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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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

Kiteman2 years ago

Starting your first Instructable?

Then you need to read this how-to guide.
Kiteman Kiteman6 months ago
(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.)

My first. Critiques and brushups please.

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.

Any suggestions for this instructable?


Any suggestions for this instructable?

Jan_Henrik3 days ago

My new Instructable, critic please! :)

Teisha7 days ago

Any suggestions for this one? I'm just not sure why it hasn't been featured. Thanks in advance!

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.

Sadi7897 days ago

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

Washer Pendants

DIY Foam Weaponry

nodcah9 days 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?

Actually, no. No suggestions at all.

It got featured! Thanks a lot! :)

AmateurHour15 days ago

My instructable: 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".

Constructed25 days ago

Any Advice?

I would like to see the steps a little more detailed, possibly with links to a latitude calculator and an equatorial sundial guide. I would also like to know how to find "true north" and what a gnomon is. By adding these, you eliminate the need for the reader to go searching the web for those things, which could lead to more favorites.

I'd also really like to see a picture of it in use in a yard or somewhere.

You've got a great start going, but these little things could take it to the next level.

THank You!

dalegribble1 month ago

I was expecting a higher traffic on this instructable. Would you look at it and give me some pointers on it. Thanks

I would put a better title like"Homemade mega outdoor playset" or "scratchbuilt giant outdoor jungle gym". You can go back in to re-edit. From the outset it just looks like you just assembled a kit in your yard. You might want to write a little in the intro on why you wanted to build the set. I would be interested in learning any tips you have as the need to pour proper foundations and maybe the skills needed to weld the pipes. Good luck.

Thanks for the advise. It all made a lot of sense and was very helpful. I've made the updates, hopefully it will get a little more views

diamondmine1 month ago

Here is my instructable.

Constructed1 month ago

I honestly don't know why this is not getting a lot of views! it has a cool photo and the instructions are detailed and its funny! why is it getting such little views?!? Thank you

A couple things:

- There are a BUNCH of Instructables on how to make a cheap home "photo studio". All you really need is a piece of white posterboard to make a nice background, and some decent lighting. No need to spend extra money on fancy lights - just move a lamp near your photo area, or try to take the pictures during the day in a room with good natural light. In general you'll want to do this for each step of your build. Photos where you are working on a table and can see a bunch of other stuff in the background (chairs, plants etc) are distracting. Here are some examples:

- Going along with what caitlinsdad said - being funny or witty can help make an Instructable a little more fun to read if it's done well, but it won't necessarily get you featured or guarantee a lot of views. View count depends heavily on how many people click on your Instructable after looking at the thumbnail (so the first picture is really important). Getting featured depends on the Featuring Checklist, which doesn't really include writing style - just "spelling and grammar don't distract." Asking for specific comments at every single step might risk being seen as cheesy by some. It certainly IS ok to ask for feedback - for example, something like "I hope you enjoyed my project - please let me know if you see any typos or have any suggestions!" will sound better than "If you have read this far, Tell me if there are any typos. I suk at writing gud." (speaking of typos, note that the T in Tell should not be capitalized in that sentence).

Thank You!

Any ways to improve?!

Pandering for contest votes is never in good form and talking down to the reader with the read on comments and ****** is cool comments is so not what the general population here wants to read. That distracts from the informative text of your instructable. Being humorous or humourous is subjective, you have to know the audience here.

On a general note, I would recommend that you change your profile pic to something so you don't stand out as a generic new user. The dash - as the first character in your username might trip you up later or it may already have, the system does choke every once in a while mysteriously when trying to form URLs and stuff if it runs into anything else besides regular alphanumeric characters.

It's hard to gauge how many views an ible should be getting since it depends on the time of the week, the season, the contests that are running, what people are interested in at the moment, if blogs have picked it up, if it was featured, etc.

Thank You, that explains a lot why it takes a while for my instructables to show up under recent i never would have thought the dash was messing it up.

Should I change the main image of this ible to a collage (second image actually) for attracting better views or it's just fine?

Thank you.

lamefreaks2 months ago

Hey I worked hard on this one but it did not get featured, Please give any suggestion on how to improve it..

