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Profile Page Updates Answered

Hello Everyone!

Many of you have noticed and commented on the site updatesthat went live on Thursday, October 20, which included substantial design changes to the member profile page. The profile page is near to many of your hearts as the front door to your substantial investments in Instructables, and while some have found these changes disturbing, we believe that they're very much in the community's best interests. I wanted to reach out just to let you know that we have given the new design a great deal of thought and attention, and to share with you some of the reasons behind the changes.

First, to clear up some ambiguity about the current state of affairs:
The public member profile is stage one of two major changes to the site that will work together. Stage two, which is well underway but not released yet, involves the private profile page (currently the "you" page) and will make access to aspects of your presence on the site much more accessible. Full lists of your own content will soon be available on a full-featured (and much more beautiful) private view of the member page; meanwhile, this content is all available in the "you" section. So the sense that your own content has gone missing is temporary.


Second, the High-Level Goals:
  • Clearer, more accessible design. Our old member page, say what you will, had a lot of buttons and options. On the whole, we know that most people don't take the trouble to drill down into the various categories. We want to help you all build large audiences of new appreciators, and while an infinitely detailed catalog of an author's content is appropriate for some, the breadth of activity on Instructables can make it difficult for new users encountering the site for the first time to understand what Instructables is about. Fundamentally this is what the new design is for: to help people understand, at a glance, what a given author is up to on Instructables.
  • Highlighting Engagement vs Cataloguing Activity. Different people interact with Instructables in different ways, but our member page has never reflected this subtlety. It has always presented the most recent Instructables and comments, even for authors who contribute exclusively to the forums, or through favoriting and following other users. We felt that your activity on Instructables should be presented front and center, because it more evenly describes the way in which you participate in the community. Many members participating in this very discussion have benefitted from this choice, even as they challenge it. Forum posts used to live buried under a tab on the left; now, the contribution of a forum topic can appear right at the top if that's how the author participates in the community. We wanted to see how authors engage, and we felt it was ultimately more important than being able to drill through every piece of historical content hierarchically.
  • Audience vs Self. The old profile page served "my view of me" and "my audience's view of me" somewhat evenly. With the changes we've made, and the changes in the pipeline, we're taking a stance. The public page is for my audience, the private page is for me. We're confident the new design better serves authors' audiences, even if it has some weaknesses for the author's own view. The author-centric side is coming, please hang in there!
  • Surfacing Older Content. At HQ, we have frequent discussions about the "evergreen-ness" of the Instructables authors post. A great project from 2009 is still a great project, even though the wider internet has a strong preference for "new" over "good". But it's a struggle for us: we can't put every good project on the homepage forever, or new projects wouldn't have a chance. So we have to strike a balance. The new member page helps in this regard: if your old-but-awesome project still gets some attention and activity, it'll show up in your timeline as people favoriting the old project. So your profile becomes a place of discovery, where I can see "whoa, look at that cool thing that this person made 3 years ago!". Previously, the old project would have been buried under several clicks from the landing page, generating almost zero traffic. Add to that the new ability to select "top projects", and you can see that we're trying to help you keep your best projects in the limelight. See new features below.

Third, New Features to Help Authors:
  • Top-Five Projects. DIY Projects are at the core of the Instructables experience, and we listened to authors who make different kinds of things, but want to treat their Instructables Profile like a Portfolio. Randofo is one of the community's best-known and prolific Arduino Gurus, but it's a fact that an Arduino Project of his is a much bigger time investment than some of his smaller food projects. In fact, did you know that he's authored 38 food projects? Now, randofo has the opportunity to present his most-relevant work first, rather than leaving it to his audience to figure out. Right now, he seems to be all about Halloween.
  • Activity Feed. Love it or hate it, it's here to stay. We felt that having an activity feed on the member page was the most effective way to answer the most important question for a member page to answer: How does this member participate in the community? While that information was certainly available in the old layout, divining it required an audience member to click through all the tabs, reading every piece of content to completion. There was nothing "glanceable" about the information architecture, except perhaps the achievements (which we've kept). We believe that the activity feed, with the "top Instructables" feature in particular, makes it much easier to determine at a glance how a member participates.

