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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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!



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.)
JM19994 days ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Banana-And-Chocola...
Could I please have some help on the linked 'ible?

I have done it fairly well, it has been entered in 3 contests so it has been reviewed.

Thanks in advance, JM1999

JM1999 JM19993 days ago

Anyone?

Still need some help with this

http://www.instructables.com/id/Spark-Core-Blink/

Thanks

HowToLou12 days ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hair-Growth-Laser-...

Hi - This video instructable was just published at Hackaday and is getting over 100 views per hour. I think it is very clear and teaches people how to build a $700 laser hat for $60. I have posted 100+ instructables, and a few have been featured. I don't expect most of them to be featured, but I thought this one was pretty useful.

Any thoughts? Thank You.

JM1999 HowToLou12 days ago

Is it your video?

If not it can't get featured.

If it is your video I think you should do a better write-up on it and go from there.

HowToLou JM199912 days ago
It is my video.
JM1999 HowToLou12 days ago

Cool, well I don't know much about video 'ibles but the least I can say is give it a bigger write-up and see what happens.

treehog JM19997 days ago

I'd agree that the writeup is really lacking in detail for each step.

HowToLou JM199912 days ago
It is my video, yes.

Hmm it's just pretty sparse. Here's a collection of award winning instructables I made: http://www.instructables.com/id/Award-Winning-Vide...

Take a look at what they did and try to emulate would be my best suggestion.

What specifically do you think is missing from the video?

From the video? Nothing, but we don't feature videos here. We feature instructables. Instructables have a decent amount of text, and TONS of photos. Your instructables had very little text and no photos at all. Look at the instructables in the collections. Does your looks like theirs? If the answer is no, then change your instructable until it does.

The rules must have changed. I only do video instructables, and have had several featured. When did the rule change to what you just said?

I think about 6 months ago we got rid of video style instructables and focused on step by steps. Hence why we recommend checking the featuring checklist. The collection I linked to you, are people who do video instructables and they get featured, just try to emulate them.

Thanks for the info. All my videos are over 95% liked on Youtube, so I hate to mess with the style my subscribers like. I may take a look though.

Don't mess with the video! Just add photos and text to the Instructable itself like in the link MSS showed.

Think of it like a cooking show. It's helpful/fun/enjoyable to watch, but it's nice to have photos and a written recipe when it comes time to cook.

Thanks for that perspective and good advice. I guess I never really thought about what instructables Really is. People that prefer video instruction just go directly to YouTube. People that like pictures and text come here. I hate to read, so I have always focused on watching and making videos. I have 20+ video projects in the pipeline, and think I can be of more benefit to the internet by creating than translating to another medium. Maybe when I run out of ideas, I will go back and do translation.

I see your point though. Some people really prefer reading, or watching, then reading. This explains why I get 50 subscribers a week on Youtube, but only 1 here. I always wondered about that. I am a video black sheep in a community of readers :). Getting featured is not a huge goal for me. I just think that people who struggle with hair loss are being taken advantage of by companies who are selling these laser hats for $700 when you can easily make them for $60. I wanted to get the word out. Its getting a lot of views on YouTube, so thats good enough.

Actually, this just made me recall something. There is a guy that breaks my videos into steps, for his web site, so they are available somewhere, at least.

Everyone loves video! And people would certainly still watch the video if you're worried about views (I assume you're trying to publicize your channel).

Creating a video takes A LOT more time than writing or photographing, but with writing, readers can see all the details in a way and a speed that makes sense to them. If instructions aren't written out, then viewers have to literally take notes like they're in a school lecture (only with the benefit of being able to rewind).

Getting featured should matter because it increases your views by A LOT, and the only way to get into the newsletter is by getting featured which REALLY increases views. Featuring also increases your odds of being noticed elsewhere online.

And there's the snowball effect. The more you publish and get featured, the more views and subscribers you get at an almost exponential rate (just like on YouTube as I doubt you started with 50 subscribers a week). It took me around 4 years to get 1 million views on my Instructables, but I've gained nearly another million views in only 1 year.

However, it's up to you if you want to put in a couple more hours of work (literally) for more views and subscribers and starting that snowball rolling. I personally think it's worthwhile for the sake of promoting your channel, but that's just my opinion. People will watch the video on Instructables, and viewers on YouTube will check out your Instructable, and la-la-la...

Thanks ARH. I am closing in on 3 million youtube views. I know video is a lot harder, but it is what I do. Posting my videos on Instructables helps a little, but it's not my core base. As I see it, either my topic is a blockbuster or its not. I can't see a moderator saying "Wow, this is an awesome project that could really benefit a lot of people, and the video is very well done and informative, BUT its not in text form, so skip it." That would be a disservice to the membership. If I had some assurance that taking the time to convert my medium would get it featured, it would be worth it. Without that, my time is better spent making my next video, which, on average, generates way more views and subscribers.

No one can guarantee anything because no one knows how good your photographs or write-up will be. Fortunately, people here can help so it meets all the featuring criteria, and generally, if you meet/exceed the featuring criteria, you get featured. Period. Beyond that, it's up to the witchery of the internets.

And you don't know that Instructables won't become a good segment of your base until you get featured. A feature rate of 3% is quite low, so it's unsurprising that this site doesn't have a huge impact. The better the feature rate, the better the views, the better the hits. People have gotten featured on television (e.g., The Colbert Report) because of their Instructables (e.g., Useless Machine).

If you go by cost vs. risk, you should just go ahead and work towards getting featured (probably a couple times), and then you can decide whether it's worthwhile pursuing further. I've not found many publicity opportunities that didn't require more work (e.g., Instructables), voodoo (e.g., StumbleUpon), or losing certain rights to my content (e.g., Apartment Therapy). You are the publicist for your channel, so you will have to determine what's a good fit for you.

So do what you want!

ARH - I really respect your tenacity and docile nature. You have taught me something. I thought ibles were featured based on usefulness or impact to the community. You are saying that is not the case. Rather, they are featured based on clarity, for lack of a better word to describe the featuring criteria list. So, by this system, a crystal clear ible on how to wad up a scrap of paper would be featured, whereas a somewhat murky, or worse yet, Video, ible on how to cure cancer, would not. Ok, that is a real eye opener. I would totally not have guessed that. Thank you.

In all the time I have spent communicating with you, I did find time to heed your advice to some extent. I added 8 simple written :) steps. I may even break down and add pictures. While I would like to this ible featured based on its substance, if clarity is all that matters, it may be worth my time to get the word out that people can easily save $600.

Regarding featuring criteria, you really ought to read the featuring criteria for the true situation, rather than resorting to baseless hyperbole. If you don't want to follow the featuring criteria, and not interested in meeting the expected standards of writing and illustration, that's fine. Nobody is trying to stifle your creativity, but you will have to resign yourself to the fact that you will not get featured.

If your interest is solely in the video format, then maybe you'll be happier sticking with a site created for the video format, rather than a site created for quality writing and photography (especially if you already feel you are successful there)?

We find that text+photo step-by-step instructables are much more useful to for people
when they are wanting to follow them themselves - videos cannot be
printed out to use in your workshop, videos that look nice have often been edited so much that important details are missing, and very few people can work
as fast as the video they are following, so end up having to stop,
rewind, watch again etc, which is not easy when your hands are full of
tools or covered in glue etc.

(Oh, and if your aim is to save people money, why do you use lasers? The research data available shows that cheap red LEDs are equally as effective as red laser diodes - you would be able to illuminate the whole scalp for a fraction of the cost of your small square patch.)

Well said. That is precisely why I am not a fan of videos on instructables. They're great for understanding how something moves or functions, but not great for perusing or actually following while making. I very rarely click on videos.

Exactly. Thank you. You guys don't really like videos. That is why you are here. People love my videos, but this is not the place. That is totally fair. You hate videos, and I hate text. I respect your position, and hope you respect mine. Wouldn't it be neat to do a random survey on this. I wonder what percentage of people prefer video or text. My wife is in your camp, by the way.

So, we have established that your videos are popular on a video site, and unpopular on a text/photo site, and that you do not like the text/photo format.

This begs two questions:

> Why are we still having this conversation?

> Why are you still here?

If the answer to the former is to persuade us to move to your position, then you have failed. Time to end the conversation.

If the answer to the latter is to try and garner more views for your videos, then you have likewise failed, since a purely video-based instructable does not meet the standards of this site - video should be used purely as a back-up option in a particular step. The success of the instructable should not ride on the content of the video. So, if you are unwilling to meet the standards of this site, may I politely suggest you focus your efforts on YouTube or Vimeo?

Kiteman -

I am not the only one still having this conversation :)

I post here, because it does generate some more views and I now have 300 or so subscribers that obviously like me to be here. Please show me where it says that pure video does not "meet the standards of this site". Thanks for the invitation to leave, but no thanks.

You started by moaning that your video wasn't featured. Try reading the Feature criteria.

Other than that, this topic is supposed to be for people who want to get featured by doing well, not just because they expect the squeaky wheel to get greased. You have been given the advice you need, but refused to accept it. If you want to continue to discuss the featuring criteria, start a new topic in the Feedback section.

If you look at the comments, I said I already added text, and plan to add pictures to this particular instructable. I also do not appreciate the personal attacks you are making on me. If you look at all my comments you will find no personal remarks, With the exception of the one I made to ARH, and that was a genuine compliment. I think we are done here.

Bye, then.

Listen to your wife. She might be a better publicist for your channel. ;)

If I was aiming for you text/pic folks, yes, but I am a video guy, and flourish on YouTube. This video was posted a few days ago and will have 3,000 views by morning :)

Really? I love videos, but I still need written tutorials with photos for close inspection. I think Mark Montano does a WONDERFUL job of both, and I love watching his videos and reading his tutorials. It's nice to see how materials behave and are manipulated in 3D real world space and what-not.

Granted, you're probably talking about video-only tutorials, but I still like me some tutorials with video. :)

<3 I love videos too!!

You make good arguments. I see your perspective, and it is a very reasonable one, but don't share it. I have read 4 books total, in my life, and have regretted 2 of them, because they were made into movies after I read them. I avoid reading projects, at all costs, but when I have no other choice, I want to scream "Why can't you just show me?!!!". I still think think my stance that I am a video black sheep in your readers world, is accurate. Everyone on this thread either says they don't like/watch videos or they need the writing too. I have yet to hear from anyone that has actually watched the video and has comments on it. Everyone just wants text and pictures. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said this is a site created for writing and photography. Video creators need not apply... unless they ALSO write and pic. But, I guess that is fair. Its not my site and not my rules.

A hyperbole is a great way to prove a point. ARH said "follow the guide, and get featured, Perdiod.", which is not really true. My hyperbole brought out the clarification that there is a "coolness" factor that is not listed in the rules.

Regarding lasers vs LEDs: The Lasers are only 50 cents each and have 3-inch electrically shielded wires, instead of two bare metal posts which would have to have wires connected and shielded. The time/cost equation favors lasers by far. Also, the leading products like the laser comb and laser cap have lasers, not LEDs. That may mean something, or not, but I went with what has the best track record.

To clarify, "coolness" and/or utility are both major factors in featuring. "How to Wad Paper" would not be featured no matter how spectacular the photos and write-up, and "How to Cure Cancer" would win the Nobel Prize, particularly because the researchers wouldn't have just published on YouTube but rather in appropriate medical journals following the format guidelines for those journals regardless of how awesome the research was.

Thanks for the clarification. I thought your original description was too narrow. I used the example to prove the point. Also, I am quite sure if someone cured cancer, they could publish it any way they wanted, and the world would listen. I know you know that, but were also just trying to make a point. The bottom line is that the people that control this web site are the type of people that love text and pics. I, like many others, hate them, so I just don't fit in here.

