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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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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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Kiteman1 month ago

Starting your first instructable?

Then you need to check these links:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Write-an-In...

http://www.instructables.com/community/Featuring-C...

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.

bertwert Kiteman20 hours ago

I would like to see how I could improve this instructable.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Camera-Lens/

Thanks for any help!

( you should probably comment instead of replying to a "featured comment"

It tends to build up)

Good Point.

Revamped this instructable, really nice clear photo, good instruction. Keep your super glue safe and stop it falling over in the fridge

http://www.instructables.com/id/No-Spill-Superglue/

Hey Kiteman i had made this project with lots of expectation

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Automated-Fire...

But its not even got featured , could you please check and tell me whats wrong with it.

To be honest, it wasn't good to see this in the very first paragraph;

I'm very lazy person to read and write things so you are about to experience very bad English ,forgive me ..

There are a lot of errors in spelling and grammar (capital letters missing, oddly-placed commas etc). That might be forgiveable in somebody who lacks the skills to use English properly, but when I find that the reason is laziness, I am put off. In normal circumstances, I would have stopped reading there and moved on to a different project.

Thanks Kiteman, I now changed those lines ,and did few adjustments .
Am i ok to get featured now?

My instructible was published on the 18th and has 1400 views

It is http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-pi-prin...

However there is another instructible (not mine) published on the 17th and it has 27000 views

They are both in the contest

I would like to see what I have done wrong quite soon.

Thanks

First, and major impression; images.

Your photos are not very attractive, dull and shades of grey, and most steps have no images at all.

The introduction does not "sell" your project well enough to make up for the images - why would I need to make a printer server? My printer already runs fine off my computer...

The instructions are quite obscure as well. Many people have little in the way of coding skill, and so I would expect a coding instructable to include an element of education as well as simple instructions - for instance, in stape one you say;

Turn on your pi and login to the GUI. Next go to LX Terminal and type
sudo apt-get update
That’s it for this step

Why? What do those weird words mean, and why am I typing them? In fact, I am with you as far as "turn on your pi", and after that I am lost.

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

You clearly have skills with a RasPi, but you need to work on communicating those skills to others. In future, perhaps send a draft copy of the project to a friend to try without help, and see what they manage?

Helli,Kiteman sir I wantes to ask suggestions on my instructables " make your own speaker from scrap " as it has'nt got featured I had posted a video of it working too.And spent my 2 days making that as I wanted to guide all instructables members truthfully. Please help!!!

Firstly, you need to remember that not all projects get featured - even projects that take many days, even weeks of work.

Secondly, I'll ask you to read these two links:

http://www.instructables.com/community/Featuring-C...

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Write-an-In...

In the case of your project, the issue is that English is your second language. Whilst it is far better than my Punjabi, the sentences are a bit difficult to read. I suggest you talk to one of the members active in the English Language Help forums. See here:

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

Thank you sir, I'll manage to rewrite the wording by tomorrow can it be featured then? Thanks you for your timely reply! I would definitely change it by tomorrow. Thanx!

YuKonstruct3 hours ago

This is my second post and I'm hoping to get some tips on how to improve it:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Robo-Critters

Thanks!

bertwert4 hours ago

I would like to see how I could improve this instructable.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Camera-Lens/

Thanks for any help!

Hi, is there a point where an Instructable is a useful build but too easy to be featured? I created these insect traps on holiday to successfully reduce wasp numbers around the table. I think they work really well but are they too simple? http://www.instructables.com/id/Campsite-Critter-Catcher/

Hi there!
We've overhauled this
instructable on tool organization to make it easier to follow. We love
the idea of using easy to recognize pictures and hope it will be useful
for others. Is there anything more we could improve on? Your input would
be appreciated!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Repair-Cafe-Tool-C...

repair cafe drawer.jpgtools.jpg

http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Thief...

I need some tips to improve my instructable, So that it could attain more attention.

tankrium4 days ago

Would love to get a feedback and possibly get featured for this project where I used scrap wood and found objects to create a concept idea for aquarium installation.

http://www.instructables.com/id/LOOKDOWN-concept-f...

Thank you for consideration! :]

Looks like it's already featured ! : ) Keep in mind, it can take a while for your instructables to be featured sometimes, the people featuring them are just human ; )

peekabooo9 days ago

I'm just getting the hang of this instructable-ing!

I'd love your suggestions on how to make this better:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-3-ingredient-vegan-friendly-sugar-free-raw-/

Hi there - I took another look and I've updated the text and improved the formatting. Made sure all the bullets and numbering was nice and consistent and added a photo or two. I wish the photos were better but my cell phone can only do so much.

