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New tabs. Answered

The new tabs work, but they are counter-intuitive, and not as functional as I would expect.

I would propose that the "More" tab be renamed "Community", to give a better indicator of what you will find there.

Plus, I suggest that the "Explore" tab include an "All Recent" option, to allow people to see all the latest projects, without having to trawl all the categories to find out.

See also:

Frenzy's announcement.

Goodhart's thread.

Steveastrouk's thread.

Mpilchfamily's thread.

I am also starting to find it bleedin' annoying that a brief drift of the cursor too close to the top of the page means half my screen is covered by the drop-down menu.



6 years ago

Hello everyone,

Thanks for the feedback! We are definitely listening to your suggestions. We look a lot at numbers when we push new features, so if this ends up not benefiting our users, we'll take it out.

Instructables.com is a dynamic site that is always looking for new ways to improve user experience, this latest change is a part of that goal.

-Gregg Horton
QA Engineer

Gregg, could you at least slow down the speed the drop-down menus react?

Try asking your users BEFORE you push things out, and you MIGHT save yourself a lot of criticism.

The more user friendly sites STILL put up a B-E-T-A site, where upcoming design changes are sandboxed, critiqued and tinkered with.

Try it.

Oh yeah, and fix the more broken bits of the user experience, like the thumbnails not working in FF, the editors glitching etc etc.


My suggestion for the mouseover on the tabs is not to add a click to use function but rather to add a small delay, probably between a tenth and a quarter of a second.

Allows time for a mouse to pass over on its way elsewhere without adding extra actions to functionality.

The right amount of time would be the key.

I agree on the "more" section, I couldn't find the forums either...

How do flying tabs rank for those with movement impairment issues, compared to fixed features I wonder ?

The active pop-up is an extremely annoying disruption to use of the site. Until it is fixed so that they only come up after a mouse click, I am probably going to stop using Instructables.

I was going to stick my fingers in my ears and try to hold my breath...but you might have a better plan.

In my unsolicited opinion, it ought to grab some attention that probably the second most-loyal user of the site (after Kiteman :P ) is saying this.

But, of course, it won't, because management has, with its extremely "pure"-science-oriented bent, very unfortunately got it into their heads that pure statistical analysis after experimental changes is a good way to determine web design by "letting traffic determine the design." I think the mechanism here is supposed to operate in much the same fashion as anonymous, two-choice opinion polls that are such a good way to design a building or replicate the Mona Lisa.

Wait, you mean that's not how designs that are functional, aesthetic, or both are made? Ya don't say. Yet that is in effect how they are determing the site's appearance and functionality!

Clearly you can't rely on 12 users on the forums to drive your design - but they go way too far in the other direction. This history of consistently and (I daresay) aggressively ignoring substantive, thought-out, coherent feedback from actual, active users of the site in favor of seeing if traffic falls or rises with design changes is a methodology so flawed that I frankly can't understand how anyone would think it could demonstrate a causal link between traffic and site design changes - that if forum traffic goes up 12% in April, it must be because we moved the button for the forum - so we should keep the button in the new spot, current users who say it's harder to find be damned. The problem is obvious - maybe that's why traffic went up, or maybe it's because there was an issue with a contest and people went to the forums to complain. The variables aren't (and, I would argue, can't be) properly isolated. I would think they might have a course or something at MIT that mentions, somewhere along the line, that correlation does not equal causation.

But that's just me.

Clearly you can't rely on 12 users on the forums to drive your design - but they go way too far in the other direction.

Well, no you can't, but you should when the most active members of your site ARE forum users and contribute a lot of content etc etc, then the rules say you should listen, because without them, you lose a lot of what makes your site tick.

I think the issue here is that we assume they want the site that works best for hardcore users. They don't.

The thing they want is pure traffic. Site impressions. Pageviews. I think that substantive contributions are largely held irrelevant to the new business model (after all, you can just put up some recipe copypasta and it'll bring in the crowds just as well as original content). Sad thing is, they're probably right.