Having said that, I am convinced I have a really cool topic. I would like to hear any comments to the contrary, if there are any. I think I am shining light on an almost scam-level overpricing of hair loss treatment. I am not convinced that anyone from this clinic has actually watched the video, because I have gotten zero feedback on it, but I am often told my videos are very easy to follow. While I plan on generally sticking with video format, to my own detriment here, I will add the text/photo stuff to this one ible, because I feel it is worth the extra effort to expose the "scam".

JM1999 HowToLou11 days ago

The photos *should* be no problem, just open the video in something like windows media player and use the functions there to take still images out of the video!

No extra camerawork required at all!

HowToLou JM199911 days ago

True, now that I have written the steps.

The number of views argument is invalid - I have twice your views across my text-based projects, and we have at least four projects that each have more views than your entire output.

Good point, Kiteman. Written and Video probably get the same views. It is really about the audience. A portion of the consumers want video, and the other portion wants text. I am just in the video camp.

"Written and Video probably get the same views."

Not here, they don't.

I don't recall saying they did.

"Everyone loves video!"

Except me...

HowToLou JM199911 days ago

Thank you JM. Exactly my point. People, like you, are drawn to instructables for the text. My videos are rated highly on Youtube, among video lovers, but are out of their element among you readers.

JM1999 HowToLou11 days ago

It isn't just that I don't like them it is more the point my computer will jam if I play them.

I also enjoy reading so it is a + that I can't play the videos because it makes me read instead.

HowToLou JM199911 days ago

Exactly. If my computer would not play videos, it would quickly find itself nestled between my sledge hammer and my driveway.

JM1999 HowToLou11 days ago

You know, out of all the pages on the clinic, you have created the longest string of help ever!

HowToLou JM199911 days ago

Cool! I did that in a facebook group of flowboarders too. Flowboards cost $350 each, and I posted a video showing how I made one for $40 and proceeded to shred the the wave with it! I created a huge storm of comments from the people that were profiting from their way overpriced boards. I try to expose gross overpricing, as I have done with this laser hat.

Here, I learned that I am not like the rest of you text/pic lovers. I respect you, but am not like you. I keep thinking there should be a "video instructables" site for people like me, where you can't get featured unless you have good video. I guess YouTube is sort of that.

JM19999 days ago

Does anybody have suggestions on this 'ible?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Shoelace-Zipper-St...

I don't think it got reviewed fully not being entered into a contest so some help would be appreciated.

Time to kick it up a notch with the intro photo! Try doing something like this. :)

So what do you think about it now?

That is the best I can do for a cover photo, I hope it gets featured :)

It's much more interesting to look at - feet inside shoes makes shoes look better IMO, but now it's hard to see the lacing (and crossed legs are a little confusing and reduce the presence of the shoes in the shot). Can you get someone to take the photo from low to the ground or set up a camera with a timer, remote release, or voice command? I have my phone set to voice command which makes photographing a lot easier.

So I have to do it - - -again?

I don't mind re-doing it though.

BTW, how do you set up a voice command on your camera? Is there a special app that does it?

You don't HAVE to do anything, but a great intro picture is likely to get you featured with lots of views. Plus this is just my opinion/recommendation and no one else's. :)

I have a Samsung Galaxy (Android), and to do it, click on Camera -> Gear Symbol ->Microphone Symbol. Then you can say smile, cheese, capture, or shoot for the shutter release. SO MUCH better than hitting the button, and it produces fewer blurry pictures. :)

A roll of duct tape helps as an impromptu holder - just stick your phone in the middle of the roll and coax it into the right position/angle. You can't get super crazy with it, and it'll only work for portrait/vertical photos. Still, if you're going for the perfect square thumbnail for an intro shot, it doesn't really matter if you shoot portrait or landscape. :P

Cool, thank you so much!

I will try to get a better intro pic done by today or tomorrow.

BTW, do you work here?

Take your time and get creative.

And nope, I don't work here. :)

Any suggestions on this one...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Spark-Core-Blink/

Thanks.

It's the beginning that lets you down -

Try a new title: maybe "Spark 101 - Blinking LEDs"?

The introduction needs to be shorter, and more of a story - I would stick to just the first and last paragraphs. Put the middle section into a new step, before the set-up step.

Thanks for the suggestions,

How does it look now? I added some changes to the instructable as you suggested.

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.

Back again.. I made some changes. I need to get more pics and better video, but I think this might be a start. I tried addressing the name of the project like you suggested, cleaned up the intro, added resource links and summary info for those unfamiliar with MaKey MaKey, and added a more clean intro image. I might post a better one, but regardless am going to add pics for more of the sub steps and try to get a better quality video with good sound and res. Thanks again! This was very helpful feedback.

Thanks!! I will work on this. This was very helpful

pelegren9 days ago

anyone out there can advice me on my 4th instructable presentation, improvement tips,etc?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Coffee-Hey-Im-read...

IMG_6016.JPG
dot72410 days ago

Hey, could someone give me advice about the desighn layout of my website. www.saltbuddy.webs.com

This belongs elsewhere in the forums. Maybe try the Tech forum?

Hello, would anyone please give some advice on how to make this instructable better and if possible get it Featured? Thanks a Lot. http://www.instructables.com/id/Sleep-Mode-ScreenSaver/

Cute idea! It just needs some extra "cool" injected into it. I don't really have any creative ideas on how to jazz it up, but there has to be something... Maybe do something with a spooky hand pressed against the screen with your own message (just need to do scanner photography in a dark room)? Slender Man style?

Or maybe something with sprites? The Secret of Mana has a whole lot of sleeping in it.

NightmareScreenSaver2.jpg

Ok, with some blurring, vignette, and darkening, you can easily animate a single scan so it sort of looks like a hand coming from the darkness and hitting the screen. I did it quick and dirty, but it's seriously just the same image with increasing gaussian blur, vignetting, and darkening. Then you can pull a medium dark/blurred frame, duplicate, and fling it in the beginning before the focused one - you just need to add motion blur. Then some black frames and voila!

Fool around with it and see what cool thing you can create. :)

Also, click the image below to see the animation.

NightmareScreenSaver3.gif

Thanks for the info. My instructable was supposed to be a screen saver that looks like the monitor is sleeping. I'll try adding more "cool" to it but doing a "smooth" animation like yours would be a little hard since the "photo" option takes about 2 seconds to change photos. :/

Dangit. What about doing a customized Magic 8 Ball screensaver (Photo Gallery as screensaver, set to fade with random photos)?

Amazing Idea! ill be sure to include it.

Glad you like it! Be sure to include a "blank" so people can add their own text for whatever they want their options to be and a link for the best font to use.

Good luck!

You ever try to shake a 21" CRT color monitor and yell at it?

Plenty of times! It's how I got my Popeye guns.

Although it doesn't quite explain the anchor tattoo...

Oh, that scanner thing gives me an idea - instead of drawing a face, use scans of your own face scrunched against the scanner bed, one with your eyes open, one with eyes shut, and then it will look like you are trapped behind the screen, blinking.

Dangerous! You should never scan your eyes because of blindness and stuff. You could alternatively take a normal photo of your face against glass. With the right lighting, you can still achieve a black background.

Is it that bright? I had it down as on the level of a photocopier...

Photocopiers are also dangerous although a single exposure likely isn't - it's still not a good idea. Even when I do scans in a dark room, I turn my face away because it's still bright from arm's length. :/

I have a feeling with a spot light in a dark room, you can achieve the effect with a camera and a piece of glass. Not much risk there. :)

There are a couple of grammar issues (your when it should be you're, capital letters missing from the beginning of sentences), but the main thing missing is a bit of the *wow* factor that makes the project stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, I cannot think of any way of injecting it into that particular project.

Do not be disheartened, though - your writing is improving, and you're only on your third project; it is only a matter of time and practice.

shazni16 days ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Serviette-Ba...

Hi. Can I have some feedback on my instructable Please?. I was wondering whereI went wrong for it not to be featured. Thanks.

1.jpg
JM1999 shazni16 days ago

Maybe change the first and second photos?

I think the first photo may be a pixelated effect but I'm not sure on it.

The second photo you have the ballerinas holding white (flowers?) on a white background, the two first photos may be all it needs to be featured!

Show danger/Jessy and they should be able to give you some helpful tips :)

shazni JM199912 days ago

Thanks, I sent a message to both. I don't know who featured it but someone did. Only it didn't make it to the homepage. :-( so less views. I guess I shall try something else for the paper contest as this doesn't seem to be doing well.

JM1999 shazni12 days ago

Cool, glad it got featured :)

Homepage feature? do you know much about it?

If so I would love more info on it -- it is one of the least talked about things on the site.

Check out the new Feature Checklist, it outlines it very well.

This ible wasn't featured initially (presumably because the photos weren't great) so I reshot the whole thing. Does anyone see any other issues I could correct?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Scarf-Camera-Strap...

FAS5L1VI3HWWRI6.jpeg
shazni16 days ago
fadecomic17 days ago

Hi,

Can I have some feedback on http://www.instructables.com/id/VU-sound-level-sensitive-Christmas-tree/ ? Thanks in advance.

There are a few little things that should be easy enough to fix.

-Intro Photo. The photo is a bit dark, and there's some general tidying to do to really put the focus on the tree. Look into night photography for some tips, and get your camera lower - don't take the shot at standing height but rather sitting height. The effect might be visible if you take a long exposure so that the bottom is very bright but the top is considerably dimmer. You can do this by making some adjustments to your camera for a long exposure and then occasionally making sound. If you only have your iPhone, then check for "Long Exposure Camera" apps. You'll need to rig a tripod with chairs, books, etc. if you don't have one for your phone.

-Step 2: Step 1: Need some editing on your step titles.

-Combine Step 1 (Materials section) with your intro. That's what a lot of people do for steps that don't have photos because the materials have already been used up.

-Final step is missing a photo. This should be easy enough to fix with just a close-up of the lights on the tree that shows the cords and bulbs and what-not.

Hope it helps! It's a cute idea!

I appreciate the tips. I'm a fairly practiced photographer, but I didn't have a picture of the tree available when I posted the article. I just captured a still from YouTube.

TopDIY18 days ago

Hey everyone,

Any constructive criticism on my recent Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Lighter-Gun-T...

Thanks in advance and cheers!

It needs a full explanation of the mechanics and why it works. Outside of that, just a better intro photo and some tidying for publishing. :)

JM199921 days ago

Does anyone have any suggestions on this 'ible?
As far as I have seen most shoelace 'ibles get featured so why not this one?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Basketweave-Lacing...

Try to give us 12-24 hours before asking why. Sometimes Community Managers and Team Members sleep, and trust me you want it that way.

OK, I see what you are saying.

Thanks for the pointer.

gizmologist26 days ago

Greetings;

Any constructive criticism on my recent Instructable:

http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Lighting-in-Plastic-Models/

would be highly appreciated!

The biggest issue right now is the intro photo, and the best thing you could possibly do is to re-shoot it in near dark so the lights really shine and give a beautiful glow. I'm not sure what sort of camera you're using (guessing camera on your phone?), so you'll need to search out how to take essentially night time photography. The more of the finished project you can get in the shot, the better. You want people to be awed and to click, and for a ship, well.... it's tricksy when it comes to angle.

Thanks for the feedback!

I've done lots of night photography. I just hadn't gotten around to taking better photos, but you were right. Did a new shoot on two of the models and the page (especially the intro) now looks much better.
Used the flying saucer for intro photo since that's a more recognizable shape.

Very tricky balancing the model lights with the photo lighting. Dimmers help a lot. Any additional comments?

Looks good!

The only thing I noticed is that you might want to put the Instructable in Technology -> LEDs. :)

I disagree. It's about integrating LED technology with crafts.

It got featured, YAY!

Good job, the help was certainly worth asking for!

I think it looks pretty solid. My one piece of advice would be to add another image to the first step to be used as your primary image. The one you are currently using doesn't read well. It was hard for me to tell what it was and it's a bit out of focus. If no one can tell what the image is, they won't click on it. I would recommend this one.

http://cdn.instructables.com/FHH/OYG3/I2XTR8EC/FHH...

