Urge authors to make better project summaries


I see these neat projects all the time in the newsletter, but when I click on them I'm often bewildered. 

When I see an instructible  want to know one thing: What does it do?

Maybe it's my own shortcoming, but I wish that people would say in the first sentence what the point is of their project. 

This project is super cool and the steps seem clear.  However, what does it do?  It says in the title "facilitates DC restoration".  I don't know what that means.  It also says in the link "PC Sound Card Oscilloscope".  Does an oscilloscope somehow facilitate DC restoration? 

I probably don't know enough about electronics for this to be useful to me, but it would be really nice to understand what he's making and what you'd use it to do. 

I'm sorry to pick on the guy who's apologizing for his English, but I wish that it said what the robot does. 

This has a great description, and this is what I'm talking about.  I can't imagine what you would do with it, but it clearly makes algae.  Cool, if I want to make algae, I'll know where to look!  

I think it would be easy to encourage people to include the purpose of their project in the summary, and perhaps it could be incorporated easily into the submission process (although a simple suggestion might do the trick). 

Of course there are times when it wouldn't be appropriate, like when posting art related instructables.  Also the general purpose stuff, like how to make balls of ice (although it would be interesting to know why someone would make an ice sphere maker)!  Also guides, like "Plant Terrarium Basics" don't need the purpose spelled out.  But, I think that lots of other things would really benefit from it!



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Yonatan247 months ago

I do my best to explain what it is, what it does, how it works, and why I need/want it // Why you should make one.

I have a list for helping me to write an intro.

Same here, I always try to explain what it is, why I made it and wherever applicable I include links to resources for further reading.

I like a good story and a bit of background in an intro. I'm always disappointed when I read an I'ble and I have no idea why they even made it.

My problem is that it takes me way more time to complete the intro, than all of the steps combined...

I usually try to type it up before even starting to make the project, since then I know exactly why I want to build it, and I'm all excited. If not, I forget it, and that makes me waste way more time trying to think of something informative/funny.

mikeasaurus5 years ago
Great feedback! The first example you give could use a broader concept to establish where this project is coming from. You should leave your feedback directly on the project page, the author might just update their Instructable.

I'm not seeing the other two examples, as they seem straightforward to me based on title or intro.

The best way to help promote better (clearer) content is to just reach out and ask the author!
geneorama (author)  mikeasaurus5 years ago
I'm not interested in leaving comments on the many instructibles that don't clearly state their purpose. First, it's rude and not my place, second, it's not how I want to spend my time.

The last (third) example was an example of an "ideal" instructible.

The point I was trying to make in the second example was that the author never says what the robot will do. Will it avoid walls? Be remote control? Just one line would have made the content more valuable.

I call it writing "point first" (not my idea), and I think it's a simple, but powerful idea that has broad application. But, I wish that there were a suggestion to make your instructible point first in the submission area, because if people did that, it would increase the value of this content.
Attmos5 years ago
Yes, maybe this should be mentioned on the "Create" tab. I've seen some like that too. When someone is so familiar with a topic, they forget that others may not be. And the whole point of this site is to share so people can learn.
blkhawk Attmos5 years ago
People not accustomed to write often assume that everyone knows what they are talking about. You have a good point.