

Silly me, I didn't mean that one... It was this http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-Ard...

Soooo sorry for the mistake :(

Totally fine!

Umm, on the solar powered one, I went to your page to check the recent and straight away I saw it, it stood out but not quite in a good way - I mean, all your other 'ibles have amazing thumbnail images - the first thing I would do is change it out to a different one (if possible).

Apart from that I didn't really see any other inconsistencies in it :)

I'm so bad in choosing thumbnail images... Like... Why doesn't it stand out in a good way? I've got another worthy image in the intro and the last step... will that work?

Oh and on the images in the intro and the last step - I personally would re-do them or at least take a new one for the thumbnail.

But that is me - you are different and so is everyone else.

Oh and on the images in the intro and the last step - I personally would re-do them or at least take a new one for the thumbnail.

But that is me - you are different and so is everyone else.

Compared to your other intro images, this is a little below.

I would start by making a kind of electronics background - it's hard to explain.

What I saw in the thumbnail was the following:

An interesting window, a holey tablecloth (lots of holes).

And then I see a round device that I have no idea what it is so I do either of the following:

Click it and satisfy my curiosity

Or I would check the view count (1.4K) and bypass it

Or I would check the view/favourites rate (1 per 51 people) and bypass it again.

It would only be curiosity that would bring me in but I am different.

Maybe take a photo of it on your bedroom window with the solar panel visible pointing out the window and maybe a few cords but not too much, the clock needs to be the main focus.

I just reached the last step of your 'ible and realised your "window" is actually a solar panel XD I totally thought it was a window until like 10 seconds ago...

Otherwise, your photos of the wiring and diagrams are clear, the finished product photos could do with a little improvement imho.

Don't take all of what I say as total straight speaking, I only have an 8% feature rate myself (mind you, I have 105 'ibles!).

Hope you get featured again,

JM1999

Yes... This Instructables - http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-Ard...

Definitely needs some improveimprovement, though I dunno how :/ any help is appreciated :)

Hey, would be great to have some feedback on my first Ible to make my next one better.

http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Backlit-Sign-1/

It is awesome and the editors think so too - it got featured!

I don't know what you could do to improve, the qualities are there - keep building :)

Wow! It just made it to the Instructables Homepage!

I guess I don't need to improve anything major then.

Thanks for your time, I'm working on another Ible at the moment! ^_^

JM19992 days ago

Any suggestions on one of my latest 'ibles please?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Anti-Gravity-Eddy-...

anouskadg5 days ago

Does anyone have any idea as to why my MIDI Arduino Drums Instructable was not featured?

Thanks in advance :)

mgandm59 days ago

Could someone please tell me which of these cover photos would be better. If you can think of a better idea for a photo, please let me know. The instructable I want to use is here: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-SnowboardSnows...

image.jpgimage.jpg

My personal preferance would be the one with the person. But I think the one with just the red board and the snow is more clear, since the other one doesn't have the board on the picture. If you have a picture with a person on the board, I'd go for that one ;)

I like the one with just the red board and the snow :) just my personal preferance

Do any of you have some advice for why these were not featured

Homemade Snow Cones

Delicious Heart Shaped French Toast

Whenever I post here I almost never get a response.

Your written instructions are very well done--clear, well organized and easy to follow. Good work!

Your images are the weak point in both of those, in my opinion, as images are for many food-type instructables. To get peoples' attention, images of food need to be well-lit with vivid colors, and in perfect focus (not blurry at all). As they say, we eat first with our eyes! If you snap a photo of a food item, and it looks anything other than mouth-watering and delectable, you should keep adjusting lighting, angle, and so forth. As far as editing photos, adjusting brightness and contrast alone will do wonders, especially with food items.

Also, for familiar and common types of foods, the importance of nailing the image quality is even greater. Just a couple thoughts! :)

Thanks. I am not the best at taking pictures of food

This isn't quite the usual post for the clinic, but I'm vexed. I recently published one of my favorite projects that I'm quite proud of, a hat box converted into storage on my scooter. About an hour later I published an ible detailing how I used leftover wood to build a workbench in my garage. The hat box was featured to the homepage almost immediately and didn't get bumped off for at least two days. The hatbox only had 100 or so more views than the workbench for those two days despite the workbench not being featured. So, at this point, the hat box had around 500 views and the workbench had around 400. Around the third day, the workbench got featured to the channel and now it has almost 2200 views while the hat box only has a bit over 700. They're both in 2 or 3 contests, so they are most likely receiving traffic from those pages as well, but they are not receiving any significant traffic from outside Instructables.