Fourth, It's a Living Document:
  • We're watching your comments and feedback closely, and I expect that you'll see some pieces that you're missing return. I can't comment on specifics right now, but I know there are some statistics and counters that may have value. We agree, and we'll respond. But there was a whole lot of "extra" information on the page to begin with, and we wanted to start over as cleanly as possible.
  • UX & Bugs. With a big feature like this, there are bound to be growing pains. Hopefully, you've already seen some improvement with regard to the delay in setting your "top Instructables" and having those reflected on your page. There's still a little blip, but it's down to about 10 seconds now, vs the 20 minutes when we first released it. Sorry about that! We'll also be looking carefully at how the page looks, making sure that we aggregate activity events such that no one event type (ahem, favorites!) takes over, etc.

That's all for now. Hope having a little context helps put the changes in context. If it can't bring everyone onto the same page, we at least hope that it'll make them a little less out-of-the-blue.

Thank you to you all who have written your comments, and who care so deeply for the community of Instructables!

50 Replies

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pseaton (author)2016-11-21

Update 11/21 (Yonatan24 -- you beat me to the announcement punch here!)

You asked, we listened! The member page had some big updates at the end of last week:

- Many stats have returned
- Bio now appears in the header
- Activity feed is now just "stuff you did" not "stuff done to you"
- Instructables page now lists all Instructables, and allows sorts for members with more than 30 projects (recent, featured, view)
- Collections are included on the Instructables page, and can be included in "top projects"

For those in the US, happy Thanksgiving week. For others, happy Monday!

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christa627 (author)2017-03-29

So, I guess there's been another update recently? I now see all ten of my Instructables on my main profile page (not that I'm complaining, lol!).

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brmarcum (author)2017-02-21

Where did the image library access go? Yes it's still technically there, but stupid restricted now.

I frequently embed images directly into the text using HTML and direct links to the image file on the server, but now I can't access images like I could before. I want to be able to choose which version of the image I want to use. I've found a work around for now, but it's way more difficult and non-intuitive than it was, and the process was already cumbersome before.

Is better image library access something that is coming, or are we doomed to suffer with it as it is now?

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OrigamiAirEnforcer (author)2017-01-13

Are patches ever coming back or are they just relics from a bygone era now?

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cyann04 (author)2016-12-26

ow do I find the list of people I'm following, and my follower, (I used to before the site's update)?

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DiyWaterDog (author)2016-12-25

How do I find my Followers? Seems to have gone away.

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Yonatan24 (author)DiyWaterDog2016-12-25

https://www.instructables.com/you/subscribers , I think.

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makerdan (author)2016-12-03

Hi, I noticed recently that my RSS Feed of my "favorited" Instructables no longer works. Is there a way around this so that the Instructables that I favorite can be read as an rss feed?

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pseaton (author)makerdan2016-12-07

Sorry about that; RSS isn't one of the features we test regularly.

Should be fixed now, even though we've removed all the RSS links around the site.

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nqtronix (author)2016-11-26

Quite a bit of time has passed since my initial rant about the update and I have to admit it now beats the old version, great job! Besides the missing favorite counter all issues have been solved, and I honestly did not believed that this could happen at the time of writing the forum post.

I'm curious what's next to come. :)

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-11-21

I really like the new info that was added on the top of our new member page a few days ago. However, it still sometimes shows up as the old update.

If you go to your member page, type the link of a different member, and "enter", the old page will show up. If you refresh the page, the new update will show up, even though it's the same link...

Update ideas:

1. Can't highlight and bold/italicize/underline or add links words in PM's, unlike regular comments... What about adding images? I can't remember if that was possible before, but that would be good to have too, if possible.

2. If someone favorites and comment on an I'ble, I think it should show up as one "bubble/notification" on the activity feed instead of two. "Yonatan24 commented & favorited ____'s Instructable: _______"

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

I have many other ideas for improving the site that aren't really related to the profile page updates-- Should I post them here, publish a forum topics, or send emails to service?

