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The Clinic

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

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

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

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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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

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



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Kiteman3 years ago

Starting your first Instructable?

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

This is the first instructable I ever made and I want to make it featured. Any help :)

How to Throw a Tomahawk

Any help would be appreiciated

I got this Instructable featured - http://www.instructables.com/id/AquaFeeder-An-Auto...

But till now only 2k views; I expected to get much more views and get featured on the homepage... Is there anything i can still improve on?

Some possible tweaks. It's pretty neat, but not especially photogenic... perhaps try shooting the main photo from a more interesting angle? The overlaid text doesn't show up that well. Perhaps explain why this is better for you than a commercial version (which cost ~half of what you paid in parts)? Also, it's not clear to me how the robot dispenses the same amount of food each time as the level in the jar changes over time.

Can you help me make my Irish Meat Pie homepage worthy?

That is one fine looking pie. There must be something wrong with the taste. Tell you what; freeze half a dozen, courier them to me, and I promise to tell you what you need to do them to bump them up to the next level :)

M3G13 days ago

Time and time again I keep coming back to this old instructable, trying to improve it. Does anyone have any suggestions on what would make it feature-worthy, or is it a lost cause? Thanks in advance!

makendo M3G9 days ago

Looks like a classic overlooked instructable to me; nice photos & instructions, 20k views already banked; good luck.

M3G makendo9 days ago
Thanks for the kind words, I've got my fingers crossed.
antoniraj M3G8 days ago

I have an instructable which has more than 157k views and not even featured...

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-Gulkand-Rose-Petal-Jam-at-home/

That's rough. But food ones need really good photos to get featured, and your main one could be easily improved. Perhaps spread the jam on something tasty and shoot it in good light without your thumb in the picture?

Any way I could improve my latest instructable on how to make an LED Steampunk lamp using old light bulbs to get it featured?

It's the first instructable I do that doesn't get featured. O___O I guess there's a first time for everything, though. :P

http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Steampunk-lamp-using-old-light-bulbs/

Thanks.

A couple of steps are missing photos. The main picture doesn't look like the lamp is actually on. But I think the main issue is that steampunk projects are usually characterized by a high finish quality that is very much part of the aesthetic, so yours may be suffering somewhat in comparison.

Okay, thanks for the help.

I'll just forget about it and do new instructables instead. :)

Teisha10 days ago

Any suggestions on changing/improving my 'ible on automating shopping so it could get featured? Thanks in advance!

Too risque for a feature or just not that great?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Art-Against-Humani...

Oh it's great (the pictures are hysterical), but yeah it's probably a wee bit risque.

how can i make my instructable featured "wood pendent " please help too much fed up out of 19 instructable not even a single one!!!! please help ?

Could you post a link so I could review you 'ible?

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-A-Battery-Car-/
KRA5H17 days ago

Please review my Instructable, LaserOscope, http://www.instructables.com/id/LaserOscope/ and let me know if I need to make any changes to it to get it featured.

kondzio2921 days ago

Heyy all! It's my new instructable :

http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-printed-magneti...

It was featurted in technology category, but i want badly to make it land at homepage, what is missing ?

It's pretty good; there are a few typos e.g. wit, i, ther, wher etc and you probably overuse emoticons & !, but no big deal. More problematic is that it is a 3d design at this stage and not a print - if you are at a university there pretty much *must* be 3d printers available - ask around. It looks pretty small so it will be cheap & quick.

I've made some changes, and added photos a working prototype made from foam board.

Congrats on the feature!

What do you mean?

Oh, sorry - I noticed it had been featured, but had forgotten you were looking for the home page. Give it time.

Any other way I can improve it to qualify for homepage?

So, there are photos of 3D printed objects now, with help of one user we manage to do some test prints. There is still quite long way to make them perfect but for now I am happy with results since its my first design that was 3D printed

University have 3D printers... however students are not allowed to use them for their personal purposes. Haha... it sounds weird but this is how things are in my country... University bought recently new workstations for solidworks... and again. Students will not use them. I have to carry my own laptop to the university to avoid using laggy computers on which we are working. I realize that In USA or England or wherever 3D printers at univerity are easily available but not here... unfortunately

Jayccob19 days ago

Hi everyone. I posted my first Instructable and I am looking for critic to help improve my future ones.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Explore-Undergroun...

Anything helps, and thanks in advance.

makendo Jayccob19 days ago

You need to improve your photography a lot. The project itself is good. Check out http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-take-great-photos-with-an-iPhone/ for some tips on how to get the most out of a simple camera.

Jayccob makendo19 days ago

I figured that would be a problem. That was using the only camera I have and I don't own a smartphone, Andriod or Apple.

Jayccob Jayccob19 days ago

Thanks for the feed back though. Anything else you can think of?