Honestly I'm kind of surprised - this has a lot of the things you'd usually look for in a good tech Instructable. Nice photos with white backgrounds, a parts list with links, good circuit diagrams. Although, I notice you just posted V1 on Feb. 16th - and I don't see a "Posted" date at all for V2, for some reason. Maybe just be patient and give it a couple more days? Sometimes it can take a few days for something to get featured after you post it, and yesterday was a holiday in the US (not sure if staff still review things to feature them on weekends and holidays).

Has your contest entry been approved yet? Sometimes I seem to get featured almost immediately after getting accepted into a contest, which makes me think the same staff person handles both sometimes.

It couldn't hurt to touch up on some minor grammar things - make sure you capitalize the word "i", know the difference between "its" and "it's", "your" and "you're", etc.

Hey thanks Ben just noticed that it got featured.

Hey I got the contest entry approved, and i din't notice that the posted date is missing I think that is a glitch and maybe it is the reason why my instructable din't get featured.


Looks like it's been featured, lamefreaks. Thank Ben for clearly articulating why it merits a feature.

SuperTech-IT2 months ago

Is it possible to get an instructable re-featured?

I have an instructable that was featured once, but it has changed and improved with age, and it might be nice if it was "re-featured" to get it out into the public eye again.

One improvement is that the project now has music input trigger response and is about to get a wireless remote function.

Is this something that's even done?

That's probably a better question for the guess would be no, because editors screen incoming NEW projects to decide which ones get featured. I've seen people do "Version 2" posts of their projects when there are significant revisions - for example this one just recently got featured. Of course, if you're making a lot of small incremental changes over time, instead of one or two major updates that actually warrant writing an entirely new project, that could be harder to do - you don't want to post 10 different iterations of the same project.

If you haven't done the wireless remote function, maybe you could write a new one for that?

I made this instructable, and I am surprised it did not do better. Any ideas as to why that might be the case?


I agree with Kiteman - this will probably be a very handy reference Instructable that people will stumble upon when they google "how do I build my own capacitor." But, it isn't exactly something you'd see on the front page and then go "Ooh, cool, I want to make one of those!" Of course, there's nothing wrong with that - there are lots of good "reference" Instructables that accumulate a lot of views over time, like Basic Electronics and Beginner Arduino.

One minor tip - it looks like you got the idea of using a white posterboard for a background right, but a lot of the photos still look kind of dark with a yellowish or grayish background. Some steps look better than others - for example, the shots of the multimeter in Step 7 aren't too bad. Not sure what type of camera you have, but if it isn't too difficult, you can always try going back and re-shooting the images with different lighting, white balance and/or exposure settings. You can also use GIMP or Photoshop to touch the existing images up. I think there are several good Instructables out there on how to take good photos, if you need some pointers.

That's very helpful- thanks for the advice!

It's a niche instructable, so you shouldn't expect a massive number of views in the short term (it's the sort of project that gets a steady, long-term trickle of views via search engines), and it's an unfortunste truism that every formula in a piece of work halves your readership.

I see... Thanks for your help!

JM19991 month ago

What can I do to this instructable to make it feature worthy?

And what is a benchmark for views on the first day? the instructable in focus got 237views in 6 hours, Is that good or average?

The link to your instructable doesn't work for me.

Not sure about benchmark for views - obviously it depends heavily on whether not not it's featured. You could browse by "recent" and see how many views most non-featured projects tend to have after their first day, if you want to get a rough idea.

It does not work for me either :(

It is my secret compartment in a door stopper.

Can you just paste in the full text of the URL instead of trying to make it a hyperlink?

So it looks like there was a mix-up below and Jayefuu thought you were asking about a food Instructable - but I think the comment about photographs still applies. It might be hard to do for this one since you're stuck taking the photos where the door stopper is attached, but the photos look like of dark, gray and dingy. Can you try:

  • Taking the pictures on a really bright, sunny day, when there is more natural light?
  • Moving a lamp near the door stopper to get it more light?
  • Touching up the photo and editing the white balance in free image-editing software like GIMP or Picasa?

I will try it in a different room for the sunlight and will get a better photographer to do it.

We have Photoshop, I should have used that like I do with all the other things I take photos of.

The lamp idea is good however we donated our last lamp to an opp shop :(

Thanks for the ideas, I will get on to it ASAP!

Hi guys.

So I have been putting together a chainsaw mill instructable, here:

It's almost done. I just need to finish off text in step 15 and take some photos for steps 12, 15 & 16. I would really appreciate any feedback you might have on this one before I go 'live' and publish. I have gotten so close to the project, I think another perspective (or a few more) could be a real help.