I'd love feedback from someone about what they think!

Thank you :)

anlek10 days ago

Hey, this is only my second instructable but I was wondering anything I can do to improve it?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Block-Heater-Plug-Improvement/

Honus anlek9 days ago

It appears to be really straight forward to me but maybe additional photos would be better. You could add photos of the sugru covered parts (magnet and washer) on the car and plug.

anlek Honus8 days ago
There is a shot of the washer and magnet parts in step 3 but I've added a few notes to my photos to make it easier to understand.
Thank you for the feedback! :)

Hello,

I think my instructable is really useful but am struggling with it. Please can I have some advice please?

http://www.instructables.com/id/No-Spill-Superglue...

I guess it helps it I oist the link ;)

ModMischief10 days ago

I thought this idea was borderline genius and that the photos and instructions were clear, but my instructable hasn't been featured: http://www.instructables.com/id/Bib-Clips-for-Inst...
Any tips on what I can do to improve it?

Yay! It's been featured!

Really good instructable here on how to make customer low cost stickers, the instructable has had the front picture amended, BUT is it enough for an awesome feature? We needed small stickers that were affordable, this is the solution.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Silhouette-Print-and-cut-Stickers-Brand-your-Maker/

I have added text to the front picture, the instructables is really useful. It has all the steps, please can someone advise as to what else we can do to get this featured. Would a close up of one sticker get better results? What do you think?

Thanks!

please chexk my two latest ibles if they deserve to get featured pleaee help! I'll be very thankful to you and the titles are

Diy jellyfish

3d hologra

KerryW13 days ago

This is my first one not to be featured, while it is not as long as some I thought it was quite explanatory and nice photos. Is there anything I can do to improve it and get it featured?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Awesome-Pacman-Phone-Sock/

I would think about changing the title to something like "Super Sock Phone Case".

Yeah, it's Pacman, but you did not knit the Pacman sock and it could be any kind of awesome theme sock to use. Maybe point out it is quick and inexpensive to do -budget friendly and green. Good luck.

Awesome, I have done as you suggested. Thanks for your help!

tominjose14 days ago

Any way to get my instructable featured ?

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Automated-Firework-Using-Smartphone/

Help required please, whats wrong with this instructable

http://www.instructables.com/id/Community-Kids-Build-Ceramics/

Hey I made this instructable & I thought it might get featured but it did not. So I was wondering if you guys have some suggestions on how to improve it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Road-Trips-With-Kids/

Hi. I looked it over and found good material there, especially when you link to the source material. That is good! One thing I noticed is that your formatting can be improved with bullet points. On the top bar of the area where you write the step, there are several formatting choices. I've had trouble with indent. It did not work for me, however bullet points work great for listing and highlighting several points. Bullet points do several things: It adds a dot to the left of the paragraph; it indents the entire paragraph; and it adjusts the line spacing between the lines a little tighter so it stands out from other paragraphs allowing the reader to focus on important points.

hockeyidiot25 days ago

Hi! Do you have any suggestions for this Instructable?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Black-Eyed-Susan/

Thanks!

appytechie25 days ago

i need some help ?

http://www.instructables.com/id/GETTING-STARTED-WITH-ARDUINO-5-1/

Please review my ibles as they haven't got featured

http://www.instructables.com/id/Real-Metal-Detecto...

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Rugged-Coins-F...

that's all please help!

pious12329 days ago

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-chea...

Plz review this instructable is there any thing can improve to get it featured ??

icecats1 month ago

I recently wrote an Instructable that has to do with a new process in 3D Printing. Similar ones that I wrote were featured. I was wondering what was wrong with this one. I published it around 6:00 a.m on a Monday. Please help if you have any ideas.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Material-3D-Printing-Dental-Floss-Pick/

I need some help here. I have been creating a series of ibles on basic embroidery. I published two so far, (feather stitch and laced running stitch) and they were both featured. The last one I published (back stitch) is the most in depth and has better images, but it wasn't featured. Anyone have any theories?

No expert at making instructables but I have done similar things in a different context.

Feather and laced both have punchy introductory paragraphs, particularly laced. It's great, positive engaging and clear. Feather is great and you can get a good idea of how it looks and how it's used from the very attractive Dolores pin cushion, a cute idea, well executed.

My first read of the back stitch made no sense to me. I was confused by the chess piece. I didn't get that it was a pawn and I couldn't see how it related to a chess set. I'm not sure that the curves are the best example of a straight stitch.

Perhaps if you start with just the stitch and then move to how you can use it?