So, why do you think the hat box isn't getting as many views. Does it not interest the instructables member base as much as the workbench? Does no one have a scooter? I know there are lots of bike riders here, and it's easily converted to a bicycle. In my experience, a day on the homepage is good for around 2000 views. Of course it will vary, but this is one of the least popular homepage featured ibles I've ever made and I'm not sure why.

I agree with makendo.

It's simply a matter of interest. That said, I'm often surprised by what generates traffic and what doesn't. It really is a moving target! In general though, workshop items always seem to get a decent number of views because it's a subject that is broadly accessible to the majority of people. Just a couple thoughts! :)

Perhaps it comes across as having relevance only to those that possess both a scooter and a hatbox, which I suspect is a pretty small constituency. On the other hand, lots of people want a workbench and often have little space for one.

dashinggurl12 days ago

Any ideas on this why this was not featured?

wall hanging wood vase and mason jar tissue box.

There's two things I would suggest you work on when looking at both ibles. First, the image quality is not great. Be sure you have good lighting. I know how difficult it can be to get good indoor lighting, but play around with different settings on your camera and different types of bulbs in your light source. Better yet, work near an open window with natural light.

The second issue I see is the overall craftsmanship. There are several moments when something could have been done more precisely to make the project look more appealing at first glance. For example, the metal you glued to the lid of the mason jar could be cut more carefully and glued on more evenly.

Don't give up. They're cool ideas. They just need a bit more polish.

Thank you..so what will u suggest me what will i do more to get better feedback?

I'm sorry, but I don't understand your question.

I asked u that what will i do more to improve my instructables in future?

Thanks in advance..

mgandm510 days ago

Could someone please give me some feedback/opinions about this 'ible: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-SnowboardSnowskate-from-a-Skateboard-Deck/. I would really appreciate it.

makendo mgandm510 days ago

Nicely documented, but I'm mildly skeptical that duct tape could possibly be (a) slippery enough and (b) hard wearing enough to work well in this context, and tbh your video doesn't fill me with confidence. Also, your main picture doesn't actually show any of the modifications you made.

mgandm5 makendo10 days ago

The duct tape is durable and the wax helps with the slipperiness. It is very smooth. I will point that out more. I guess I really need to wait until it snows again (fingers crossed) and get a better video.

Thank you so much for the constructive feedback!

Raitis11 days ago

Hi there!

I need some unbiased (meaning not mine) opinion about this one. Or does it appeal to a too small audience to be noteworthy at all?

Also, maybe I should use a POV video still as a main image instead (not sure about quality here, so avoided it)?

makendo Raitis11 days ago

Oh, I think this will get featured all right, it is pretty cool. A little niche perhaps but most of the ideas are presumably transferable to other small cameras. However, your second picture is way more interesting than the first, so think about making it the main picture (though it does have a *really* busy background).

Raitis makendo10 days ago

Thanks for the answer. Image was one of my concerns as well so it's already changed, the busy background is out of focus, so shouldn't be an issue I guess. Did change the title not too long after publishing too, so it doesn't sound like a completely niche thing either. :)

Your heart shaped french toast ible doesn't have an intro image that shows heart shaped french toast. I would either make them again and take some images that show off the heart-y goodness or at least use one of the images in step 5 that shows the heart shape.

dashinggurl13 days ago

Any ideas on why this was not featured

wall hanging wood vase and mason jar tissue box..
JM199915 days ago

Any suggestions on my latest 'ible:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Anti-Gravity-Eddy-...

??

shazni15 days ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Fun-Rustic-Tic-Tac...

Any idea why above was not featured?

JM1999 shazni15 days ago

It is featured!

Any ideas on why this was not featured

Hot Glue Ring

Any advice would be helpful :)

KRA5H20 days ago

Howdy folks! Please review my Instructable "DIY Super Selfie Stick" http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Super-Selfie-S... and let me know what I need to do to improve it to get it featured. As I type this, my Super Selfie Stick article is being featured on Science 2.0 (www.science20.com). I'm in the featured articles box on the front page with Sascha Vongher, Josh Bloom, Steve Hentges, and Alan Levinovitz all of whom have PhDs. And then there's li'l ol' me! Here's the link to the featured articles page in case my story is pushed off the front page before you have a chance to take a look: http://www.science20.com/featured. Obviously I've made some change from my feature Science 2.0 article to my Instructable that caused it not to be featured here. Thanks in advance for any suggestion you may have the will help get my article featured here on Instructables.