Thanks Loads!

That looks good to me (bar a couple of steps needing photos).

I've never used a chainsaw, so this might be a stupid idea, but what about adding a handle at the non-engine end, for a second person to help guide/handle the saw?

Hay Kiteman,
Thanks for taking a look, means a lot to me. Like you say, I do have a few photos to add yet. And I would like to strengthen and finish off step 15 too.
In terms of the extra handle - for general handling it's a good idea! Though a second person could grab the long frame handle, just on the other side. Will mention it somewhere though. In use, it really doesn't need two people, as it just sits atop the guides and goes. Another pair of hands is handy, but for putting in wedges and carrying cut slabs more than anything.
Thanks again, any other comments more than welcome :)

i really thought that this one would get featured.....

put a lot of efforts into it...!

Well, what you are doing is illegal. That won't win you a feature. Sorry.

fjordcarver2 months ago

Would love some feedback on how to get this one up to 'featured' standards

JM19992 months ago

What can I do to improve this instructable?

Any suggestions will be helpful!


JM1999 JM19992 months ago

Thanks for the info, The photos are the best I can do at the moment but I was actually supposed to post this link: and wanted suggestions for it!

Thanks for the info though and the links are great!

Jayefuu (author)  JM19992 months ago

The recipe sounds fantastic, though I think you're exaggerating by trying to put a healthy spin on it. The grammar and spelling are good, the writing and presentation is well done but I think the photos aren't as exciting as a lot of the featured food Instructables.

You should take a look at:

1 ) How to take food photos for Instructables by AngryRedhead

2 ) Some of Scoochmaroo's food photographs

3 ) Some of Jessyratfink's food photographs

To get ideas on how to pose and photograph to make food look REALLY tasty.

achakravarthi2 months ago

i have uploaded my instuctables now i got 35 favorite and 945 views.( i would like to see my instructables in featured can i improve my instructables to be in featurred list.plz help me ,thanks in adavnce

Jayefuu (author)  achakravarthi2 months ago

Nice Instructable! I like that you went to so much trouble to make a well presented and detailed video.

got a lot of the key requirements for featuring but I think perhaps the
lack of punctuation, capitalisation and grammar could make a lot of
people skip over it.

If you take a shot at correcting these things, let me know and I'll point out to you any that you miss. (send me a PM)

AmateurHour2 months ago

Hello, my first instructable was featured and now I can't seem to get any others featured. I think I'm doing them all in the same manner but I'm probably missing something. Any help to improve these two in particular would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

It seems the false bottom trunk Instructable became featured which is awesome. Any tips on making the Day of The Dead Mask into a better Instructable?

JM19992 months ago

Any ideas on this one? it has over 380 views and 14 favorites and 2 comments (other than myself) and I really want it featured.

ahmedyasser3 months ago

Hi, a couple pointers:

- Spelling, grammar, and punctuation in general could use some cleaning up:

1) Avoid using all caps.

2) Avoid excessive punctuation marks!

3) Avoid very long run-on sentences with lots of commas, but no periods.

4) Proper capitalization (for example, I should always be capitalized)

If English isn't your first language, you can probably get more help in this forum.

- Materials list - it never hurts to link to the exact parts you used. Where did you get the ultrasonic sensor? What exact type of piezo buzzer did you use?

- The pictures are kind of blurry with poor lighting. You don't need lots of fancy camera equipment and expensive lights to take good photos though. Just use a white posterboard or piece of paper as a background, and try to take the pictures near an open window (but not in direct sunlight, to avoid glare) or in a generally well-lit room. See some of my Instructables for examples. I just have a point-and-shoot camera and the backdrop for all those pictures is just a $1 white posterboard.

- For step 2, it would really help to have a circuit diagram and not just pictures. This helps beginners follow your steps more exactly. There are free tools out there that help create breadboard diagrams - Fritzing is a very popular one. You can also draw the diagrams yourself from scratch in a program like Microsoft Powerpoint, Inkscape, or even Microsoft Paint. Here is an example of some Arduino circuit diagrams in addition to photos.

Hope this helps!

Thanks alot for the reply

English is my second language, i didn't give much attention to these mistakes.

am gonna get started with fixing it

nerd74733 months ago

I feel that this needs improving but how can I do that?