Kirkthepyro21 days ago

Also please look at my DIY-grinder one:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Shop-Cheats-DIY-Gr...

Sorry, thanks again

Kirkthepyro21 days ago

Can someone review mine about adding LED's to a 3D printer?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Light-up-your-3D-p...

Thanks!

Becca Rose21 days ago

Hello there! Would anyone like to give feedback on my vinyl cutting instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/No-Logo-Creativly-...

thoughts and comments much apprciated!

Hi. I'm a newer member to this site... (I've only been on here for about 2 weeks) I just love this community... I've currently released four instructables and I wish to see if their is any improvements to be made to the way I can add to this delightful website... Just click on my name, and help however you can! Thanks!

First of all, welcome to Instructables! I'm just going to give you a few basic tips that may help you improve your current or future instructables.

1) Keep titles short. You want people to be able to quickly understand what your ible is about. If you can't read the entire title when it comes up in a search, shorten it.

2) Document everything. For example, your Mario ible doesn't have enough images in it for me to create my own version of the Mario you made. If it had more screenshots of your process, perhaps I could. The sword ible is much better in this area. There are several screenshots showing me some basics, like what tools you used. If you can't document it yourself, providing a wealth of resources like in your LEGO ible is an alternative.

Annabel12326 days ago

that's pretty cool.

ohoilett28 days ago

I came across this as I was perusing through the site and thought I would give it a try. I would also like this "extra advice."

http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-DIY-Pulse-S...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Developing-Your-ElectronicsScience-WorkSpace/

PCDAILY1 month ago

Hi folks!

We just published our first instructable :) Not only this would be reason enough to kindly ask for your feedback but we are also (German speaking) journalists - so please don't expect object oriented coding or standardized technical schemes since our daily business is reviewing products rather than creating something new ^^

Our instructable is all about monitoring intercom relays with a Raspberry Pi and can be found here: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Tweeting-Inte...

Thanks in advance and cheers!

JM1999 PCDAILY1 month ago

Firstly I would like to say; Welcome to Instructables!

Secondly I would like to say that your 'ible looks great but I think it is in need of clearer photos and maybe break up the large blocks of text, it gets hard to read paragraph after paragraph without a break in the line.

I would say it is a good first 'ible but I would like to also say that you should review all the featured electronic 'ibles that there are and make modifications based on them.

Hope this helps you!

PCDAILY JM19991 month ago

Seems the reply from a couple of hours ago didn't make it's way to the server...

Anyways, thank you very much for the feedback ;) Those are some interesting and definitely valid points. Trying to get my colleague's Raspberry Pi since it's not modified and fitted into a GameBoy enclosure like the one we used to make the pictures. Then the wiring should be way easier to see. We will also prepare some sort of a rig installing all the components there and shoot another video with it ^^

Awesome I just checked it out!

Thank you ;)

Hey guys! Im having some trouble getting followers and viewers :(

Please help!!!

Review some of the related 'ibles before starting your next one and see if you can copy the general photos/idea behind them photos and do it yourself.

Keep posting content, but make it good content.

I have 67 'ibles, 11 have over 1,000 views and only 7 of those are featured so it is quality not quantity.

Just take the best photos possible and learn from other 'ibles!

If you use social media you should post your channel and projects there and see if you can drive more traffic from there.

It is a bit ovewhelming at the start to see first time authors getting over 20,000 views and you can't get 2,000 but everyone had to start somewhere!

ekarweta1 month ago

Hey guys,

Can you review my intructable? trying to make it better :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Live-Streaming-Dog...

JM1999 ekarweta1 month ago

That it as good as it is going to get!

When something gets featured/wins a contest that is as good as you can get with that 'ible.

Glad to see it got featured, you did an awesome job especially considering it was your first 'ible!

You should enter it into the formlabs contest too and see what happens!

rjkorn1 month ago

Hi All,

I have an instructable I'd appreciate your comments on.

It is a headlight polishing one at http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Headlight-Ref... . It got a almost a thousand views in the first week so I thought it might be featured. Then it kinda died out. Maybe the taillight picture in the last step would have been a better cover image? The red is more catchy.

I have so many problems getting videos to play right I shy away from them but would a video of the actual polishing motion help?

JM1999 rjkorn1 month ago

You really should add a video or more text and better photos to clearly explain the whole thing.

You should also get family members to read it and give you their opinion on it because sometimes your mind will fill in a gap in the information and you won't realize there is an error there.

Popularity hardly ever gets something featured, you need to check out these two opposite ends of the scale here:

www.instructables.com/id/The-vinegar-and-baking-so...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hand-Sewn-Lego-Pix...

The first one got featured but it only has 756 views

The second one has over 3K views and hasn't gotten featured.

So better photos, maybe a video and lots more description and I think it should be good to go!

Hey guys!

I recently posted this Instructable - http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Sword-1/

It got featured for a few seconds and now it's not =( Any suggestions why it could happen?

I'm not sure about the possible featuring bug. You may want to send an email to service@instructables.com.

I happen to love the video, and it cleared up the questions I had when looking at the pictures. However, if you are going to put the images into steps, a small amount of explanatory text would be helpful to those who don't want to commit to watching the video. A materials list would be helpful as well. I'm wondering what kind of nails and torch you used.

Are you sure you received the email to say it was featured?

If not I would suggest (as tough as it sounds) to type at least 2 paragraphs in each step explaining what you are doing in the photos.

Some people (like me) HATE videos in 'ibles because of download restrictions.

BillT31 month ago

I have created a new Instructable (unpublished) for using GE Color Effects christmas light bulbs in a homemade holiday lighting display. Any concerns about using a specific commercial product? What sharing license is appropriate?...I am not expecting any profit from this.

JM1999 BillT31 month ago

Many people used purchased items in their 'ibles, this is what the site is about! Create something new/different from an item that already exists (and sometimse from next to nothing!)

Hey guys!

I recently posted this Instructable - http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-Hear...

I worked quite hard to make this stuff, and ive tried my best at presentation, but it ain't getting featured.... Please Help!!!

I would use a pic of the finger over the sensor board as your first image. It's more important to see it is a heartbeat sensor because solar powered arduinos are solar powered arduinos. If the thumbnail doesn't change you might need to use the publish button and republish to switch out the image. You should also embed your video in your intro. More interest comes from seeing it in action than to read through the theory and build process and trying to figure out what it does. I don't know who that personal pic is in the last step but kinda irrelevant to the build and more facebooky. No need to have a separate step to beg for votes. The ible will get votes if it stands on its own. Good luck.

oh, you did have the video in the intro. I did scroll past it on an ipad because you had too many shots of the cluttered arduino wiring setup. Closeup image of finger on sensor. Closeup of LCD readout or graph and a wide shot of the setup should be all you need. I guess the angle shot of the setup looks more complicated for people who like things laid out schematic wise.

Is it better now? have changed and edited the pics completely....

Look at the other pics you have from your previous featured ibles. They are simple and to the point. This photo doesn't catch the eye, and when it does, you have to really think about it, what is the arrow pointing too, the text is hard to read. Try to get a closeup shot of the finger on the sensor centered in the shot. In contrasting text you can have a full title solar heartbeat monitor below or above everything. There is just too much going on and you want to distinguish it all from a quick look from the thumbnail.

So do you think I don't need to show the panel in the intro PIC? Or just a thumbnail? And what about the LCD readout?

try to simplify the composition into this, that embedded second image in an image was too busy.

solarheartrate.jpg

i edited it now... With a new intro PIC,.... Is it good?

I think if you crop out some of the white space on the right...the photo is a bit washed out, taking a good shot of an LCD and the reflections are hard. You seem fixated on collage pictures. In the ible, change the order so that the your edited simple shot is the first one.

Let's see if you can get that BPM up over 100. LOL.

now?

ah, much better, now you can just chill and relax.

Is there any way I can bring the ible to the attention of the editors? Cos its already 1 week old.... H

No one dares to look the Great Robot in the eye. Patience is a virtue, my friend.

besides, they are out partying for the weekend.

Hey there! Thanks to your extremely helpful advice my BPM is well over 120..:-D it was Featured! Yay! Thanks a bunch!!

Haha OK :D :-)

Thanks! If you think there's anything else to improve , do tell me.... I'm sure my BPM will go over 120 when it gets featured! ;-) :P

Thanks :p will do it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-3d-Art-Of-The-Eleventh-doctor-or-ANYTHING-Y/ I just recently posted this instructable: its my first one. I would greatly apreciate it if you looked at it a provided constructive criticisms. Thank you in advanced.

And yes I looked at the how-to guide... I just want to make sure to maintain good form when I work on more instructables

JR Tyner1 month ago

How is this?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Spark-Core-iPhoneAndroid-controlled-R2-D2/#

ThisIsSteve1 month ago

Hi

Need some feedback with this one


http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Fridge-Ma...

Thanks

Both of the photos where the device is on the fridge could be re-done, the first one has quite a bit of glare and the last photo, the magnet kinda gets lost on the empty fridge.

Also the first diagram of connecting the UNO to the LCD screen is a little bit unclear, maybe expand it a little bit or change some of the colours.

Other than that I reckon it is a great 'ible!

Nikus1 month ago

Hi!

Please, can you look at my project. Why is not featured :(

http://www.instructables.com/id/Smart-home-with-arduino/

What can I do to improve this Instructable?

Ben Finio Nikus1 month ago

It looks like you have a lot of what's required for a good electronics Instructable, including a detailed parts list, circuit diagrams, and clear photos with white backgrounds. One thing I'd recommend changing is your cover photo. In general, I think the cover photo for an Instructable should always show the actual final product. You have a graphic with the Arduino and Android logos, which could apply to a number of projects. Maybe try taking a picture of the final Arduino assembly and/or include a screenshot of the app, like what you have in Step 5.

Nikus Ben Finio1 month ago

Yes, I know, but when I wanted to make a video with my smart home my Arduino has failed and does not work. I do not have pictures of the whole system, so I added screenshots to the main photo.

Is it enough to get featured?

Ben Finio Nikus1 month ago

I think this is coming down to personal opinion - I think the graphic is still featured more prominently, and the screenshot inserts are too small. I would redo it completely just using the screenshot on the right, make it as large as possible (while still fitting in the thumbnail), and then shrink down the text and Arduino/Android logos. BUT that is getting really nitpicky and just my personal opinion of what would look good for a thumbnail. I think your bigger problem is that you need to actually show that the project works - what do you mean by your Arduino "failed"? Did you burn something out? Does the circuit just not work as intended?

Nikus Ben Finio1 month ago

My arduino probably be burned or something happened with bootloader. Unfortunately I have no programmer so I do not have to upload it. Thanks for your help but I can't do anything to improve my Instructable.

Ben Finio Nikus1 month ago

FYI in case you aren't signed up for the newsletter, your project was actually included in today's email! So, your improvements were certainly enough to impress someone on the staff.

Just a heads up, since I didn't know about the newsletter for a long time, until someone told me one of my projects was in it. You can sign up in the little "join our newsletter" box waaaayyyy at the bottom of the page.

robodude951 month ago

Hey folks,

Would love some feedback on making my instructable better (maybe get it featured).

Thanks in advance :)

It looks like your writing is good, you did a good job taking a ton of photos, and you certainly made a cool robot. A few suggestions for improvement:

- Buy a piece of white posterboard and use it as the background for your photos. This is a little extra work, but it eliminates background clutter and makes your pictures look much nicer. I recommend looking at some of Randofo's robotics Instructables as a good standard.

- Use a computer program to make your circuit diagrams instead of drawing them by hand. Again, it's extra work but worth it if you really want to get featured or stand a good chance in a contest, it's worth the effort. Fritzing is a really nice free program that will also give you "breadboard view" diagrams. Also, the hand-drawn diagrams you do have in there need to be rotated by 90 degrees, right now they're sideways.