It just got featured, but I'm still posting the following: sometimes it's just a matter of time, waiting for your project to be noticed. I personally browse recent instructables quite frequently, but I hadn't seen it yet. Yes, it had probably already been seen by someone who decided not to feature it, but there are quite a few people here with different opinions. Sometimes it's just about the right person seeing it at the right time.

Thank you for featuring my Instructable!

crashzoom19 days ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/EKOPG6EI5WCPIFA/ feedback?

crashzoom23 days ago

Photos and documentation is good, thought the tool looks for all the world like a shiv. Could perhaps be made more elegant and easier to swap blades if you use two wire split rings (say made of a paper clip) to secure it.

amorarun22 days ago

Not featured... suggestions welcome

http://www.instructables.com/id/5-watts-LED-Table-Light/#statsModal

Akin Yildiz23 days ago

how about these, why didn't they get featured?

1. http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-Plan...

2. http://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-arduino-par...

3. http://www.instructables.com/id/Envolysis/

they are all very clearly documented, informative and fun ! :(

.

have a nice day everybody !!

The pictures and documentation are good, but try writing proper sentences and fix up the punctuation and grammar. Also, repeated instructables on the same theme don't tend to keep getting featured even if they are high quality, just a representative few (see OrigamiAirEnforcer, for example).

hkerr28 days ago

Any info on this?

Hey could someone give advice for why these 2 instructables were not featured I don't know how to tell. Thanks in advance :)

3 Ways To Paint With Rubber Bands

DIY Decorative Vase

Hey could someone give advice for why these 2 instructables were not featured I don't know how to tell. Thanks in advance :)

3 Ways To Paint With Rubber Bands

DIY Decorative Vase

ThisIsSteve1 month ago

How can I improve this instructable-
http://www.instructables.com/id/102-RBG-LED/
Thank You

I think a more descriptive title would be helpful in generating more views. Also add links between your spark core series, and place them all in a collection when you are done.

ThisIsSteve1 month ago

Any suggestions on this instructable

http://www.instructables.com/id/103-Burglar-Alarm/

Thank You

Hi ThisIsSteve :) Glad to see you're back with more SparkCore instructables.

A few suggestions :

- in Step 1 : Getting started, you could add links to the SparkCore website as well as your previous Instructables since you're mentioning them in the text ;

- in Step 2 : You could go into much more detail on how to setup your breadboard, where to put the components and how to hook them up to the SparkCore. A lot of people might have no experience using a breadboard at all, and wonder why you're putting components where you're putting them ;

- in Step 3 : Buzzer, all one can see on your picture is the Buzzer - the photoresistor is gone. Therefore it doesn't really seem to show the next step in the project so much as a setup for another part, and doesn't seem to show how the whole circuit interacts together. Perhaps reuse the picture from Step 5 ?

- In Step 4 : Code, you could either provide a link to SparkCore's Tutorial 101 or detail uploading code in detail ;

- in Step 5 : Finishing, you could use this step to show how to make the circuit more permanent - maybe with soldered wires or gator clips ? - and how to set it up so that you can actually use it as a burglar alarm (to each side of a sliding window for example ?).

It's a really great idea for a beginner project with SparkCore though, and I look forward to your next Instructables !

Hey Deslivres, Thanks for the fast reply and I'm editing on the project, as you said. I will get proper images of the breadboard, and I will let you know when its done. And I also have one more instructable with spark core coming up in a day or two.

Thanks

I could use some advice on this guy.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Very-Own...

Thanks to anyone who helps.

Hi NomadHobbyist :)

First off : Looooove Minecraft :D A series of basic tutorials to do in Minecraft could be a great idea for new players as well as parents wanting to play with their kids (for the parents or for the kids).

Second, suggestions :

- Your title : you might want to add "In Minecraft" in there somewhere so that people who're looking to build an actual jungle treehouse don't get the wrong idea ;

- Step 1 : Materials : you could insert the crafting recipes as a picture for the people who don't know how to make the materials for the project.