KarmaN119 days ago

this is emergency......... plz can somebody help me to make piezoelectric element or from where can i get it??

Jayccob KarmaN119 days ago

Hey I don't know how to make one but you can get them from most BBQs and BBQ lighters use them to spark the flame. Is that the knid you are looking for?

MAYER MAKES19 days ago

Here is my ´ible

http://www.instructables.com/id/Poor-Mans-3D-Print...

Any suggestions how to improve it?

KarmaN119 days ago

can somebody help me to make piezoelectric element?

Hey guys!

here's an instructable i
made to use the waste energy from a a bike's exhaust pipe and convert
it to electricity. Please do let me know what you think. :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Recover-Exhaust-Energy/

ArvindK120 days ago

please provide me 16 servo controlling of hexapod arduino code

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pi-Day-Poster-Trib...

Please help... The ible was created with a great effort..!

For ideas as simple as this to work, the product needs to be really photogenic, and the result here is not. Stylistically, you should try to be a little less overwrought and also avoid telling your audience how great your project is - let them draw their own conclusions.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pi-Day-Poster-Trib...
I've already posted three times here, and I really need help. This 'ible was posted a week ago, and hasn't even hit 100 views yet! please help!
How do I make it feature worthy?

CharBob23 days ago

Hey! All this is my first 'ible! Please check it out!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-CNCd-Longbo...

Are all the steps clear? Do you think you could follow it if you wanted to? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Not bad! Unlike some, your spelling and grammar are good, and you explained well. Some of the photos (Especially steps 3 and 4) could stand to be cropped down to show only the subject and less clutter.

Very true, there can never be enough attention to detail! thanks for your feedback!

here is an Instructable i recently finished... http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Piano-Recordin...

As usual I can't decide well on the thumbnail image. Also can anyone tell me how to improve this Ible to make it feature worthy? Thanks in advance...

I like the thumbnail image that you've picked and I think it's the best of those in your Instructable. However, there's a lot going on in the background of your images that might serve to distract from the foreground (your project). Maybe make a DIY lightbox. That's going to be a project for me this weekend. Overall, I think it's a great Instructable and I think if you can figure out how to up the ante on pictures it ought to definitely get featured.

+1

Keep a nice clean background to Showcase your I`ble

Well, thanks, i did that. What about now?

That does look pretty cool ! :D

Maybe lose the wires, and some Color in the Background would be my only Critique !

Just do something similar with your next one and you should fair well :)

Well, thanks, i followed your suggestion. How about now?

dcq3226 days ago

Hi! What ought I do to improve this Intractable and get it feature-worthy?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Le-Ultimate-Sandwi...

Thanks!

it's a very good (and yummy) Instructable! I think the last image could work better for the thumbnail. Also add a caption in the image itself. In the "ingredients" step, try adding a list, like a bullet list or a numbered one, along with the very detailed explanation. Thats all I can say.... I do hope it gets featured!

Thanks for the feedback. I changed the thumbnail image and added a numbered ingredients list. I also added notes to each of the images (although I'm having a hard time getting them to show up on the desktop version of Instructables).

There is ALOT of white in you're Tumb-Nail... Between the Egg white and the Background I had to take a second and try to see what it was. Maybe a colored plate? Possibly some parsley or some sliced Veg to munch on? Tiny bit of pepper wouldn`t hurt Either :)

Can anyone give me some advice on this 'ible. How can I get it featured??

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

It looks pretty decent but the main thing you should try is to improve your images by decluttering your backgrounds - as is they're distracting. Also perhaps try some slower music so the robot looks like it is moving less randomly (there is enough lag that its hard to see that the movements correspond to the beat).

Thanx for the advice. One more quick thing do I have a chance in the DIY music competition ???

You always have a chance, but it's probably fair to say that the majority of winning projects are featured (and often in the newsletter as well).

KRA5H26 days ago

Howdy folks! Please review my Instructable "The Tyndall Effect" http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Tyndall-Effec... and let me know what I need to do to improve it to get it featured. It was a feature article on Science 2.0 (you can find it in the list featured articles here http://www.science20.com/featured). Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have that will help get my article featured here on Instructables.

Maybe a point of criticism is that you don't necessarily demonstrate Tyndall Scattering. Just scattering.

The entire point of the Tyndall effect is that shorter wavelengths are scattered more than longer wavelengths.
You can't illustrate that with a laser pointer which has only one frequency (or at least a very narrow band).

You should light with more colours such as a beam of sunlight or white LEDs.
You will see that the blue component of the light is scattered more which makes your emulsion look blue and your longer wavelengths should reach the end of your container.

Or for example take a red, green and blue laser.
Then you will see that blue light is scattered more than green which in turn is scattered more than red light.