- Provide links to where you got your parts. I don't think this is strictly necessary for being featured, but it helps out beginners who might not be comfortable browsing electronics websites for parts.

I wrote a guide on How to Write a Good Electronics Instructable that goes over some of these things in more detail, if you find that helpful.

Thanks a lot for the pointers and links...especially your guide!!

I've updated the instructable with the Fritzing ckts though I won't be able to get my hands on posterboard so resorted to a couple of A4s instead..hope it doesn't look too shabby. :p

Cheers :)

Nice improvements! The white paper certainly looks better. For future projects if you can ever pick up posterboard or a white sheet or something, that will help even more.

Thanks Ben Finio for helping so many folks with their electronics ibles! I had wanted to provide some feedback to several, but I am simply not experienced enough with these types of tech projects.

No problem! I am completely useless for craft and cooking Instructables, so it's good that collectively we have all our bases covered :-).

Definitely will!Thanks for the help. :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-Heart-Rate-Monitor/

Please help me make this i'ble feature worthy!

rowansmom11272 months ago

ok how do I embed my collections on my blog

This specific forum thread is for help writing Instructables. You might want to create a new thread to ask this question in the Authors topic area:

http://www.instructables.com/community?categoryGro...

(It looks like you aren't the first person to get this confused, it's kind of ambiguous since this thread gets linked to as "Author Help" from the homepage)

Anwar Farooq2 months ago

Could someone please help me?

I bought these DC 4.5v motors:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LUTFU8C/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item

that run at 24,000 RPM. I want to slow these motors down to 10 to 50RPM using Arduino Uno. Could someone please help me with the circuit and parts list?

Thanks,

Anwar

Hey, sorry you never got a reply on this. This forum thread is for help writing Instructables, not technical help with a project (this is a little misleading if you just saw the "Author Help" link from the home page, but it will make sense if you read the original post). If you go to the main forum page, there are a bunch of different topics:

http://www.instructables.com/community/

This question is probably good for Tech:

http://www.instructables.com/community?categoryGro...

For the record though, you should be able to just follow this tutorial:

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-arduino-lesson-13-dc-motors/overview

KRA5H1 month ago

Any suggestions to improve my Instructable to make it a featured Instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flash-an-LED-with-Scratch-on-the-Kano-Computer/

Ben Finio KRA5H1 month ago

While I don't completely agree with JM1999 that this "isn't really an 'ible", I do think you have one problem - in Step 5 you explicitly tell users not to try this at home. The point of an Instructable is that people should be able to reproduce your work, so you should explain how they would go about properly hooking up a current-limiting resistor and an LED. There are some other tools that could improve the general presentation of the Instructable:

- Fritzing for making a breadboard diagram of how to connect the LED and resistor

- scrot is a command that lets you take screenshots of the Pi's desktop, these look much nicer than photos of a monitor. This would be especially nice to show the Scratch program. Directions here.

- If you want to be really fancy, you can use VNC to remotely control your Raspberry Pi's desktop from another computer, and then use screen-recording software like CamStudio to make a video tutorial. Some of the popular Raspberry Pi YouTube channels like Geek Gurl Diaries and RaspberryPiIVBeginners do this.

JM1999 KRA5H1 month ago

It isn't really an 'ible, you are basically telling people what happens in the setup process of a Kano computer.

If you wanted to change something, I would make the photos clearer and in better lighting.

Hope this helps!

So I spent two hours typing up my instructible last night to have everything be really clear. However, today when I went to look at it, over half of what I typed is missing. I made sure I saved it multiple times during the process to prevent that from happening. Is there any way of recovering all that information?

FYI there is a separate forum for bug reports so you might wan to report this there as well:

http://www.instructables.com/community?categoryGro...

Technically this one is supposed to be for help writing Instructables and not technical support, but I guess it's a little ambiguous since it's linked to as "Author Help" from the homepage. Hope you can get your work back!

Maybe click the little drop-down box that displays the options:

"view all steps"

"go to step one"

---------------------

"private"

"collaborate"

"HISTORY"

"delete"

Click "HISTORY" and there should be an option to revert to original, if not you will have to contact Instructables direct via this email: service (at) instructables.com

(at) ahouls be replaced with the "@" symbol.

Hope this helps :)

OK I made this Instructable,

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Rechargeable-E...

I just feel something's wrong... ¶

Can anyone offer help on how to make it better? I know the pics "may" be a weak point, but other than that anything else? Even *if* it gets featured, I'd still want to make this Instructable as good as possible.

Like JM1999 said, your writing is pretty good, and you already got featured, so it doesn't look like you have a ton to worry about. If you want to make it even better, here are some suggestions:

- Include individual links to the Radio Shack parts on your materials list

- Use a computer-generated schematic for the circuit in step 6 instead of a hand-drawn one. It looks like you already used Fritzing for the breadboard diagram in step 3 - Fritzing also has a "schematic" mode.

- Do try to get better lighting for your photos. You're off to the right start with the white background for your cover image. Try fiddling with your camera settings to increase the exposure, or post-processing in a program like Photoshop or GIMP to brighten up the images a bit. You can try to get more artificial lighting (by bringing another lamp nearby), or more natural lighting by taking photos in a room with lots of windows during the day.

It is awesome, readable and well done.

If I made this 'ible I couldn't find anything to change in it either.

After browsing through the text I couldn't find anything that prohibited or distracted me from viewing the displayed content.

It is very well written and congrats on the feature!

Really? Cool!

14409551 month ago

I'm doing a project for my science class. I need to interview a robotics expert. Please Help!!!

Hi - I don't think you're quite in the right place, this forum thread is for asking for feedback on an Instructable you've written. Have you posted this question anywhere else?

JR Tyner1 month ago

How is this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Smore-Zombie-Chese...

Any constructive feedback?

What a fun idea! Something I would recommend is to separate the two different cakes into two instructables. It seems a bit confusing having them both together. Something you can do to make your next food ible better is to concentrate more on the photos. Photographing food so that it looks delicious is tricky. While I believe that your party goers loved the cake, it doesn't look as appetizing as it could in many of your pictures.

siemenc2 months ago

Hi Clinic,

What do you think I can do to improve this Instructable? I'm not sure if there are some things missing or not clear.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Fixing-the-stuff-a...

Thanks!

It looks pretty good to me with a glance. Did you enter it in a contest? I can see it hasn't been accepted into one yet, so If you did, I wouldn't worry about it not being featured until it has been reviewed by the contest moderator. Often this is when good instructables get featured.

Yes, I entered it in 3 contests and got accepted & featured right after your reply. Thank you!

I thought you would. Good luck!

JM19992 months ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Leather-Key-Fob-An...

How can I improve this one to get featured?

I *think* it *may* be the intro photo, I don't know how to change it to make it better so any suggestions will help.

Thanks in advance.

The icon image is definitely a problem as it gets cut off in the square format and it doesn't seem to make any sense. Leave the image as your intro in the instructable but use a different image when creating the icon during publishing. The craftsmanship on the project is also not fantastic. You may want to burnish the edges, mark a straight line for your stitches, and use a lighter marker since the marks can be seen in the finished project. Here's an ible about burnishing.

http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-burnish-lea...

You can also hit the edges gently with a lighter.

OK, thanks.
I won't be able to do anything different now, a friend owns it :)

Thanks for the tips, the intro image was a bit of a fail, I modded it in Adobe and when I uploaded it the image sort of messed up.

I think I will have to let it slide and focus on my papercraft 'ible I have mentioned several times - it should be awesome!

Hello,

I'm quickly becoming an Instructables addict. Posted this late last night, just wondering how it might be improved.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Garage-Genie-Parki...

It's already featured. Congrats!

RJM20012 months ago

Hi, does anyone know how I can improve my instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-reuse-old-leather-belts-or-make-one-from-sc/

It has already been featured. If it's featured, it's quite good already if not great.

DangerousTim2 months ago

hello again guys!

I need your help... Any thing you can tell me for improving my Instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/Super-Simple-Indu...

Yes of course it isn't anything big or anything different or unique, but I've tried to make it as elaborate and easy to understand for beginners as possible. I've also included my own video, which I think for an amateur youtuber, quite good.

Hopefully with your ideas I can make my Instructable much much better...

Regards,

DT

Looks like this was already featured! Congratulations!

I really like the videos, your hand-drawn circuit diagram is helpful, and most of the room for improvement is in photo quality. A tripod is your friend. Or a friend with a tripod is your friend. :D

Im sorry I made a mistake... I wanted to know your opinions of this Instructable m...http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Book-Reading-Lamp-and-Torch/

here

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Book-Reading-Lamp-and-Torch/

It's well-documented aside from two important questions: "how does it attach to the book?" and "what are my Mechanix-alternatives?"

I suspect that's what stood in the way of a feature. Otherwise, your words and pictures are good.

Jazzmyn2 months ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/My-meArm-Bigger-Stronger-Longer/

What can I do to improve this instructable to make it feature worthy? I put a lot and I mean a lot of work into this project and was surprised it was not featured. Did I not put enough effort into the instructable itself? Dose it being a remix hurt its chances? Maybe switch out cover photo? Any suggestions are welcome.

I see that you did put a lot of work into it. A couple of things; you might want to edit the title to be "Giant Robot arm remix" or "Supersized MeArm Mechanical Arm", something like that. There are a lot of people that do not know what the MeArm is. The first image, which becomes the thumbnail for the ible, is cluttered with two mechanical arms and the 3d printer. You should have just your mechanical arm in the shot, maybe with better lighting with a solid white or contrasting background. You can play around with pixlr to edit the uploaded image in the editor. From your intro and a quick read, I really couldn't tell if your meArm was the kit that was purchased since you drew the comparison so quickly. I think just a better narrative as your opening would help frame your project. And as for me, a set of googly eyes on the arm would personalize it and show it was a fun project. Good luck.

I made some changes to the intro and cover photo. Any idea how long before the image will update? I am nervous about changing the title because it is linked on other web sights. Thanks for your suggestions. After rereading my origional intro you were right.

I think the first image you have now is much better. Go ahead and change the title. I've got old ibles with typos in the url because it is system generated when you create the instructable. When they link to it or see it in the listings, it will have the edited title. By the way, you might have to hit the publish button again to select the new thumbnail image. The system will still retain your original publish date for contests and it should retain the two contests it was entered in. Yeah, it's quirky but you came to the right place to ask.

We did it! Just got my "Your Instructable was Featured email"! Thanks for all the help.

You did it! Hope to see more ibles from you in the future.

I made the changes now I will sit back and hope they will be noticed. Thanks for taking the time to help me and to explain some of the odd bits of the Instructables system. I did not even know about pixlr. This will be my new favorite tool.

JM1999 Jazzmyn2 months ago

Even if you change the title, the URL will stay the same.

You can see that on my mini fitness park.

Jazzmyn JM19992 months ago

This is good to know. I always debate on what to call a project.

Passion Make2 months ago

I am back to the clinic. Can you please help me on this instructables of mine, so that I can improve on it and make it feature worthy. Thanks in advance.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pumpkin-Challah-Br...

You can't mod it to get featured - it already is featured!

Good job!!

Happy it got featured. It was not when I had posted here.
JM19992 months ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Easily-Peel-Any-Citrus-HACK/
Any help with this one?
What are the requirements for something to be classed as 'popular'?

I don't know the exact numbers, but to be popular, an ible needs to get a certain number of views within a certain period of time. See this thread http://www.instructables.com/community/What-Does-the-Popular-Sort-Method-Do/

OK, I think it (may) be around the 1,000 mark judging y my previous 'ibles.

What do you think about the 'ible?