That's all I can think of right now - if you make more Minecraft Instructables, do try to link from the last step for anyone who might be looking for inspiration after they are done with this project. I hope this helps !

Thanks you guys!

I changed it!

Sorry it took so long:)

I don't know much about Minecraft, so I can't help much on the ible itself. However, I agree that the title could be better. The "Make your own" portion is always unnecessary when writing an ible title. It's the point of instructables to show how to make something, so you don't need to say it in your title.

good day . i really need help . how this BC547 works on the circuit and its flow? please . I need to present this on my class . thanks .

5 LEDchaser ..gif

This forum is for authors who need help with their Instructables. You would probably get more help if this was posted in the Tech section. Having said that, one thing I would recommend is bread boarding the circuit so you can watch it operate and see how the LEDs light up. In this circuit the capacitors are blocking DC current and the transistors connect each LED to ground. Think about what happens when the current flows through each resistor and the transistor is turned on- when the transistor base (b) is powered electricity flows from the collector (c) to the emitter (e), connecting each LED to ground and allowing it to turn on. So what you need to figure out is why are the capacitors there and how do they affect the transistor function.

How could I improve this one, apart from more pictures (since I don't have those but would still like to make it as good as possible): http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Pandorica-Open...

That's a tough one. Maybe show the different types of brushes you used and why you used different brushes in different areas? Or maybe show different brush techniques?

The only area that I think really needs any improvement is between the Tardis outline sketch and the next step. It seems like you would need something in between the two that show some work in process. I know that's difficult (if not impossible) to do at this point. I think a lot of people who are wanting to learn how to paint would like some sort of guide here- something like "I blocked in the blue first," etc. Maybe you could do a sketch like the Tardis sketch that shows a numbered sequence for how you began putting the color down?

Edit: I've recreated all the steps of the painting process to make it clearer

That is a huge improvement- well done! It looks great. Of course I'm a big Doctor Who fan and my middle name is Vincent since van Gogh was my Dad's favorite painter so maybe I'm a bit biased. :)

Thanks again! It is a great combination ;D

Thank you so much for your advice! I've recreated a few steps to clarify the process a bit.

Dr. Joe1 month ago

I have an idea that I don't know where to share it. This is the project.

http://www.instructables.com/editInstructable/edit/ESF74PKI58ICLQX/step/0

Dr. Joe1 month ago

Hi: I am new to this game this year and am trying to learn to play by the rules. I entered a story that I thought would be a two for one. One idea in two contests. The contests are Para Cord and Protect. After a day of trying to come up with an idea. I thought about self defense for my daughters, not that my son could use this skill too. I also thought about when I fly on an airline how I sometimes feel vulnerable thinking only the bad guys might have a weapon. What could I do to protect my family. I have packed a metal water bottle my daughter gave me for years as I travel the air lines. Then there was the aha moment.

A water bottle on a cord could be a great defensive weapon. It passes thorough security if it is empty. I don;t think it would raise an eyebrow in a social setting for an old man to carry a water bottle and a cord. In my backyard test it looks like it would be a powerful weapon that does not take much training to use.

The project was accepted for the para cord but rejected then accepted and rejected again on the protect contest. with this latest comment.

"I'm sorry for the back and forth on this, but in the end it was decided
that the material in your Instructable is too sensitive to be included
in the Protected Contest." They suggested I post this on the clinic.

I would like advice on where I went wrong.

Here is the link.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Weaponized-Water-Bottle/

Honus Dr. Joe1 month ago

I'm guessing it was rejected because you are endorsing carrying a weapon on an airplane.

Dr. Joe Honus1 month ago

Good point. Thanks. Sometimes when I get too close to a forest I can't see the trees.

Hi!

Please check out my instructable and suggest me if there needs to be any changes made to make it better. This is my first instructable by the way. : http://www.instructables.com/id/Charging-USB-devic...

Thanks in advance.

I think it's well written, easy to understand and the project is easy to duplicate. Nice circuit diagrams too! The only suggestions I can think of are maybe change the lead image to a nice clear photo that shows the finished project as I think people tend to respond better to that than illustrations. When the first thing I see is a photo of the finished project it tells me that you've actually made the project.

The other suggestion I have is to change the title to something shorter, maybe something like "Human powered phone charger"?