"Traffic, for lack of a better word, is good"
                                                                     R. Gekko.


(Although I think their data will be good enough to link traffic-changes to specific changes, not just dates, because they know where people go to, and what they search for as well.)

Changing the "more" tab to "community" should be the work of moments (did you see the word "Ace" got added to the Quick Fix tab?), but the worst thing is the pop-up menus - every time I try and change tabs in my browser, or use the forward/back buttons, I get most of my screen rendered useless. Grrr!

(Oh, I know they could do that kind of analysis. I just haven't seen any indication that they actually do so. All staff comments I have read about this have said "no, this is a good decision because traffic went up by 8% in the last month," rather than some more sophisticated explanation.)

I was going to comment on that, did so, and then, what is only a trivial and completely understandable bug happened, and it put up a copy of my earlier comment to Lira.

Priorities folks, priorities.

And once again, HQ's staffers are hiding out of the way. Come on guys, you were so pleased to push this new heap out there. Defend it well, or change it back to usable.


(Small point - it's not quite 8am in California as I type. Give them an hour or so yet...)

I know that, I was meaning when to expect a response today.

I with you on the AARGH! Kiteman :-(
I have only been online for about twenty minutes & already I'm sick to death of the thing.

I got the screen covered by pop-ups three times, just to check your comment...

The irony is that this is a site that in great part is dedicated to people who alter things to improve their funtcionality, you would think that with that in mind more thought would go into making changes :-)

I use as default "All Recent" and always thought it should be the standard option for all users.

Another thing I've suggested whitout success is that the list of options (see image) should be multiple choice, for you can choose more than one. That would make it easier for me, for example, ignore the recipes, the sewing and knitting, etc, but still see what interests me.




I like the part where people think anybody will listen. :-(

a) I don't smoke
b) I don't know, what they smoke


I'd like to smoke it, too...*)

*) if it really helps, that is...

and where is the "bugs & this is being worked on while we ignore you tab"?

It does seem like your can bid on and win corporate sponsorship of a tab. Maybe they should have a featured hackerspace that gets a tab or featured tab in rotation. Pretty soon the homepage will look like a NASCAR ibles team car with all the sponsor logos.

I found the tab with the online streaming movie SPAM! Might as well give them a featured tab to make it easier to SPAM in one place.

+several thousand on the drop down menu it's driving me up the wall :-( GRRRR
Why oh why do people think change for the sake of it is good & who the he(( do they get to beta test these changes before they inflict them on us?

I just came online recently, and I feel like I'm in a post-April-fool's-day joke... and yes, the drop down menu is becoming rather annoying. It's opened numerous times (without my intent).

Maybe I'm just opposed to change, but I'm not liking the new layout. The "Explore" menu choice is a rather narrow route to take to get to the 6 main categories, which hold a total of 148 sub-categories (if I counted that right)... The old method was much quicker to reach the specific section you want to view.

I can only imagine the confusion for new members who are looking for the Q & A section or the forums. Let's not forget how many members couldn't even see the bright yellow "submit" button, and now that's even gone... How are they going to know that the "more" tab holds these sections. Again, lets not forget how many members couldn't even find the "more" tab when they were writing an instructable (and we know that because they'd post questions).

I'm also not understanding the theory behind the "Radio Shack" and "Ace" tabs. Are they new categories? Are they just "sponsors"? Do members get to submit projects to those pages? (I haven't looked that closely yet, so I'll apologize now if the answers are suppose to be obvious).

Finally, the last "pet peeve" is the "contests" menu choice. I know its been brought up many, many times, that we need a link to see "weekly challenges" as well as the big main contests. So when I saw the link, I thought, "Great, they listened"... but I was rather disappointed to see that there is still NO link to see other contests and challenges.

I just had a fiddle with an old project that needed correcting.

There was no option to add it to either of the sponsored tabs - I think they are projects selected to be shown there, either by HQ or the sponsors.