The ible is a good idea (though likely more simple than the average featured ible) and the pictures are reasonably good. I would change the first image with the over exposure on the right side. Improvements could be made in grammar. For example, there are a few sentences in Step 2 that have commas where there should be a period. It's also an ible that is very visual. The pictures are all most people will need, so you may have more text than necessary. Great job!

What do you think about it now?

I have edited it a lot and changed the cover photo.

The photo is much better and the text is much more concise. There are still some punctuation errors though. I sent you a PM with details. Good luck!

It is changed now!

lakshay garg2 months ago

HELP!!

Should I enter any contests, do I have a winning chance with the instructable given below:-

http://www.instructables.com/id/Drawing-Robot/

It is my first instructable and let me be honest I had no intentions of doing an instructable for my project untill I saw the prizes of tech and microcontroler contests. So please review my instructable and give appropriate advice.

THANX A TON IN ADVANCE!!!!

Just a quick advise when it comes to entering contests: don't hesitate about entering, you never know what happens! Sometimes the outcome of contests can be quite a surprise. There have been multiple times where I entered a contest just because I got a project that fitted the description of the contest and then became a finalist : ) I personally think contests on this site are a win-win situation: they inspire people to create and if you're lucky you can even win something.

A quick review and some advises about your instructable (and for future instructables :) : when making a project, pictures are your best friend. It's better to take a lot and have to discard most later then not to have enough. When looking at instructables, a lot of people tend to make quick decisions on what to read and what not to read, based on the first thing they see: your main picture. For example for this instructable you could use a picture of the machine with a finished drawing under it.

More pictures also make it easier to split up steps in multiple smaller steps, so the instructables becomes more attractive to read completely.

And for your project: I think the result you got is really cool, loved watching those videos : )

I hope that was helpful!

Thanks for the help

Last quick question

How do I get my instructable featured, they seem to get more attention and preference in contests (read somewhere), so that it reaches its full potential?

emilyvanleemput has given you some great advice, but I wanted to add that contests are also great ways to get your instructable seen. Even if you don't win, people will see your ible in the entries, so definately enter!

There is a complete checklist for that written here: http://www.instructables.com/community/Featuring-C...

Hope that helps :)

SparkySolar2 months ago

I have tried for 2 days to get into thr Instructables

called Solar wax melters, and can not get in.

the error message stated

SAFARI HAS TOO MANY REQUESTS, try later

but I can get into other instructables without any problems. Is this happening to anybody else?

You should post this in the Bugs category of the forum. I'm not having this issue, but if it's posted there, the appropriate staff will see it.

Thank you for ppinting me to the right area, newbie here

My pleasure!

JM19992 months ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solve-a-Rub...

Can anyone please give me some advice on the linked Instructable?

Compared to all the other rubicks cube 'ibles out there this one has less than a 10th of the views.

JM1999 JM19992 months ago

Anyone??

For someone like me, who's very visual, there's too much text and not enough images. Some of the images have tints and reflections that make it difficult to tell which color it really is. A video would be very helpful.

Yes, I agree, there are a few photos in there that are hard to see right, I would love to post a video but I don't have an account with any video supporter.

If Instructables would host videos I would make one.

Thanks for the help, I will have to let that one slide and focus on my mystery upcoming project!

(hint: it uses FIRE!!)

I hadn't uploaded anything to youtube before my Marrionette Mania instructable but found it quite easy. I think I might have even been able to log in with Google. They even have editing software built in that I used on my Zombie Topsy Turvy Doll ible. Neither of my videos are all that good, but without them, those projects are harder to understand. I recommend diving in now so you'll be more confident on any future ible that really needs a video.

Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Jayefuu (author)  JM19992 months ago

It's not very original or exciting. That's the kind of Instructable that will gradually accumulate views through Google searches rather than get a big burst at the beginning from featuring.

JM1999 Jayefuu2 months ago

Hi Jayefuu, I realize what you are saying, you have worded it well.

I never knew how much the google searches affected the view count (I guess I don't search for much!)

I appreciate your help, I will have to wait until it reaches the 10K.

You mentioned featured? it isn't featured - I don't know why or how it passed the filters that way but someone must have missed it.

Caldorn2 months ago

Hi All

I've been reading the list of requirements to get a featured instructable and I'm sure mine does tick all the boxes (or at least I think so). Now I may be blinded because it's mine and I can't see what is obviously failing. So was wondering if any one had some time they could take a look and give some pointers more for future projects to understand where I need to improve or what I'm doing wrong.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-work-with-Leather-A-Gauntlet-design/

Thanks

I think it is a good detailed writeup but your first image doesn't sell it. You need to have them on, maybe some crossed armed pose on a person wearing other period gear or at least outdoors where it would be used in action. Just from the image, it looks like a chopped up pair of high lace boots. You can also go back in to edit and change your title to something more catchy like Authentic Leather Warlord Guantlets or something more associative with LARP. (Don't worry, the published URL stays from the original title but no one looks at that) Oh, and try to crop that first image to be somewhat squarish so that the shrunken thumbnail image will be good. Good luck.

Ok, so primarily it is the main picture. That I can fix. Not sure I want to change the title because when I was writing it I thought this is more a how to with leather than it is the Gauntlets, and as the gauntlets themselves can really be used for anything, the design and write up was more for here is the base now do anything you want with it.

A number of sales I've had with the item is for ladies club wear as well as LARP and Cosplay.

Thanks for taking a look and i'll definitely take on board your comments and remember this for future.

JR Tyner2 months ago

I just recently posted my first Instructable, and it needs the Clinic.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-an-Aqu...

Please leave comments, feedback, and constructive criticism in the comments on it. I would really appreciate that so I can make this system
even better, and it gives me help for helping anyone who reads this.
Thank you Clinic.

JM1999 JR Tyner2 months ago

As far as I have seen, this is as good as it can get, it got featured!

General Instructables have categories:

Ordinary, nothing is special about these (I have 47 of these)

Featured, these caught the attention of the moderator, they liked it and featured it (I have 3 of these)

Featured in the newsletter, it is hard to get to this position, but some make it there

Homepage feature, this is the hardest position to get to by far, you have to really catch the attention of a moderator and sometimes it can take weeks before it gets there.

I read it fully, you have nothing to change, if you really want to change something for the sake of it you could re-take the photos with the flash turned off, I noticed in some of the tank photos there is a bit of glare from the flash.

Not many first time authors get featured so consider yourself awesome!

JR Tyner JM19992 months ago

Thanks, the photos would be hard to retake except for the last one since it's built now.

Hello,

So after reading through the advice about photos, I went through my instructable this weekend and re-did a lot of the photos. Would appreciate some feedback on what other things I might be missing...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Uber-Home-Automati...

I'm kind of worried that some of the steps are too long...but I tried to break up the steps in a logical manner. For the longer steps, I used headers to split it up so it's obvious you're doing something different, but still related.

Yes, the steps are long but when you start reading the content they don't matter.

I saw a nice complete 'ible, good photos.

Maybe on the electrical circuits you have to do that diagram stuff in pencil to get it right (you can find plenty of that stuff in other electronic 'ibles).

I would be asking the same question if I had posted it.

I think you have done a good job.

Thanks for the input. I think my videos maybe aren't very polished. It's much harder to improve on videos than photos. I was hoping the thoroughness of my videos would help make up for the lack of polish in that area. I tried to show videos of everything to show how it actually works.

I'm hoping to get some attention for it, and maybe get featured.

It got featured!

Good job, changing out those photos definitely made a difference!

JM19993 months ago

What happened to this Instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-do-dishes-on-your-own/

I was confused when this didn't get featured.

Any help is appreciated.

Can you people review these two projects of mine and give your valuable feedback:

1.http://www.instructables.com/id/Heart-rate-monitor...

2.http://www.instructables.com/id/Smart-home-energy-management-system-SHEMMS/

xxlauraxx3 months ago

Hey guys! I just posted my first Instructable, and I'd love to hear any feedback so I can improve my process/presentation next time. http://www.instructables.com/id/Dont-Let-the-Tomat...

Thanks for your time!

At first glance:

Great title! Very eye catching. And using up food before it goes bad is something we all need to know how to do. Nice pictures, and very clear instructions....

I will have to think about it for awhile and see if I can come up with anything that you need to improve. But for a first attempt, I would say you did a great job.

JM1999 xxlauraxx3 months ago

Wow!

People on this site don't normally have their first 'ible featured, that is so cool, I took a quick look through and the presentation is so neat!

Keep up the good work and I don't think you could have changed anything to make that one better - nice job!

xxlauraxx JM19993 months ago
Thanks, JM1999!
JM1999 xxlauraxx3 months ago

You're welcome!

DangerousTim3 months ago

Ok I made this 'Tutorial' instructable, which has lots of pics, information and is simple enough for at least beginners in Arduino to understand - http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Use-Touch-...

Yes maybe it doesn't show many unique projects, but its easy for beginners and is the only 'Touch sensor' tutorial on Instructables, if you may.

How can I make it good enough to get featured and have more views???

Well, it might as well be written in an alien language for all I was able to understand. So I guess I can't help you. My suggestion would be to simplify it a bit, but for all I know it might already be extremely simple.

If I had posted that 'ible I would be asking the same question, I can't think of anything except break up the steps because some of them are long.

Again, I don't know how to improve on something like this.

Thanks! Who do you think can help me then?

Maybe try Ben finio or ewilhelm or even Jayefuu might have some tips for you.

Danke! Do they have separate "clinics" or do I send either of them a private message?

Ya I know this is Jayefuu's page...

I think Jayefuu was the starter of most cool things on this site.

You would have to send them a private message.

While thinking about it you probably could send Jessyratfink a message, she would have some tips for you.

The Freak3 months ago

Hi everyone! I made an instructable and
it would be nice if I could get some feedback on it. I already changed
the first picture to a more clear in focus picture, but perhaps some
other changes are needed.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-high-voltage-fly-swatter-mod/

JM1999 The Freak3 months ago

Maybe it didn't get featured because it sort of is a dangerous thing?

I thought it was funny you left the batteries in, you probably should re-take those photos without batteries.

That's my opinion anyways, hope to see more stuff from you!

The Freak JM19993 months ago

Haha yeah, I also laughed when I noticed that in the pictures but it was a bit irresponsible of me. But thank you for your comment, it might be a good point.

rickyeatough3 months ago

Hello!

I was wondering if anybody had any feedback on my Instructable: The Ultimate DIY Guide for Quadcopters?! It got a lot of popularity at first, but now its slowed down quite a bit, and also not many views!!

That's just normal behavior I think. When featured, it gets on the front page many people see the thumbnail and click on it. Maybe they share a bit.
But as your instructable gets pushed back by newer featured instructables, people will have to scroll and go further to see it which they will do less and less likely with increasing "distance" from the front page.
In the end, you'll only get views from people who searched google or the occasional link on an other website. (instructables aren't very viral like youtube videos)
The view statistics pattern for all my instructables look like this image.


statistics.png

Hey,

Thanks! I guess i'll just have to wait for views!

Any suggestions on how to improve the actual content?

GrowlAndBuild3 months ago

Okay, so I made an Instructable that I believe could use improvement, but I am not 100% sure what else I can add to make it the best. I would love some help! Here it is:

How To Neutralize Spiciness In Your Mouth

I think you have done well, it is going to always be awkward with these type of instructables but you absolutely nailed it!

JM19993 months ago

Can someone please tell me where I went wrong with this one?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Origami-octahedron...

makendo JM19993 months ago

Low res pictures.

Statements like "If you are confused google it" are not really what this site is about. Provide the link, or better, do a clearer job of explaining and/or add a video or animated gif.

JM1999 makendo3 months ago

What do you think about it now?

I so hope it is feature worthy, I posted it and then realized the papercraft contest was coming up :(

Hmm.. Maybe show how to make the water bomb bases? You have really great photos and I think the 'ible is definitely "feature worthy" though. I voted for you in the teach it contest :)

OK, I will get some photos on the bases up and see what happens from there!