Also I don't think your photos are as good, particularly page 1, photos 7 and 8. The fact that they are smaller in the layout doesn't help I think.

If I'm nit picking, the threading the needle is on a different backgrounds and that makes it look a bit disjointed. If the yellow patch was sitting there on the green floral it would connect together better.

I hope this is not too blunt. You did seem to want genuine feedback. The first two are great and with minor changes I think back stitch would be too :-)

It's been featured! Thanks again!

Thank you for your feedback. I changed the intro slightly and added images of the completed chess set.

The needle threading is on the same background fabric as is used throughout the instructable. You can see it in almost every picture. The picture taken closer to show the knot looks lighter, but it's the same fabric.

I'm not sure what you mean by pictures 7&8 not being as good, but I realized that one was sort of a repeat and didn't fit where it was. I can't control how the images get smaller. That's the instructable format. Every step will be like that.

The backstitch isn't a "straight stitch". Embroidery goes where you take it.

Thanks again for your help.

I am a sewing teacher myself, Maybe if you were to make step 2 & 5 a little clearer. That might help. I hope this helps you out.

Any other theories or constructive criticism?

I point people at OrigamiAirEnforcer when questions like this come up. All of his instructables are presented very well but only a representative sample are featured. Not much to offer in the way of improvement except perhaps to avoid repeating photos.

Yes, I'm aware of OrigamiAirEnforcer, but he has over 300 instructables on a similar topic with very similar images. I'm talking about 5. I posted another one yesterday that got featured. Yes, I repeated two images in the step about threading the needle, but the rest are all very different.

Sometimes it really seems to be about timing. The editors want the channels to look diverse, and they pick a nice selection of I'bles to make that happen. In other words, it's not all about quality. It may also be about what others published at the same time.

And of course, it's the weekend!

Any suggestions to improve this article to be featured :)
It's my first time to enter a contest here.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Soldering-tricks-s...
and this one please?! :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Connect-Arduino-Ro..

Actually it's for a job interview, I want to make everything look great.

LightBug1 month ago

I need some help with this -

http://www.instructables.com/id/GETTING-STARTED-WITH-ARDUINO-1-2/

Thank You

Do you also run the appytechie account?

Any tips on how to get this featured?

http://www.instructables.com/id/11-Traveling-Hacks...

Please Help.

siemenc1 month ago

Any feedback on this instructable? I feel like I'm missing out on something although I can't put my finger on it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Nest-Sheet-lamp/

The only real issue I see is that your first paragraph has some grammar and punctuation issues. Read over it again slowly making sure you have commas or periods where they're needed and that the wording isn't confusing.

Thank you very much for your feedback and you're right. I read over it again and made some adjustments.

Congrats on getting featured!

LightBug1 month ago

Can some one help me with this instructable please

http://www.instructables.com/id/Internet-Controlle...

Thank you

LightBug1 month ago

Any tips on how to get this featured -

http://www.instructables.com/id/Taking-Electronics...

Thank You

It's been featured! You're on the right track.

Does anyone have an idea on how to make this good enough for a home page feature? http://www.instructables.com/id/Romantic-era-lands...

UjjwalB1 month ago

Hi,PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS..u are the original author of the trick how one can turn his/her screen into a privacy screen using a polarization filter.the gentleman in this video could get the screen to be absolutely dark:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e-HMjikwsY ..is it cause those particular brands of lcd screens turn dark on removing the polarizing filter or did he do something else too?..and my primary question:CAN THIS BE USED ON SMART WATCHES??a lot of us can use this for our personal purposes.i need to use this VERY soon.thankyou in advance.

LightBug1 month ago

Hi, I need some help with this

http://www.instructables.com/id/Taking-Basic-Elect...

Thanks a lot

Marvinator1 month ago

Just posted my first I'ble last night, and was hoping to get some input from more experienced posters as to content (yeah, I know I need more pics) and layout and even the project itself. THANKS!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Chimney-Cap-from-Garbage-Can-Lids/

Moem Marvinator1 month ago

I have to say your Instructable is already quite good and I can't think of any improvements really!

The only thing that jumped out at me was the sentence 'Everything I used is readily available in most hardware stores'. That's not true. It may be true in the US, but most people don't live there. So I'd rephrase that slightly. That's all!

