Instructables

The Clinic

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

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

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

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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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

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



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Kiteman2 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.)
Jazzmyn4 days 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 Jazzmyn4 days ago

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

You can see that on my mini fitness park.

Jazzmyn JM19994 days ago

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

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.
(removed by author or community request)
JM19996 days 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!

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

ok how do I embed my collections on my blog

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 :)

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!

JM199916 days 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 JM199913 days 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)  JM199913 days 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 Jayefuu13 days 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.

Caldorn14 days 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 Tyner14 days 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 Tyner14 days 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 JM199914 days 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!

JM199923 days 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/

xxlauraxx28 days 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.

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!

Thanks, JM1999!

You're welcome!

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 Freak26 days 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/

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!

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.

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?

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!

JM19991 month ago

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

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

makendo JM199928 days 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 makendo28 days 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 JM19991 month 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!
nwalt311 month 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 nwalt3129 days 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 JM199929 days ago

thank you so much for the advice

JM1999 nwalt3128 days 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 nwalt3129 days ago

That is totally fine!

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

(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 !

M3G1 month ago
M3G M3G1 month ago

Any suggestions?

JM1999 M3G1 month 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 JM19991 month ago

Thanks for the reply!

JM1999 M3G1 month 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?

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