Thanks for the vote!

It looks good and I agree with Thederpyninja, but I would also add more images in the last step. Some of what you're saying seems confusing. Perhaps if I was actually making one it might make more sense, but a couple more pics of what you're describing might be nice.

Ok, I will hopefully have it changed within the week.

Thanks again for the reliable source of information.

No problem JM1999, and good luck!

Thanks!

JM1999 JM19993 months ago
Is this what you were thinking when you said to add how to make a waterbomb base? I think it is totally finished now thanks for the help!
nwalt313 months ago

hey i worked really hard on this instructable and i was wondering what more i could do to make it featured?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Army-Of-Two-Paintball-Mask/

JM1999 nwalt313 months ago

You have a few grammar mistakes in there, for example in step 10 you have put; "back pack and I sowed it" it should be sewed.

I also wouldn't want fiberglass on my face or even near it like you have shown, mabye put another layer there.

Nice job though, I like it!

nwalt31 JM19993 months ago

thank you so much for the advice

JM1999 nwalt313 months ago

It got featured!

Nice job, I still haven't mastered the "fix up and feature" process as you can tell by my origami octahedron.

Did you get the 3 month PRO membership for getting featured?

JM1999 nwalt313 months ago

That is totally fine!

I hope the information has helped you and I hope to see it featured soon!

Passion Make3 months ago
(removed by author or community request)

That looks like a very nice 'ible, I think it is feature worthy but unfortunately I can't feature stuff :(

I voted for you too.

Thank you so much :)

That is totally fine !

M3G3 months ago
M3G M3G3 months ago

Any suggestions?

JM1999 M3G3 months ago

That looks really neat, I voted for you in all 3 contests.

If I had posted that I would have been wondering what I could do to make it better.

There aren't any other Instructables on the topic you have posted so that is even more puzzling.

I would just let it slide and focus on another Instructable in the hopes of getting it featured.

M3G JM19993 months ago

Thanks for the reply!

JM1999 M3G3 months ago

That's totally fine!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-your-own-Micromite-Companion-Minicomputer/

I'd love any constructive criticisms toward getting this featured.

Wow.. Nothing? I was told if I changed my images to originals, the Instructable would be featured (Was done immediately), but I can't bring any attention to it now. Help?

I have never found diagram insturctions very interesting, look at my profile, your 1 instructable is more than any 1 of my non-featured instructables.

MoTinkerGNome4 months ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-PiCade-B...

Howdy Y'all Any suggestions on how to improve my write up would be appreciated. I am getting a lot of views and want to ensure that it is the best it can be. My writing is my weak side.

Thank you

Carl

Looks like you're already doing a decent job since it got featured. One potential area for improvement - the lighting is a little harsh in some of your photos. Not sure if it's from a camera flash, or a nearby bright light aimed directly at what you were working on, but there's a lot of glare on some of the parts. Don't get me wrong - the photos certainly aren't bad, they're in focus and were good enough to get you featured. It might still be worth looking into some of the "how to take good photos" Instructables to make them even better:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Take-Great-...

As for writing - I didn't have time to read the whole thing, but it couldn't hurt to go through and proofread. Here are a couple random examples:

- Step 7, second paragraph: "It is maid with a strip of Tyvek" should be "made" not "maid"

- Bottom of the Introduction: "If you drill into your leg (, table, hand, arm, etc...)" shouldn't have a comma right after the opening parenthesis

- Beginning of step 1: "I used a 19” 4:3 planar monitor specifically because about 10 years ago the company i work for bought several hundred", the lowercase "i" after "company" should be capitalized

You get the idea.

Ben, Thank you for the constructive criticism. I will revisit my directions to ensure that it is properly formatted.
Nikus3 months ago

Hi!

Please, can you look at my project. Why is not featured :(

http://www.instructables.com/id/RC-FPV-tank/

Ben Finio Nikus3 months ago

Looks like you got featured, nice job! Sometimes it just takes the staff a few days to notice and feature something, so don't panic if a project doesn't get featured right away.

Passion Make3 months ago

Hi friends! I have made this 'ibles. Tried to write and gather materials clearly. Basically it was fr the Hunter-Gatherer Contest. Can you suggest what else is lacking. This was my dream project but did not get featured. I would like your feedback. Thank you!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Tropical-Fruit-Ver...

I've just sent you a PM : )

Thank you so much for the suggestions you had given and for the help in the editing part. It got featured now after editing. :) It is so kind of you to help me out.
Passion

Thank you so much :)

benet06714 months ago

Is it possible to change the license for my instructable, after i have published it?

JM1999 benet06713 months ago

Yes it is, you have to go to the edit section an you should see it there.

What do you guys think of this i'ble? I have worked hard on making the tutorial clean and presentable, but it wasn't featured. I believe many members would enjoy this project. Does anyone have any suggestions? I would greatly appreciate any help, tips, or comments.

Thanks for your help,

-KTC

http://www.instructables.com/id/4x4x4-LED-Cube-Arduino-Uno/

Looks like it got featured now. Nice job!

Yes, it did! Thanks!

nodcah6 months ago

I worked pretty hard on this one: DIY Fingerprint Scanning Garage Door Opener.

Thanks in advance!

-Nodcah =D

Teisha nodcah4 months ago

Nice job getting featured and winning the sensors contest!

nwalt315 months ago

Hello I spent a lot of time on this build and would really like to see it finally get featured, can someone help me out? Here is the link. http://m.instructables.com/id/Creating-Costume-Armor-With-Pepakura/

Teisha nwalt314 months ago

Looks like it's been featured now. Nice job!

yoda3334 months ago

Hello instructables,

I recently entered the lego contest with my arduino controled automated lighthouse. I worked really hard on this one hoping to get it featured. However it was not featured, I believe many members would enjoy my project. Does anyone have any suggestions on getting featured? I would greatly appreciate any help, tips, or comments.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Controlled...

Ben has given some great advice, but I also noticed that 5 of the finalists in the LEGO contest were not featured. That seems very unusual to me. It is possible that there aren't a lot of authors that are confident in what makes a good LEGO ible or the ones that do know are more picky than in other categories because I thought your ible looked pretty good. I'm definitely not an expert in LEGO or arduino though.

You're right that is weird, thanks for pointing it out! We've had some changes over in staff recently and it looks like legos were part of what slipped through doing this time. We are taking actions to fix this, and to make sure it won't happen again.

Ben Finio yoda3334 months ago

To be honest I'm kind of surprised this didn't get featured. I'm not very familiar with reviewing LEGO projects, but it looks like it has everything you'd want in a good Arduino project: pictures with clear backgrounds, a parts list, nice circuit diagrams made with Fritzing, downloadable code. Even though you didn't provide literal LEGO-instruction-manual style build instructions, I don't think anyone really does that.

That being said, here are some suggestions I think could help make it better:

- The blue-green text on the cover image is a little hard to read. I'd make sure the text stands out clearly from the lighthouse and the background.

- The cover image also seems a little grainier and lower-resolution than your other photos. You want the cover photo to be your prettiest, shiniest one.

- Part numbers, or even better, links to the exact parts you used for your materials list can make it more newbie-friendly (since there are a bazillion kinds of transistors, diodes etc. with different specs that beginners won't understand)

- It doesn't look like the LED is on in any of the photos. I'd definitely take some shots of that, including some in low light so the LED really stands out.

- Along those lines, a video or at least a GIF of the whole thing in action with the motor spinning would be good.

Those last two points MIGHT be why it didn't get featured - technically there is nothing in the Instructable proving that it "works." That's just a guess on my part though.

yoda333 Ben Finio4 months ago

Thank you for your advice. I greatly appreciate your prompt help. I will definitely be using your input to improve my ible when I get free time. I did attach a video though. It is in the last section of my instructable.

Ben Finio yoda3334 months ago

Ah - I didn't notice the video since it was attached all the way at the bottom of the last step. I'd recommend uploading the video to YouTube or Vimeo and embedding it on the first step, so it's much more prominent. People are way more likely to watch it that way since they don't have to download and open an attachment.

JM1999 yoda3334 months ago

That looks cool.

JM19994 months ago
makendo JM19994 months ago

I suspect you already know your photos aren't really up to feature-standard. However, you can get great results even from a cheap camera - get a big piece of white card and curve it up against a wall outside (but not in direct sunlight). Place your project on there for your photos. And check out Ben Finio's comments below - he has lots of good feedback on similar projects to yours.

JM1999 makendo4 months ago

I don't have the money (or the allowance) for a camera at this point in time, I only have my dads HTC desire smartphone and I don't even have a piece of card to use.

So, I am just lacking in photos? If so would it be possible that if I added better photos it could still get featured or is it too late?

Thanks for replying.

Jayefuu (author)  JM19994 months ago

It's never too late! I had one Instructable featured two years after I wrote it.

makendo Jayefuu4 months ago

Jayefuu is right, but I'd recommend you just treat the older ones as good practice and put your efforts into making your new projects better.

And your smartphone camera probably has more MP than the cheap 2001 3 MP point-and-shoot I used for most of my early instructables - the main thing is to get the lighting right. Jessyratfink recently published a good instructable on how to get the most out of your smartphone camera.

JM1999 makendo4 months ago

Yeah, the smartphone is 8mp but it is getting old (4 years old) and the camera lens is getting stuff on it that I can't clean off, I will definitely take your advice though thanks.

nevets_mcd4 months ago

I've had decent luck at getting my Instructables featured before in the past , but my latest one doesn't seem to be getting any views. It was created for the Toy Building blocks contest. As Lego building is my number one hobby it is disappointing that no one is looking at what I think is one of the best projects I've done in my lifetime. Is creating giant Lego displays really not interesting to others? What am i missing?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Large-Collaborative-Lego-Displays/

I think your biggest hurdle to getting hits in this case is having a really great image that makes people want to click. The cover image for that ible is a bit hard to read. It was likely really impressive in person, but a closer image that makes someone curious might be better.

wilgubeast4 months ago

This is now in the homepage community menu.

Great! Much easier to find now.

I just saw that, and the other changes. Good call.

Hello, could you please go through and review my instructable? I'd appreciate it if you could give me some tips on making my instructable worthy of being featured.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Aergia-The-Android-controlled-TV-Remote/

So, this looks like it has everything that a tech Instructable would normally need to get featured - good photos with white backgrounds, a complete parts list, circuit diagrams, code, etc - very thorough and well done. It looks like there's one big problem though - the title is "Voice controlled TV remote", but unless I'm really missing something, it isn't actually voice controlled. The final step of your project says "You can now use the app and 'Aergia'. Click on any button in the app
and your TV will respond to it just like it would after
receiving a signal from the Remote Control." but there's never anything about voice commands.

I'm not sure if that was just a mistake on your part when you created the title, or if you were planning on adding voice commands later, but published the Instructable early? Either way, making sure the title matches the project is important.

Finally, there are some typos - not bad enough to make it unreadable, but it couldn't hurt to proofread. For example in the first step, there's a "your" that should be "you're", you alternate whether or not Android is capitalized, and "bear" should be "bare". I don't think minor typos like that will prevent a project from being featured, but it still can't hurt to fix them.

Thank you for reviewing my instructable. I have just updated it with info about the voice recognition feature. I am now working on a video to showcase this feature.

Ok - I'm not sure if you published it prematurely so you could make the deadline for the Battery Contest, but FYI that can be a little risky and/or frowned upon. In general it's best to make sure the major content of an Instructable is complete before publishing - then you can go back and make minor fixes to things like grammar or slightly better pictures, etc. From this contest FAQ:

Can I edit my Instructable after it's entered in a contest?



Short answer: YES!



Long answer:

You can make any modifications you want to an Instructable that's
already entered! We get so many entries that there's absolutely no way
we'd be able to police it even if we wanted to - but it's never
something we want to discourage.