Thank you so much once again Honus. Following your suggestion made me get featured :D :D :D

Thank you for the appreciation :)

Thank you very much for the suggestions Honus. I have made changes as per your suggestions. Hope it gets featured.

zimitt1 month ago

I was lucky enough to be featured with my first instructable and I'm addicted to the drug. Need some more.

My second did not create the same high. Could use some advice.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-Loose-Eyeglass...

Hello!

This was my first Instructable and I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips to make it better. Thanks!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Paracord-Zipper-Pu...

Great first ible! Your biggest issue is that your primary image is difficult to read since your paracord is the same color as your bag. Try some different lighting to see if you can get an image that shows off your work better, or perhaps you could make another one in a different color.

liakparker1 month ago

HELP ME OUT! I just laid down my first "ible". It's titled "how to make "David's Sling"". Read, critique, and make me a better maker! Thanks, guys!

Hi, I just checked out your 'ible, it looks great!

A video may make it a bit better but apart from that, it looks awesome!

I voted for you - I hope you win!

YOU ARE THE BEST! Thanks for giving it your time! I'm going to have to work on my video editing skills and start learning to document with that media. Your encouragement helps.... as well as your votes! I appreciate the feedback. It sure does help a first timer get started on the right foot!

That is totally fine, if you scroll through the comments in the clinic you will see that I have asked for plenty of help myself - time to give back!

JM19991 month ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-A-Lego...

Can I please get some suggestions on the linked 'ible?

I have done the clearest photos I can and described everything to what I thought was feature worthy but it seems I am missing something.

ThisIsSteve1 month ago

How can I improve these instructables -

http://www.instructables.com/id/102-RBG-LED/

http://www.instructables.com/id/103-Burglar-Alarm/

Thank you

tomheylen1 month ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Air-heat-exchanger-Made-from-soda-cans-and-pvc-pip/

This is my 2nd instructable and I'm planning to make a lot more.

So I would like to have some feedback on this instructable to be able to provide good quality for the next instructables.

Thanks,

Tom Heylen

Honus tomheylen1 month ago

Hi Tom,

I really liked the diagrams, especially the one showing all of the materials- I thought that was great. Overall I found it very easy to follow.

What I think would make it better would be more step by step large construction photos with notes or a even a video in the instructable that shows the construction. Maybe you could have a temperature sensor at the inlets/outlets to show people how well it works?

tomheylen Honus1 month ago

Thanks for the feedback Honus.

For now I'm staying in another country far away from the heat exchanger.

But when I get back I'll make some footage and add it to the instructable.

Have a nice day,

Tom

Wired_Mist1 month ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Parmesan-Crusted-C...

I was a bit disappointed that this didn't get featured. I know I need to take a cover shot that shows more of the chicken, rather then the Pasta and Sauce it's sitting on.

Any other thoughts on how to make my next one better?

Based on your comment, I'm assuming that you originally had the picture of the finished product as your primary image. I would put it back the way it was. It looks quite appetizing in that image. Photographing food is hard and that picture is pretty good. The chicken in the pan isn't as interesting or yummy looking.

Also, I'd enter the superfood challenge. When you enter a contest, an editor has to look it over to make sure it qualifies. They may decide it's feature-worthy in the process.

Fair enough, I'll do both for sure!

Thanks for the help :)

smalltortoise2 months ago

I could use some tips, I'm not sure the next few steps to take to improve my Instructables projects. This is my most recent one (my second Instructables project):

http://www.instructables.com/id/Oversized-Enclosur...

Thanks to anyone who has feedback!!

Some suggestions:

1. You might want to change your title to something like Giant Touch Sensor Controller. An oversized box is an oversized box.

2. Do up a separate intro which is like a summary to the project. A big part of the audience here does not know what the MaKey MaKey is or what it does. The rest of the instructions are pretty intense and might want to edit some of the narrative style for more succinct steps.

3. Use an intro image, which becomes the thumbnail, of a clearer shot of the controller box with fingers touching it. It is hard to make out at a glance looking at the entire setup to figure out what you made. Use a contrasting background to your plain lasercut box.

4. The video could be improved with better sound and closeup of the items. I had to play it a few times to see it was triggering some garageband like drum setup on the laptop,.

5. It's fine to promote your hackerspace, do it in the intro.

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