I've published forum topics for many of them, but I'm not sure they have been seen by the staff... Most of them are fairly quick to type out, so if it doesn't matter, I'll type them out here. Here is an example for one:

Make the "reply" button in a comment bigger. Many people post a new comment instead of a reply, and then we don't get notified. I think that if the reply button would be bigger, I think less people will miss it. This along with @Yonatan24 / @pseaton (Like Twitter, etc...) which has been suggested already would be great.

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pseaton (author)Yonatan242016-11-21

What you're describing is a cache of a member page in your own browser, because you've viewed those particular member pages before. As you observed, hitting refresh does, in fact, refresh the page. If you want to clear this up for yourself for good, you can clear your browser's cache.

1) Formatted PMs are a possibility, they've been on our "one day" list for awhile.

2) We already aggregate favorite events and comment events, just not by Instructable. So the logic you suggest conflicts with aggregations like "Yonatan24 favorited A, B, and C".

Feature suggestions should go to service@instructables.com so they can aggregate the requests, get a feel for the overall feeling towards a feature, and pass on those requests that come up most often or seem most pressing. Then the requests need to be balanced against the value to the community (and the business) vs development investment. For example, @-mentions would be great, I agree, but the feature would be very expensive to develop. Much easier said than done!

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Yonatan24 (author)pseaton2016-11-21

Interesting. Didn't know that.

They are collected together? Not for me-- for example, see this profile. 2 months ago, he liked an I'ble and favorited Dryer lint fire starter, and it shows as two different ones... I just commented and liked an I'ble, so it should probably show up correctly on my profile soon because it's new.

By the way members that haven't been active for years have almost nothing on their activity feed: https://www.instructables.com/member/lemonie/ Just pointing that out.

Ok, I see. I'll do my best to keep them as short as possible... I had an idea that could be a pretty cool feature, but I think would be pretty expensive, as you say. It isn't very important, so I'll remove it from my To-Do list...

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pseaton (author)Yonatan242016-11-21

We'll continue to seek opportunities where aggregation can condense the activity feed, and you've identified some good potential targets. Check out https://www.instructables.com/member/Penolopy+Bulni... where comment and follow actions are condensed when they occur in near-enough-together timeframes, screencaps of her current profile attached.

These timeline events are a little tricky for us to back-populate, but we're currently running a script (for two weeks now!) that will make sure that at least "favoriting" activity (the most common action on the site) is included for everyone's profile. That should hopefully make it feel a bit more like these people who haven't engaged as fully are home. Hopefully, that'll leave fewer empty timelines.

Thanks again for the feedback!

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-11-11

A few new updates...

Edit Instructable from my member page - I really like this new one. It makes it really easy to update and improve them...

Problems: I have the option to edit other members' I'bles, and when I try to do this, I obviously, get this: https://www.instructables.com/editInstructable/erro... . I think I just shouldn't be able to have that option for Instructables that aren't mine...

-

Seeing my draft I'bles from my member page - A good idea, though I don't think I'll use it that much...

Problems: I'm not able to edit some of them. See the attached screenshot below... (My profile picture disappeared, so I thought I got logged out. After refreshing the page, my profile picture did appear again, but I still wasn't able to edit the I'ble...)

-

"View all 88 Instructables" - Like!

-

See collection on our Instructables page - Good, but why can't I see ALL of my Instructables now? Collections are great, but I can't see all of my Instructables... If I clicked view all of my 88 Instructables, I want to see ALL of them. This will make it WAY harder, and more complicated...

-

What I'd like:

I'd like to have an option for sorting between Classes / Instructables / Collections. I'd also like an option for sorting between Recent / Most Viewed. That would make everything way easier and better, in my opinion...

I think it should have these options:

Instructables: RECENT

Instructables: MOST VIEWED

Collections: RECENT

Classes: RECENT

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pseaton (author)Yonatan242016-11-11

Thanks for the bug reports! For full disclosure as to the number and degree of bugs that just went out yesterday.... we have one full-time QA person, who's on paternity right now. He'd definitely have caught all this stuff before it went out. We miss him, and can't wait for his return! Your issues should be addressed shortly:

- By removing the "edit" option for Instructables that aren't your own
- By linking to the "preview" page for unpublished drafts
- By fixing the issue where only 22 items of any type show up on the "view all" page. That's just a bug.