Taking a quick look - proper punctuation and capitalization will help. Make sure you always capitalize the first letter of a sentence, and avoid run-on sentences. For example, I would re-write Step 4:

go to the LX menu in the bottom of the screen it is sort of like the
start menu on Windows but its Linux. Adding the icon to the desktop
isn't hard just go into the menu and you should see a "Electronics
button" right click it and choose add to desktop.

to say

Go to the LX menu by clicking the icon in the bottom left corner of the screen. This is kind of like the Linux equivalent of the Windows start menu. Move your mouse over "Electronics", then "Arduino IDE". Right click "Arduino IDE" and select "add to desktop.

Some other thoughts:

- A materials list might seem obvious for this one, but it can never hurt to include it. In this case it looks like your materials are a Raspberry Pi (with standard peripherals), an Arduino Uno, a USB cable, and a working internet connection for the Pi.

- It looks like you took pictures of the Raspberry Pi monitor with a cell phone. You can take screenshots on the Raspberry Pi, which would improve the look of the Instructable significantly. You could even use an image editing program (GIMP is a good free one) to highight important parts of the images, like the button to open LX terminal (step 2) or the LX menu (step 4).

- This is a straightforward "how-to" guide for how to install Arduino IDE on a Raspberry Pi. What about spicing it up a little though? Can you post a simple example of something you can do with the RPi-Arduino combination, that you couldn't do with either device alone? Maybe that would warrant a separate Instructable - just a thought.

AngryRedhead2 months ago

So I guess I need help with these two Instructables:

They've both gotten pretty good hits from CraftGawker and Pinterest (the cleaning wipes has even been on the Instructables' Pinterest which is confusing), but maybe I need to add something more? Or the photography's off? Or they're boring?

azharz3 months ago

Can please someone see the mistakes and tips for featuring this instructable:

BAH!!! STUPID FORMATTING! Trying this again:

I think this is an incredibly ambitious Instructable for a 15 y/o who worked on an Android program for a couple days with no previous programming experience. :/

From my husband:

It looks like you’re going for the typical "Hello, World!" demonstration that is usually the first chapter in any programming book. They usually make that the first chapter so they can focus on all the unrelated stuff that you just have to know to get a program to run at all: the editor, the language, the toolchain, the API, and the engine. In some other languages, you just paste one line in Notepad and run a program against the text file and you get its version of "Hello, World!". Android programming is particularly complicated because there are special steps for everything there.

I'd recommend you dump the code part into the Instructable and be very honest about not actually getting much into the language. The problem with following that text is if a new programmer messed up one character, they wouldn't know if they missed a line, or what, and they would have no basis for fixing the error. I would never try to explain to a beginner GUI callbacks in an introduction tutorial, but would rather point out that stuff is just the wizard behind the curtain for now. Heck, I have to interview people that have 10 years of programming experience and callbacks cause them to melt down. All you really need to explain is that you put in a button, which tells something else to display "Hello, World!" for five seconds, and specifically point out those parts.

Back to me:

I think you should scale it back, create a very specific focus of the Instructable, and be ridiculously simple in your explanations. It'll still be hard to do because it's just one of those things that's hard to explain, particularly what to explain and what to call "don't worry about it - it's voodoo magic at this point".

And then there’s the issue of featuring because you need a "cool" factor to it. If you can keep it as simple as "Hello, World" but make it slightly more interesting, you'll have a better shot. For instance, you can try to sell the Instructable as "Passive-Aggressive Real Life Messaging: Baby's First Android App". So instead of printing "Hello, World", it prints, "Hello. I just hit a button to tell you that I'm playing the smallest violin in the World." Or whatever. You can tell people that they can insert whatever phrase they'd like.

Basically, I think you can do it and create a feature-worthy Instructable. The explanations just need to be clean, clear, and not overly complicated, and it just needs to put a fun little spin on the whole thing to make it a little "cool". Get creative with how you can use it and how it’s a neat thing!

Hope it helps!

You are just awesome, actually no one replying to this one. Thank you very much. I will change it as soon as possible.

Persistent = Driven

Keep going for it!

stive.cool5 months ago
Hey how is instructable
please help me

Hi, a couple suggestions:

- Do your best to proofread for punctuation and grammar. For example, in the Introduction step, "it is a mini PC and has a built in arduino.which makes it cool", there shouldn't be a period in between "arduino" and "which". "I'm going to pst many versions of this robots with improvements", the word "post" is missing the "o". "Once you got all the Hardware the pcduino is easier to use than arduino", the word "hardware" should not be capitalized.