Improvement is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned. :)



However, I must caution you: it's best to get those changes done before
voting closes. The voting period matters the most because that's the
time that we start looking into picking finalists.



Another slightly related caveat: don't publish a mostly empty
instructable and try to fill it after the contest ends. We're starting
to see this happen more often, always with a promise that updates are
coming. You can never tell when we'll be reviewing it as a possible
finalist, so chances are you'll get overlooked going about it that way.
We are currently looking at 50-300 entries per contest, so anything
incomplete doesn't stand a chance these days!

Thanks a lot Ben for your insightful review. Your comments have been very useful for me.

I just hope that my instructable can be a finalist in the Battery Contest as I have put in a lot of hours and efforts in my project.

Wow - featured AND a finalist in the battery contest. Looks like those improvements were worth it! Well done - I must say that I'm jealous, I really wanted that DSLR...good luck in the judging phase!

Hahaha, the clinic really helped me improve my instructable. Now I just can't wait for the decisions to be announced!

009agent5 months ago

Could anybody suggest some improvements to my Instructable?http://www.instructables.com/id/Beginners-Electron...

Thanks in advance

amansell15 months ago

HI

i just posted this instructable. I am looking for ways to improve it. Do you guys think an led bar that lights up would be a distraction? Also, did i describe it enough? would someone else be able to do it?

here is the instructable

http://www.instructables.com/id/Compact-Macintosh-Audio-Visualizer/

Hi - this is definitely a really cool hack - I like the video in the intro. The Instructable could definitely benefit from a few things:

1. Proofreading - capitalize your i's, make sure you don't miss spaces between words or parenthesis, make sure sentences end in periods, etc.

2. This might seem dumb, but I'd explain a little bit in the introduction about what an audio visualizer is. Just imagine that you are someone stumbling across the project who has never heard of an audio visualizer before. How would you explain it to them? Can you provide any good background links (Wikipedia etc) they may find helpful?

3. Photos - you even say "sorry for terrible pics" in the intro - I wouldn't call them terrible, but there's definitely room for improvement. Some of them are a little blurry or have a lot of background clutter. You don't need expensive lighting or a fancy camera to take good photos - there are a lot of Instructables on how to take good photos with cheap equipment. Scroll down and you'll see some suggestions in the other comments.

4. Writing - in some places, for example, "Step 2: Find a candidate", I would favor complete sentences over bullet points. When you say "please try to fix your mac before you do this" - does that mean you should ONLY do this on an old, otherwise broken/useless computer? Are the changes you're making completely irrevocable? Again, this might seem obvious to you, but imagine that you're someone stumbling across the project who has never seen it before.

5. In step 3 - you explain HOW to do it, but you don't really explain WHY you're doing it. Again, try to write for someone totally new to the project. You need to explain that you are connecting an audio source to the wires that control the CRT, so you can visualize the audio signal on the screen. That might seem obvious or redundant but it can't hurt to explain it in detail.

6. Step 3 is the place where better pictures would help the most - some of them are blurry so it's hard to see what to do. I'd also recommend making a diagram, just with colored wires, because that completely eliminates background clutter. It doesn't need to be super fancy - a free program like MS Paint is fine if that's all you have access to.

Hope this helps!

thanks ben!

will start working on improving with your suggestions! I will definitely make some diagrams and work on making the instructable into paragraphs!

Akin Yildiz5 months ago

is it possible to get featured using a 3-5 megapixel smartphone camera? or do we have to use a digital slr? or can a regular human priced pocket digital camera do the job like a nikon or smtg?

I use a point-and-shoot (Canon Powershot D10) for all my photos. You definitely don't need an SLR (although I'm still hoping to win one in a contest one day...). It's amazing what you can do just with decent lighting and a good background. My "photo booth" consists of two $15 clip lamps from Target, two "daylight" CFL bulbs, and a piece of white posterboard. It doesn't need to cost you an arm and a leg.

I also started using GIMP to clean up my photos and get that really nice, white background. For tech Instructables I use randofo's Simple Bots projects as examples.

There are also a bunch of Instructables on how to take good photos, and how to set up a cheap home photo booth. Here's a collection of them:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Take-Great-Pictures-1/

winning one would be so cool. and yes i have stumbled upon some of those posts lately and realized that it is all about lighting and background. your reply is extremely informative. I am actually trying to donate a corner in the house for some photography. what I didn't realize when I first started posting here was that you also have to be a writer and a photographer while creating crazy stuff... can be very time consuming! thank you very much!

Yep - the point is to write instructions that are good enough that someone else could follow them to completely reconstruct your project from scratch, not just to show off what you made. I always think you can NEVER be too detailed with the writing. Things that might seem obvious to you won't be obvious to someone who has never seen the project before. So, especially if your goal is to get featured and win contests, you should always be as thorough as possible - take as many pictures as you can, and do a written description for every step of the process without skipping everything.

Obviously this is way more time consuming, but it also helps level the playing field a little bit - an amateur with an extremely well-documented project can beat out a professional engineer with a poorly-documented one in a contest.

I have used a $10 tracfone to take all my pictures ok so now its 5

http://www.tracfone-orders.com/bpdirect/tracfone/PhoneDetails.do?action=view&productVariantExtensionId=30409559

I have 2 featured lighting and background helps

very good to know, thank you. i'm definitely getting featured with my next post..! it's my only goal in life at the moment :)

AmateurHour5 months ago

Can anyone give me advice to get this bench featured http://www.instructables.com/id/Superhero-Kids-Be...

I think I did a decent job explaining it with words and pictures but any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

M3G AmateurHour5 months ago

I think it looks awesome, great work! My only suggestion would be to list the dimensions of the pieces as you attached them together (for example, "first I glued a 14" to a 16" piece at a 90 degree angle. I then attached that to a 32" piece at another 90 degree angle, forming a "h" shape"). Hope I've helped!

AmateurHour M3G5 months ago

Thanks I'll add that in!

AmateurHour6 months ago

Anyway I can improve this Instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pallet-Wood-ShelfC...

It seemed pretty clear and turned out pretty nice. Was it too simple?

spunk AmateurHour5 months ago

I'm not a woodworking expert - but I think you wrote a very nice and well explained ible. The pictures showing the process of making are very nice and crisp but the titel picture doesn't have that quality.

You could make a new title picture to show the beauty of your shelf. I recommend taking the picture in a setting with daylight. Take a look at this ible:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-take-pictur... There are lots of advices about taking pictures.

You may consider decorating the shelf a bit. Placing some nice objects on your shelf not only "explains" it's purpose :), objects also give the spectator hints about the dimensions of your piece.

This ible shows a nice decorated shelf: http://www.instructables.com/id/Rope-Shelves/

I hope this helps...

AmateurHour spunk5 months ago

Thanks for the ideas to make it better! I changed the pic to one that fits your advice. I hope it gets featured :)

Robson Couto5 months ago

Some suggestions and advices about my first instructable?

I tried to make it the most detailed i would.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-and-NRF24L...

Very good for a first time! Maybe change the title a bit(less technical) or possibly a better cover photo. Other than that it was great you are very skilled at reverse engineering!

Thank you!

I'll try do to these modifications.

Raphango5 months ago

Hello!

Please, could you take a look at my Instructable? I don't know what I did wrong so I didn't have it featured.... =(

http://www.instructables.com/id/Animated-Sonic-Rul...

Thank you very much in advance!

Hi! Photo instructables (that basically have one step) are much less likely to get a feature, because they are much more of an explanation of the project, instead of a complete step-by-step instruction. This can sometimes work out really well, for a recipe for example, but for a project like this people would rather read a step-by-step on how you made it and how you programmed it, with pictures during these steps. The fact that you already have 10 subscribers after your first instruct able, does show that people are really interested in what you do :)

Ok... thank you so much for your help! =D
Have a nice sunday! n.n
asrivastava105 months ago

is there something wrong with the presentation...The idea seems great...executed it in a good way..!!!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Touch-Flashlight-cheap-no-adruino/

Background is very cluttered in nearly all photos - try a piece of well-lit curved white card as a backdrop. Arduino, not adruino.

Hello -

My instructable is a thought experiment so photos would be almost exclusively decorative. I was thinking of diagrams and/or equations ...

I guess what I'm asking is - my instructable makes sense to me, how can I make better sense of it to others? What would help me communicate my idea more effectively to you?

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Construct-Y...

Thank you!

your Instructable will only make sence to the right type of person , most people get turned off by equations add lots of cool pictures including the cover best I can suggest

FabricateIO6 months ago

Thoughts on improvements for this 'ible? http://www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Mic-Speech-T...
We thought we did pretty well, but our last one had a much better reception.

Hard to say. It is a really good instructable and a very cool idea. The title, though descriptive, isn't very catchy. For example live and simultaneous are basically saying the same thing so it's redundant. I would also capitalize more on what you will use it for and not what it does. Building a smart home that's voice control from scratch and for $30 bucks I'd check that out! Anyways its a great guide.

ThisIsSteve5 months ago

Presentation and language is good, as are the pictures. Only issue is there are many instructables already on the subject. You need something to catch people that noone has done before, something unique specifically to your project. Other than that it looks great and you are on the right track!

Any suggestions to improve this one??
http://www.instructables.com/id/Rechargeable-LED-Jar-Night-Light/
Is there any problem with the idea, the pics or the matter??

Thanks!

I would say that there is too many pictures in the cover image I would keep it to one jar , even might want to limit the amount of images per step you have to open the window to see them all stretch them out in more steps so your images are all visible with out clicking ,

One point of advice would be to expand your title to be more descriptive. While I enjoy your humor, others may not get it.

Whoops, I seem to have posted to the wrong post. My apologies, your title is perfect.

Thanks for the reply! :)

'Expand' the title?? I thought it was already long enough..
Any suggestions for the title?

Triclaw5 months ago

what can I do to make this Instructable better towards getting featured?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Getting-Stoned/

M3G Triclaw5 months ago

It's a cool instructable, and the title's great; it'll definately catch people's attention! My only suggestion would be to use a different title image, since the people who feature the instructables might get the wrong idea if they came across it while browsing :)

Triclaw M3G5 months ago

I had thought about doing that as well I was trying for some shock value got a lot of views with it who knows might have detured some people from looking at it ,. I changed the cover image and see where it goes from there

Porda6 months ago

I just posted an ible, Touch Lamp, for the Lamps and Lighting contest. I know it's too late to revise it for the contest, but I'd like to make it shine nevertheless. I'd appreciate any advice you can give.

Tater Zoid Porda5 months ago

You can revise your Instructable at any time.

Nikus5 months ago

Hi!

Please, can you look at my project. Why is not featured :(

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-bike-tachometer/

Tater Zoid Nikus5 months ago

Hello,

This is a great Instructable with good detail. There are so many projects uploaded everyday that all of them can not be featured, I should know. Haha.

ThisIsSteve7 months ago

Need help with this, I'm not sure why this did not get featured.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Arduino-1/

It looks like you posted two very similar versions of this, one from a few days ago and this one. Was that intentional, or was this supposed to be an update that replaced the first one?

May 30th:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-O...

May 26th:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-O...

It looks like you did something similar with your "Smart Distance Measuring Tape" (further down in the comments) - posting two similar Instructables just a couple days apart. The editorial staff would know better but my hunch is that it's better to consolidate your efforts into a single Instructable, and not try to increase your odds of getting featured with near-duplicate entries.

Anyway, let me know which one it's supposed to be, and I can take a more detailed look.

Hey Ben,

First of all thanks for reviewing my instructable,the 30th one is supposed to be the one which should be published. I unpublished the 26th instructable, but its still on the site. It must be a bug or something. Take at the look at the pic to see what I mean.

Don't know why it did not get featured on the other hand.

view.JPG

Honestly this one looks pretty good - I'd just give it some time, since you just published it yesterday and the staff probably isn't working over the weekend. A breadboard diagram for the complete layout would be a nice addition. I also don't think you show what the header pins (which appear in the photos in Step 8) are connected to

No luck, it didn't get featured. Anyways thanks for the advice.