Other stats requested in this forum are also coming soon, but require a little more reworking than other changes so they aren't quite ready to go out yet.

Sorts and filters are up in the air, but we're thinking through options that could work for everyone. Something will happen.

Thanks for the timely feedback!

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liquidhandwash (author)2016-11-03

Something I would like fixed, is the favorites button is no longer on my public profile page. It was useful for my students to be able to go to my profile page and find instructables that are relevant to their projects, now its become a bit of a pain to get students all on the same instructable.

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-11-02

I really like the "Edit profile" update that was added ~yesterday. Makes it really easier to change things.

However, I still have several ideas for improving our page. Listed in order of preference, IMO:

1. See the amount of followers someone/I have/has. If I see someone with 2000 followers, it'll give me another reason to go through their I'bles. Also, many people are proud of the amount of followers they have!

2. Organization of Instructables on member pages. It looks like Instructables are supposed to be organized with the most recent on the top left, but that isn't the case. If that was true, my first I'ble "Poor Man's" SmartPhone Tripod (From Vitamin Container) would be the last one, and it isn't. It's the 15th from the last one...

I think they should be organized by Most Recent and Most Viewed

Oh, and this too.

3. See collections. I can see I'bles, classes, and the collections that I've made through my you page, but sometimes I like to take a look at the collections that other members have made. It would be nice to have this option too, but it shouldn't take up too much space...

4. Featured author. If a member has been a featured author, it would be nice to see it on his/her member page. Similar to what Tarun did in "website": https://www.instructables.com/member/Tarun%20Upadhy... . "___ has been a featured author!"

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pseaton (author)Yonatan242016-11-03

1, 2, and 3 are all planned changes coming soon. 4 is a little fraught technically and affects very few authors, so that may be a bit of a tough sell. Thanks for the continued feedback, it's very helpful to have a beat on what the community thinks of these big changes!

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Yonatan24 (author)pseaton2016-11-04

Makes sense. Awesome, thanks!

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chienline (author)2016-11-01

I just love the new "Profile Page". We can learn one's personality from there. What kind of instructables they love. Who they follow. All activities are just recorded there.

When we are followed, we can follow them back just within the activities page. And if someone favourites an instructabes and we find it interesting (from the cover and title), we can view it right away. And about bringing back the good old instructables, this is it. They will resurface to many of not-your-followers.

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Yes, but who is "one" in this? You cannot learn about me or anyone else by looking at notifications of others' actions on my profile page or others users'.

Far from making people more recognizable and unique, the changes we've seen here deemphasize the person who the page is supposed to belong to, defeating the notions of self and individuality.

Under the old layout, the profile page was dedicated to its user, their content and their favorites with anything from others attached below on the Orangeboard. Nowadays, the other users' activities which are the focus; the user and their content are the sideshow. It's not exactly the progress some people would like to claim it to be--in fact, "a step back" would be a more apt description. As I have said before, "this layout is not what [the developers] believe it to be."

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Oukey. Let's see what my MagicBall (with the help of Your Profile Page) can tell us about you :

* You are.. ehmm... were Peter Graves (as shown in your picture).

* Okay, you are a robot programmed to be Mr. Peter Graves and you have some bad sectors in your memory (you can't remember where you are on earth, maybe your GPS is malfunctioning).

* People love you (you have got 1,528,946 total views).

* You are a closed person (you never follow anyone in the last three months, I would have dug more of your activities until 2009 if I were a single "falling in love" female looking at your handsome profile picture ...)

* You love origami, specifically aircraft (all your instructables are and you never favorite or comment on any other projects in the last three months).

* You are a diligent person as you always fine tuning your aircrafts and share it on Instructables.

* You love MythBusters.