Also, the muddy particles in your dirt step are much bit too big to clearly see the Tyndall effect. (You can even see that all your red light scatters away)

You must keep your particles <1µm


http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Invisi...
I really think that this is worth a feature.
35 favs!

I think it's a great instructable, nice work! My only suggestion would be to take a picture of all of the stuff needed and use that instead of the stock photo you have now.

Can anyone give me some advice on this 'ible and how can I get it featured.

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

JM19991 month ago

Can anyone please give me some advice on this Instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-vinegar-and-ba...

It is consistently getting between 30 and 50 views a day and it never got featured?

makendo JM19991 month ago

You've picked a much-searched for title/keywords, especially around science fair time. To make it feature-worthy, I think you'd have to redo the photos, perhaps add video and tighten up the text.

JM1999 makendo1 month ago

Right, so basically another 'ible :(

I'll think about re-doing it but at this point I don't have any materials for it.

makendo JM19991 month ago

On the bright side, you've already done some good SEO :)

Hey, I was wondering about this ible that I posted a while back. I was wondering for future reference what I could do to make article like this feature ready? Is it a bit niche in your opinion? Was it too long? Do you think the instructions were overly complicated? Is it too targeted? Would love some constructive feedback :) Thanks!

The Ultimate guide to creating a headless Minecraft server

It's well written (save for the odd your/you're, bare/bear), but the main problems are the density of jargon and that you don't really explain your motivation for what looks like an expensive and complicated build. Why would anyone want a minecraft server? Why is a headless one desirable? The main photo says "The Ultimate Guide" but it's not clear to what.

Thanks, so I should work on:

  • Make sure you correct things like your/you’re, bare, bear.
  • Make sure you explain why you are doing the ible
  • Possibly explain why say a Headless server is desirable
  • Make sure not to use Jargon, make it easy to understand

Awesome! The help is really appreciated. I noticed that on the one ible of mine that was featured I had a good reason for doing it and a story to back it up.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pen-Pencil-Stand-W...
Really need help... i never get any attention over here.... :(

I'd start with a Different Background. I Usually go with White too, but there is soooo much white + clear plastic in your Piece that it fades into the Background

Try some colored poster board from the Dollar store !

Also, perhaps use some clear tape next time ? ( Least on the outside)

Otherwise the content is nice and clearly written :) I like the caption on your Thumbnail !

Anything else that could help me?

I agree about the tape. It doesn't look high quality with tape all over the outside. I also don't have any confidence that the sharpener would be held firmly enough by the tape to allow sharpening. I suggest you redo the project with a strong glue like E-6000.

I changed the tape!
BTW, I have done this and I can really assure you that it does really hold the sharpener PRETTY tight, so as to allow sharpening.

Your cover shot looks Nice !

I was just browsing through the Diy Music contest and saw your I`Ble ! Good Luck !

(Sorry for the late response, The Robot up there miss-filed that Email :P )

Make the Thumbnail for your Next I`Ble that Nice, and you should do well :)

+1

ThisIsSteve1 month ago

I personally would be much more interested in actually seeing you create something with the Makey Makey as oppose to just showing us how to program it. Your article, because of the aforementioned reasons, seems very targeted at beginners and people who actually need to use a Makey Makey.

However, I hope you don't mind if I bookmark your project for future reference :P

Most readers probably don't know what a makeymakey is or does, so your project is very niche (i.e. only for those that have or want one of these things). You could make it more broadly interesting by providing some background, and providing an example of programming it to do something.

This instructable got a category feature, but I'd love to get some advice on how to make it homepage-worthy.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Wirework-Time-Turn...

I was literally just marveling over your project on the homepage, Being a avid harry potter fan It just caught my eye instally!

It's on the homepage!

I'm wondering the same thing about my Classy Warrior Trophy Jewelry.

Nevermind, it's on the homepage.

NEED HELP TO MAKE IT FEATURE WORTHY

The writing is pretty solid but has a couple small typo-like errors. You may want to read over it carefully again. Primarily, I think your issue is the images. They're all back-lit with the window in the background. This makes for a dark subject. You may be able to lighten up the foreground a bit with a photo editor. Also, there's no need to list what each image is. If you feel there's some specification needed, I would suggest tagging the image with the "add note" button instead.

dashinggurl1 month ago

How an instructables become featured?

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-play-Mancal...

Any help for this instructable?

I thought it was pretty good but I don't know for sure

There was another instructable with the same name and same type of content entered in the How to play contest. Both the instructables are also posted on the same date. you can see the other one here

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-play-mancala-1/

Wow! I did not know that.

yea, that may be one of the reasons your instructable did not get much attention

I simply don't understand how to play based on your rules. Perhaps some images with drawings or diagrams to explain how the stones move would be helpful.

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