ThisIsSteve6 months ago

Any suggestions to improve this one...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Voice-Controlled-D...

Thanks

Naren_Murali6 months ago

advice for this instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/3-Arduino-pins-to-24-output-pins/

It looks like you did a pretty good job with many of the things that make for a good electronics Instructable - clear pictures with white backgrounds, circuit diagrams, a parts list with links, and lots of detailed steps with pictures.

One thing I would suggest working on is making your writing a little more formal. Spell out "you" instead of "u", and capitalize "I" instead of "i". Also try to use punctuation to help break up long run-on sentences. That will help improve the Instructable's readability.

ok I'll correct it thanks for the advice

FabricateIO7 months ago

Thoughts on this Instructables? We'd love to hear suggestions on how to improve!
http://www.instructables.com/id/Hack-a-30-WiFi-Pan-Tilt-Camera-Video-Audio-and-Mot/

Nothing....Its amazing.

amorarun7 months ago

I would like to improve on my presentations so any suggestions are welcome

http://www.instructables.com/id/Integrating-Laptop... this is my very first and I'm working on an improved one so need guidance..

http://www.instructables.com/id/Salvage-Lithium-Io...

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Mini-Saw-Blade...

Ok, some longer comments:

Laptop cooling stand:

- Detailed materials list is good. Whenever possible, provide exact part numbers or a link to where you got the part. Some things, like "small switch", are too broad - there are thousands of different kinds of switches. A new user trying to follow your directions exactly might have trouble picking the right switch.

- Writing style: avoid long run-on sentences. The very first paragraph of the first step is mostly one really long sentence, so try to break that up into shorter sentences.

- I think you need to more explicitly describe what the goal of the Instructable is. I figured it out after re-reading the first two steps a couple times and looking at the pictures. It looks like your goal is to take apart an existing laptop cooling stand and 4-port USB hub, fit the USB hub's electronics inside the cooling stand's case, and then put it all back together so you have a laptop cooling stand with 4 USB ports. I know that's exactly what your title says, but I was confused by the "planning" step because it looked like you just started taking things apart.

- The same goes for other steps. Never worry about re-explaining things to the user, even if it seems obvious or redundant to you. For example, Step 2 starts with "First mark the size of the holes to be made". My first response in my head was "What holes?". Instead, you could start out with something like "In the previous step, you should have planned out where you want to add holes for the USB ports, power jack, switch, and LEDs to your cooling stand's case. Now, you will mark the exact location and size of the holes so you can drill or cut them out." That reminds the reader where they're supposed to be in the process.

- Steps 3-4 - you did a great job taking a TON of pictures and labeling them well. If you want to go the extra mile (and again, I think it's worth the effort to help get featured), a nicely-drawn circuit diagram always helps. At a bare minimum you can draw it by hand and take a picture, but it's even better if you use a computer. You can do it Microsoft Paint, Powerpoint, or a free vector graphics program like Inkscape.

- Thumbnail photo - I like the last photo in Step 5 better than the one you have at the beginning of the project. The lighting is better and they show the final product more clearly. Remember that you REALLY want that thumbnail photo to be an attention-grabber since it's a big part of what will drive views to the project. If possible I'd try to shoot the photo from an angle that shows both the USB ports and the cooling fan, without putting the laptop on top.

Thanks for taking time to read everything and pointing out the mistakes I made. This information is very useful for me and I will use it in my future instructables to make it better, I might probably edit this one to make it more clear. Once again thanks...!!

Happy to help!

I don't have time to give a detailed read-through to the batteries and saw blade ones at the moment, but hopefully some of the advice on the laptop stand one will be useful there as well. Good luck!

One quick comment after glancing through all three (I don't have time to read all the text tonight, but might be able to this weekend) - always try to use a white background for your photos. It looks like you did this for some, but not all of them. The lighting in your photos also seems a little harsh (not sure if you were shooting directly under a bright light, or using a flash). I think the "Siimple Bots" series of Instructables by randofo provide an excellent example of clear, well-lit photos with solid white backgrounds for tech projects. For example, see this recent solar powered robot.

There are several Instructables out there on how to make a cheap home photo box if you want to take really nice pictures, and if you want to go the extra mile you can use free software like GIMP to touch up the photos. A really nice thumbnail image can be a big part of getting featured so I think it's worth the extra effort.

ThisIsSteve7 months ago

I need help with this instructable.

Thanks

Don't know why the link is not working, anyways here is the link

http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-Mobile-Charger-Solar-from-Scrap/

It's awesome how you show how to do this by salvaging old components instead of buying new ones. Most of your photos also have the nice white background, which is good. Some possible improvements:

- In Step 3, it isn't entirely clear how you got the "voltage regulator" part out of the phone charger. To an untrained eye, the last photo looks like you just kind of broke the circuit board in half. A novice would need much more direction on how to extract only the voltage regulator part from an entire mobile phone charger.

- Step 4 is a little clearer, since it looks like you don't have to actually take the PCB apart. However, rather than just saying "You should attach the battery pack, to where the car battery power goes on the charger PCB," you should show this very clearly with a close-up labeled picture (remember that Instructables lets you add little labels to images you upload), and/or a diagram that you draw yourself.

- There needs to be a step that shows a circuit diagram and how to wire together the voltage regulator, battery pack, and USB port (speaking of which, did you salvage the USB port from somewhere? I didn't see that mentioned in a step, unless I missed it). Right now you just jump from salvaging the voltage regulator, straight to putting it all in a case.

- You skip some information about the case - i.e. it looks like you cut holes in the sides for the USB port and LED. You should describe that in the written directions.

- The biggest overall issue - if you're going to advertise this as a solar charger, you need to show that it actually works with a solar panel. At a minimum you need to show how you would connect a solar panel to the existing circuit (right now that isn't clear). Ideally you should show that a solar panel, when connected properly, is capable of recharging the batteries (which can then charge a phone or something) after they've been discharged.

ThisIsSteve7 months ago
woodandmetal7 months ago
Porda7 months ago

I'm working on my first instructable and I'm hoping to get some feedback. I'm heading towards actively making instructables, so please let me know of any practices or standard features I missed. I'd really like to start on the right foot with this.

http://www.instructables.com/id/EMVNKR0HUYLTC8J/

Ben Finio Porda7 months ago

Your writing is pretty good...one general bit of advice is to use a solid-color background for photos. There are several "DIY photo booth" Instructables that show how to do this, although most of them use white backgrounds, which might not work too well with white 3D printed parts. I think I linked to some of them further down in this thread, but you can also just search for them.

A few more photos of assembly and painting couldn't hurt either, maybe some "halfway through" shots as you're working on it.

Porda Ben Finio7 months ago

Thanks for the advice Ben, the pictures were my biggest concern so it's great to hear that you think the same. I've been researching photo booths and actually just found some great techniques in Make magazine. I'll probably be printing a second one soon, so I'll be able to take better, and more, photos the second time around.

14bwenger7 months ago

This is my first instructable, I'll take any advice I can get

http://www.instructables.com/id/Natural-Cordage/

makendo 14bwenger7 months ago

Good start! Couple of things: explain how you handle stinging and prickly plants - I assume you do something to make them easier to deal with; and illustrate more clearly how strong it is (i.e. hang something heavy from it, and snap a picture of that).

Jan_Henrik7 months ago

Created yesterday!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Lens-flare-filter-...

critic please! Thank you!

altaybilgin7 months ago

Background is way better, yeah.

nodcah7 months ago

This was created for the science fair contest. It the idea just too cliche? I haven't seen it done often in a measured experiment, so I thought I'd give it a try. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-Does-the-Number-of-Mentos-Affect-the-AmountRat/

Thanks in advance!

-Nodcah:-)

M3G8 months ago

Any suggestions on how to improve this?: http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-a-Tarp-Into-a-Rugged-Survival-Pack/

Thanks!

makendo M3G8 months ago

You've done a great job overall - very clear. However, the main image is not especially interesting, and if you set up a dynamic Les Stroud-style photo in a survival setting I think it would add a lot (doesn't actually have to be wilderness - Stanley Park would be fine!). Also, for your animated gif - try to tripod it (or otherwise immobilize the camera) so the background doesn't move.

M3G makendo8 months ago

I uploaded a new main image, any better?

makendo M3G8 months ago

Background is way better, yeah.

M3G makendo8 months ago
Thank you very much for your input! I'll try to find time to make it out to a more outdoor setting, in the meantime would the 3rd image of the first step be better for the title image?
makendo M3G8 months ago

Not much better, no... :)

M3G makendo8 months ago

Regarding the gif, i posted the individual photos used to make it instead, would that be better?

toasteroven478 months ago

Hi any feedback on how to make this better would be great. I have already entered it in some competitions. Cheers http://www.instructables.com/id/Robotic-Mechanical-Spider/

gsyme138 months ago

Would you mind critiquing this

http://www.instructables.com/id/Develop-a-Photographic-Memory/

My first. Critiques and brushups please.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Vertial-Axis-Wind-Turbine-from-30-Of-Scrap-Materia/

I think it's a great project! What would make it easier to follow, would be more pictures. Especially in your step 2, since you explain a lot here, with more pictures you could also break it up in smaller steps. The video is quite clear, but seeing a long text afterwards could prevent people from actually reading it all, where pictures (screenshots) with the text split up in different steps could be a lot clearer.

Ok cheers, I'll have a re-look at it.

ThisIsSteve8 months ago

Any suggestions for this instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Robot-V2-F...

Thanks

ThisIsSteve8 months ago

Any suggestions for this instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Robot-V2-F...

Jan_Henrik8 months ago

My new Instructable, critic please! :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Attiny254585-PWM-generator-and-Servo-tester/

Teisha8 months ago

Any suggestions for this one? I'm just not sure why it hasn't been featured. Thanks in advance! http://www.instructables.com/id/Egg-Lamp-Projector/

It's a great ible but could use a better title along the lines of "Etched Eggshell Votive Shadow Lamps". I think the crowd here gets the name confused with something like an iphone movie projector. You want to emphasize the technique you show. You can go back to re-edit the title to your liking. Good luck.

Thank you so much, caitlinsdad! Changed the title to what you recommend -- that describes it a lot better! Here's hoping!

I also wasn't sure what category it should go in - I put it in Living -> Crafts originally, then changed to Workshop -> Lamps after two days, and just put it back to Living -> Crafts. Guess I'll see how it does. Thanks again!!

I think if you were trying to document an experiment on determining luck, you might want to know what luck is basically from a probability and statistics standpoint and then see how that is used to set up your experiment.

Sadi7898 months ago

Any advice on these two I'bles would be greatly appreciated:

Washer Pendants

DIY Foam Weaponry

nodcah8 months ago

I'm just curious about this one for future 'ibles, I posted it about three months ago and just found out about this page. So, what does it lack? Or is the subject matter the problem?

Link: here

Thanks, Nodcah:-)

any suggestions?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular-Workstation/

Actually, no. No suggestions at all.

It got featured! Thanks a lot! :)

AmateurHour8 months ago

My instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Day-Of-The-Dead-Mask/?ALLSTEPS has been up for a while now and hasn't had many visitors, any suggestions to make it better?

In my opinion, the mask needs more glam and someone to model it for the intro shots. It just looks like it's missing something to make it "wow" and, more importantly, a reason to make the mask rather than use makeup. If I had to choose between a mask and makeup, I'd probably do makeup, but if it became obnoxiously complicated (e.g., body jewels/rhinestones), I'd opt for the mask. If you wanted to make it even more special, you could have a glamorous mask and terrifying makeup underneath for even more "wow".

Constructed9 months ago

Any Advice? http://www.instructables.com/id/Sundial-From-Scrap-Wood/