- Your introduction step doesn't actually explain what the robot does. Does it drive around autonomously? Is it a line follower? Do you control it over WiFi? You mention your "previous robot" - can you provide a link to that, for people who haven't seen it yet?

- Give a much more detailed materials list, with exact quantities, descriptions, and links to where you go the parts if possible. I think this is one of the biggest differences that can help get an Instructable featured. Imagine that someone has never seen your project before, but they find your Instructable and want to follow it exactly. They need to know what size PCB, how many and what type of connector pins, what kind of motor, etc. There are thousands and thousands of different motors, so if I want to do your project, just reading "motor" doesn't help me very much.

- Circuit diagrams: I think it's also helpful to have a "breadboard view" diagram in addition to a photograph and a regular circuit diagram. There are free programs out there to do this like, or you can just draw them in MS Paint or Powerpoint. See this for an example of what I mean. It looks like you actually have this in your Arduino Mini Robot Instructable.

- Step 3 - you say to refer to your previous Instructable - you should provide a direct link so people don't have to go to your author profile and guess which Instructable you were talking about.

- Step 4 - the Instructable ends rather abruptly, and doesn't actually provide any code. Are we supposed to use the exact same code as your Arduino robot? If so, you should state that explicitly.

- There are no instructions for actually assembling the body of the robot. Again, imagine if someone has never seen this project or built an Arduino robot before. You need to give them all of the exact steps and not leave anything out. Or, refer back to a previous Instructable of yours if the directions are already written somewhere else.

Hope this helps!

lamefreaks5 months ago
Hey help me with this instructable


- Watch your grammar, e.g. spell out "your" instead of typing "ur".

- Give a much more detailed materials list, with links to parts if possible. For example, there are probably thousands of different kinds of switches. Exactly what kind did you use? "A case to get all of this in" is very vague - about what size should the case be? Judging by the picture, I'm guessing you also need some hookup wire and a soldering iron - you should mention that in the materials too.

- Circuit diagrams: I find it very helpful to have a pictorial diagram, or "breadboard view", of circuits. This can make it easier for a newbie to follow a step-by-step procedure to build a circuit. This is in ADDITION to regular circuit diagrams and photographs of the finished circuit. For example, you can see a couple of my Instructables:

There are free programs out there that will help you make these diagrams (see, but you can also just make them yourself in a program like MS Paint or Powerpoint.

Hope this helps!

M3G3 months ago
I've been trying to improve this instructable ( and I'd love to hear some suggestions on how to make it better.
Kiteman M3G3 months ago
My only small criticism is that you are not "lifting" the print, you are revealing, highlighting or discovering it.

"Lifting" is what they do with clear tape, to physically lift the evidence away from the surface upon which it was found.
M3G Kiteman3 months ago
Thank you for the information, I'll change that.
roshenac3 months ago
Hello everyone :) Any advice on how to make my Instructables better in future would be greatly appreciated. Here is my first Instructable:
Kiteman roshenac3 months ago
Your project has already been Featured, so I don't think you need to do any more!
Jacoby-4 months ago
How do I delete an instructable
unpublish it -> go to edit -> more -> delete
azharz3 months ago
Can please someone see the mistakes and tips for featuring this instructable:
number8wire4 months ago
Hi, any helpful tips or criticisms of my latest project?
Thanks in advance!
XaqFixx4 months ago
Howdy - Could someone take a big red ink pen wielding look at my latest 'ible?
Thanks in advance!
Kiteman XaqFixx4 months ago
That looks fine to me - I like the writing style, and you've included all the necessary information, and even referenced your sources and inspiration.

One small quibble; not everybody uses the word "gear" to mean "clothing" (I'm thinking especially of international readers). Maybe re-title it "Cheap and Easy Vintage Style Weatherproofed Clothing"? That's up to you, though.
Jacoby-4 months ago
How do I delete an instructable
Kiteman Jacoby-4 months ago
Hit "edit", then check the tabs that appear.
nathan nash4 months ago
lamefreaks4 months ago
rwelgosh5 months ago

Any advice, thanks!!!!
Kiteman rwelgosh5 months ago
That looks fine to me!
rwelgosh Kiteman4 months ago
Kiteman, thank you for the review.

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