Marvinator Moem1 month ago

Thanks for your input! I will make that change so that it is more accurate.

dmserve1 month ago

This is my first instructable;
http://www.instructables.com/id/Long-Bed-Printed-3d-Printer/
It would be nice if you have a look and suggest any improvements
that I can bring to it. This information will help me in future instructables.
I am thankful for what it did achieve, what areas can I improve to do better.
Thanks in advance

makendo dmserve1 month ago

35k views, featured, and won a prize - great start! A few tips: use a well-focused, high res photo for your main image - the current one is badly pixellated and has strange punctuation. Try to limit photos to no more than 6 per step; make sure all steps have at least one photo. Your intro text doesn't really tell a story and there is no real closure at the end. Avoid Unnecessary Capitalization.

appytechie1 month ago

Hey I need some help with my first one -

http://www.instructables.com/id/BUILD-A-SIMPLE-ROB...

Thanks a lot.

Pictures look great. I can't speak to the project itself because I've never attempted anything like it before, but you have some punctuation errors. Look through it again and make sure you have capitals at the beginning of sentences and periods instead of commas when appropriate.

I would love any suggestions for making my instructable homepage worthy.

Using a Travel Journal

any tips on getting this featured?

http://www.instructables.com/id/recycled-paper/

Any tips on how to improve my Using a Travel Journal ible to make it homepage worthy would be appreciated.

any tips on getting this featured?

aggrh the link doesn't work!

for some reason I can't paste a link but if you can still take a look it is my most recent instructable "hydrodynamic testing water tunnel"

Maybe it would be good to write a bit more in the intro about what it's for. "Hydrodynamic testing" doesn't really ring a bell for everyone and the pictures don't really make the purpose clear. Also I'm wondering about the relevance of the picture of a body part with a mosquito on it.

Here's the link so others can take a look.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hydrodynamic-Testing-Water-Tunnel/

ok thanks! I added what you said (and discarded the mosquito picture

that pic was kind of a joke)

I definitely think it's improved now!

Jokes don't have to be bad. If you have a silly picture and want to keep it in, maybe mention it in the text somehow. Or at least add a note that tells the joke.

thanks! it was just featured!

High five!

high five!

instructables[1].png
WaffleGuru1 month ago

Heya, just popping in with an ible I posted a few days ago. I had some good luck with posting here before and got some tips that helped improve my Instructable, so I thought I'd give it another shot with this one.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Light-Up-Combat-Bo...

Any tips or suggestions with how to improve it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! :)

hschlech2 months ago

This is my 1st attemp at an instructable and only did one step at this stage:

http://www.instructables.com/preview/EWX32WZIANSGT...

I would appreciate some comments/suggestions before doing the other steps, since I feel it might be a bit verbose...

Honus hschlech2 months ago

I think what you have so far is great- it's great project. I wouldn't worry about your writing at all as I found it easy to follow. On a complex project like this the worst thing you can do is leave out information- just remember that you are trying to explain to someone else how to successfully recreate your project and you'll be just fine.

I would definitely change the title to something simpler like "Low cost 3D printer from simple hardware" or something like that. When you put $50 in the title and people find out it costs significantly more they tend to get upset about that.

Looking forward to seeing it completed!

hschlech Honus2 months ago

Thank you for the feedback Honus, I will definitely heed your advice. I do want to stress the fact that no specialist tools are required...should I perhaps retain the 'only using a dremel, drill and handtools' in the title?

Just call it "3D Printer with Basic Tools" and you're set. Honus is right that simpler is usually better with titles.

Brooklyntonia, any idea what happened to the 3d printing contest - it seems to have disappeared from the 'Recently closed contests' page...?

They all drop off the list eventually. I wasn't following it, but if it didn't close on the regular schedule, it may have dropped off more quickly because it ended before the other contests on the list. You can always find closed contests on the archive page. There's a link at the top of the contest page.

Found it - thank you - they still have not announced the winners though...

Well, sponsored contests usually take longer.

WaffleGuru1 month ago

Hey y'all, I'm still a little new to the Instructables game, and I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to my most recent one to improve my chances of getting featured: http://www.instructables.com/id/Tiny-Faux-Taxiderm...

I know it's kind of short, but I thought I did a better job on this one than on my previous Instructable, which did get featured. I thought my pictures were pretty good, and my instructions were clear, so if y'all have any tips or suggestions for what I could do to improve it, I'm totally open to input. Thanks a bunch! :)

Moem WaffleGuru1 month ago

I like your I'ble just fine. Honestly, getting featured is also a matter of luck and timing. If it doesn't happen, there might just be too many other feature-worthy projects that got published at the same time.

I can see one thing that might leave room for improvement: it's based on something others might not be able to find easily (the wooden plaques). So maybe a suggestion on how to obtain or make those might help. That's all I got!

WaffleGuru Moem1 month ago
That's a good idea about where to get the plaques, I can totally add that in there. Thanks!
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