* You love Instructables so much. You are capturing Instructables pages and menu at details. I don't even remember what the old Profile Page looks like. I just know that it has changed :D

.... arghhh... my MagicBall is out of battery and can't tell any farther.

In my opinion : Instructables is a great website for sharing ideas. All the crews are awesome. They work hard to listen, blend and serve as close as possible to what their members need. We need to remember that there are millions of people joining Instructables. I would suggest : "Robot, why don't you put loyal authors (who publish 10+ instructables in a month) on home page at very top? Kind like "Author of the Month" so that people know who is the most diligent and loyal to Instructables. Should my suggestion be implemented right away because I wrote a lot in this site? So that people know me? Should it be implemented if only 0.00000001% of instructables' members want it this way? It doesn't have to. Instructables will rewards you in one way or another that you will never think of. So the web designer team is right, working based on the statistic. They have all records of users' behaviors. They know what users do most in this website. They (developers) are users too and they need additional inputs from active users (who will most likely stick in forum) representing many of other users.

So.. don't be upset. Everybody needs changes and changes are everywhere. We just need to learn and adapt with the new one ;)

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Cherzer (author)2016-10-24

Thank You! This update actually made me cry. I was thinking last night, "If I just knew WHY this senseless act happened, maybe I could finally accept the loss and move on".

I acknowledge that sounds crazy. In my defense, I'm on medication that that has the unfortunate side effect of amplifying all of my emotions. It is vastly amusing to the part of me that is not envolved with the emotional roller coaster; it remembers all the times I've been accused of being a cold emotionless robot.

I'm relatively new to Instructables (about 2 months), but in that time it had become a big part of my daily life, and I didn't realize how much it had imbedded itself into my unacknowledged goals until this update.

You see, when I was first exploring the website, I found my way into the dark recesses of the contest archives, where I began to notice patterns. There were names that kept popping up again and again, often hidden down in the runner up section. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked. And there, within the achievements page of Brooklyntonia and Not_Tasha, I found myself staring at a sea of contest achievement patches, glowing like tiny sunlit gems, each unique, branded with the heraldry indicating each patch's point of origin. The little icons covered the entire screen of my iPad mini, and I believe it was in that moment, though I didn't realize it at the the time, that the goal of having a page like theirs took hold of me. It wasn't lust or greed, but rather awe that such a beautiful thing was even possible, and I wanted to share in it.

It grieves me that, POOF!, these pages of inspiration are gone and that the possibility of this newly formed passion has be ripped from my heart in its infancy, to be replaced with an impersonal counterfeit in the form of trophy icons clones.

I felt disillusioned all weekend. I had feelings of fight or flight; I wavered from how can I rally people to revolt against this terrible tragedy, to I just need to walk away and forget this website. I questioned whether I had done something wrong to be so punished; Did I miss some beta version that I should have commented on?

I tried to console myself with the fact that I could still earn metals, but became saddened anew when I couldn't find my comment count. I have been eyeballing that thing, slowly watching watching it climb, surprised that I've made any comments at all (I'm rather antisocial), and anticipating the day when I will get my silly little bronze metal. I felt adrift at sea, with no land in site, with nothing to grab on to, wrestling with these stupid feelings that I feel embarrassed for even having.

So, all that to say, thank you for posting this. It gives me hope that maybe the comments count will reappear someday, and gives me some closure so that I can heal and move on. :)

LOL - Seriously, I cried real tears. I can't wait to get off this blasted medication.

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chienline (author)Cherzer2016-11-01

Cherzer, you make awesome instructables. You win many prizes. You can view your instructables statistics in "You Page". There ypu can see how many of this huge community members love what you make, what you share. Then you will realize that this website is not about medals or prizes. It is about "sharing", "learning", and "family", a very big FAMILY from all around the world. And we need awesome author like you in this family so that we have things to read and learn ^^

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Brooklyntonia (author)Cherzer2016-10-24

Don't leave! You'll earn a medal one day, perhaps even a contest. I too would like to see the old icons for contest wins come back. It's a small thing, but they're more fun than the generic, while still being uniform and clean.

