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Creating a New Standard for Rating Project Difficulty Answered

Hey guys. I've worked on many projects based off of instructions given by another person, and I've seen many different ways of ranking the difficulty of a project. What I've found is that many of these difficulty systems are hard to understand or don't provide enough information. I think that Instructables could really be improved by a standardized difficulty ranking system to help users quickly decide if they have the appropriate skills and tools for a project based upon a search criterion or "arrange by" feature. The system that I have come up with is based upon two factors: tools and individual skills. Tools would be the main focus with the skill level based upon the viewers' ability to use them. I won't go into too much detail now. I want you guys to give your honest opinion on how the system should work before I try to finalize my ideas. Keep in mind I want it to be simple, but descriptive enough to help us decide if a project is feasible. It doesn't have to be too accurate, so don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. I think that it should be voted on by the community as well as the author. Thanks guys. I look forward to your input. If we get something good, maybe the Instructables staff can incorporate it into the website's features.


Far too complicated.
Difficulty is subjective and the only value the slider has is to refine a search in a particular direction.


I know about the problem with subjective ratings. I just think if we were to say, "This project requires a large amount of skill with reflow soldering techniques," in a simple and brief way to viewers, we could help them browse the ever-expanding mass of knowledge on the site. We just need to come up with a clear, standardized way to rate the projects. Not so much in terms of easy, intermediate, hard but something directly referring to specific skill sets. Maybe soldering novice, woodworking master, or something of that type.

How would you say "This project requires a large amount of skill with reflow soldering techniques," in a simple and brief way?

Too complicated for something little-used. And a person's current level of ability should be open to change through learning; i.e. people can aim higher (or lower).


There already exists a difficulty rating, on a slider set by the author when publishing a project.

What is lacking is an option to filter by the difficulty.

I just want something more descriptive of the actual project. Maybe something like "Woodshop Level 1" or "CNC Level 3". I almost forgot about the current system. I haven't seen it in a while. Thanks for making that clear.

The "wood shop" or "CNC" bit should be covered by authors' keywords, so being able to filter a search by difficulty would achieve what you're after.

("Haven't seen it in a while"? Is this a new account for an old user, because your profile has no instructables on it at all.)

Well, I guess I'm an old user, and this is my original account. It's just that I have made only a few instructables and deleted them (I blame perfectionism). I haven't posted since with my lack of time. Good idea with the tags though. If they were just differentiated from any other tags as tool requirements, they could work well with the difficulty rating.

The current difficulty rating is worthless. I've never even seen it anywhere besides on the submit instructable page, and I suspect many people just leave it on the default setting.


It's not worthless, it's unused.

If it were possible to see / sort by difficulty, it would be used much more.