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Where Did The View Counts Go?

I was browsing the featured instructables and I noticed that in the little bar below where the title and thumbnail are located the views the instructable received were no longer listed. Instead only what appears to be the number of favorites was shown. I think that is a cool little feature, but why remove the view counter? Couldn't both the number of views and favorites be shown? Personally, I kind of like being able to see how many views an instructable has received as I browse. 

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sspence3 years ago
Great to see the views back. Thank you. I like the Popular listing as well, but I notice if you sort by popular, they don't sort in any particular order.
Kiteman sspence3 years ago
They sort in order of popularity.

Popularity is a short-term metric, to do with how many views and comments a project gets, and how fast it gets them. An active comment-thread can make a project "popular" months or years after publication.
sspence Kiteman3 years ago
Except they aren't sorting, they are all mixed up.


instructables snip.PNG
Kiteman sspence3 years ago
They are sorted, just not by visible data.

They're sorted by the recent activity on that project, which is a combination of views, comments, favourites and the frequency of all three (it is possible to be high on the popularity list with only a few dozen views and a couple of favourites if they happen quickly.
wilgubeast3 years ago
Two things are happening with the data we're displaying on projects:

First, the old "which type of Instructable is it?" icon has been replaced with the total number of steps. The new project editor doesn't have the arbitrary steps/video/photo project type breakdown, so this change supports the move to simplify the creation of Instructables. The number of steps is slightly more useful to people actually wanting to read or remake a project: now you can ignore single-step projects AND get a sense of the complexity of a project at a glance.

Second, pageviews are an ineffective way to judge the quality of a project. Projects, even less than stellar ones, steadily accumulate pageviews over time. Sorting by pageview is just too noisy: on one side, you're seeing the best of the best (your sweet potato fries, 5x5x5 LED cubes, play dough, etc.); whereas on the other, you're seeing flip phone photographed projects from 2008 propped up by the accretion of views over the last five years via search or a misleadingly attractive main image... and a high pageview count display just reinforces those clicks.

To replace pageviews, we wanted something that was a better indicator of a project's quality. Number of favorites correlates strongly with pageview data, and it has the added bonus of reflecting what the members of Instructables actually prefer. We trust you all to surface great stuff, because you're familiar with what works, what doesn't, how you like to see projects presented, and what sorts of projects you like to see.

As Kiteman stated below, "this isn't YouTube." Pageviews are a very noisy signal when trying to determine the quality of a project. While people do "vote" with their clicks and eyes, we think that showing the Favorites numbers is a better measure of quality. It's not like we've stopped counting pageviews; we're just not displaying them on projects in the grid view.

A couple of notes:
-Not including views and favorite and number of steps and whether a project was featured was a design decision. Something had to go, or the clutter would have been overwhelming.
-To make the favorites data more robust, we need more people to make use of the Favorite feature. Accessible projects accumulate more favorites than complex ones, so we need our sophisticated members to use this feature so we don't inadvertently water the site down. (If you're reading a forum topic about a design change, you're probably one of our sophisticated members.)
-This is a step in an iterative process to make it easier for readers to evaluate a project from the grid view. If this experiment flops like Fosbury, we'll try something else to make the site easier to browse. (There is a push at HQ to bring back view numbers. Probably because jessyratfink has 15 million-ish views.)
I object to the "number of steps" simply because it strikes me at the least useful criterion I can think of on which to judge the quality or depth of a project. I've never really cared whether a project is photo/video/steps (and I applaud the move to get rid of this distinction) but I really don't think it needs replacing with some other artificial metric (lots of steps means good? bad? easy? hard? hopelessly prolix?). Favourites is OK if you want to encourage the more trivial projects, but it's as least as distorting as the view count and I'm not really sure just how strong the correlation is that you speak of (my beer crate has as many favourites as my treehouse, despite a 100x disparity in views). It's also prone to manipulation, so given the shameless vote-begging that goes on here, I expect we'll soon see authors asking readers to fave their projects...
Also, the problem with your expectation that members are using the favourite button to indicate that they like a project is at least slightly misguided - I use it to bookmark projects that I think I might like to execute one day, so many projects that are fantastic go entirely unacknowledged by me save for incrementing the view counter.
M3G (author)  wilgubeast3 years ago
I feel that for new users and occasional visitors to the site a view count is an easier way to gauge the success of an instructable than the number of favorites. Views are a more universal measure than favorites.
Kiteman M3G3 years ago
Wilgubeast's point was that the number of views is not an accurate measure of a project's quality or popularity, because older projects still accumulate views over time, often purely because they draw in hits from Google.

My most popular project is over 5 years old, but it happens to be Google-friendly, and draws in hundreds of hits a day, even though there are other, similar projects that are much better.
Deeg wilgubeast3 years ago
What about bringing back the rating? (I assume it's gone because I don't see any place to rate an instructable but then I could just be blind.)
Kiteman Deeg3 years ago
Rating was replaced by the favourite button.
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