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Sorry, I see now you've already won some contests! The site had a hiccup last night that seems to have not shown any achievements for a bit.

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offseid (author)Brooklyntonia2016-10-24

Yeah, glad you're here, Cherzer! +1 to the contest achievement icons.

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-10-27

I think I've seen someone else comment this too, but the total views on my/our profile page is lagging.

2 hours ago, I had 1,230,357 views. Since then, I've had an Instructable featured in the newsletter, and it has gained over 1000 views. I am now at 1,230,450 views.

1,230,357 + 1000(plus) 1,230,450

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Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-10-28

Not only the profile page, also this one: https://www.instructables.com/member/Yonatan24/inst...

I have an I'ble that has 29.5K views, but it only shows 22K. The likes are also lagging. At least it isn't lagging as much as this one: https://www.instructables.com/howto/DIY+Magnetic+Ha...

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pseaton (author)Yonatan242016-10-29

View counts update at different schedules in almost every context. It makes a difference if you're logged in or not, viewing an individual project, list of projects on member or explore pages, or a list of projects in a collection. The largest number is freshest, and can be observed while logged in on the Instructable page itself. This is deliberate behavior that helps us scale on a shoestring.

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-10-26

Wait a second...

You've made it very obvious that "Activity Feed. Love it or hate it, it's here to stay."

And why is that? "Surfacing Older Content. At HQ, we have frequent discussions about the "evergreen-ness" of the Instructables authors post. A great project from 2009 is still a great project, even though the wider internet has a strong preference for "new" over "good". [...]"

If I get an average of 15 new followers every week, that means that probably 2 or 3 dozen people visit my page a week. I think that most people have already learnt that they probably won't find anything interesting in the activity feed, so I might earn 5 more views a week. How is that "re-surfacing" older I'bles?

Without the update, it would be WAY easier to use, and scroll through. I might earn 50 views a week thanks to that.

"Don't think too much. You will create a problem that wasn't even there" - This quote might not describe it perfectly, but there is something about it...

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Brooklyntonia (author)Yonatan242016-10-26

How can you say that most people have found they won't find anything interesting in the feed? The feed has only existed for a week. They don't need to scroll. The images in the feed smack them in the face. My Painted Irish Meat Pie was at the top of my feed just now, because someone favorited it. Anyone who goes to my profile will see what's at the top of the feed, and the achievements on the left side encourage them to keep scrolling at least until they hit the bottom of the contest wins.

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Yonatan24 (author)Brooklyntonia2016-10-28

(I'm getting pretty much lost with the 10 comment limit per page. I think there should be "show more" instead of "next 10"...)

Okay, I take my words back, but still, if a few people visit my page every day, that isn't really "re-surfacing" older Instructables...

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OrigamiAirEnforcer (author)2016-10-24

From what I gather here, the public profile page visible to the public is, in general, as it will be for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, our own personal profile pages will be reworked in the future to make the interface more accessible.

I do not care about navigating through my own portfolio--I've done it for 7 years, it's not a concern. What is a concern to me is the fact that my audience must now navigate through a Byzantine maze to get to seeing my content. Based on your statements, it appears I can only figure that my audience will be having more of the same and that I may indeed join them in that to boot.

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

"Our old member page, say what you will, had a lot of buttons and
options. On the whole, we know that most people don't take the trouble
to drill down into the various categories.
"

If that was your goal, you've missed the mark. Far from reducing the amount of drilling a person must do to find anything, the work to find things has only been increased.

At this moment, if I wish to find an old forum topic I wrote months ago without using my private portfolio or sifting through the forums, I must now hunt it down in a gigantic list on my profile page which contains hundreds of notifications that "(user) has favorited (instructable)" or "(user) has subscribed to OrigamiAirEnforcer" and so on.

Under the old profile layout it was one, maybe two clicks. They were not terribly hard to find.

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

"Forum posts used to live buried under a tab on the left; now, the
contribution of a forum topic can appear right at the top if that's how
the author participates in the community. We wanted to see how authors
engage, and we felt it was ultimately more important than being able to
drill through every piece of historical content hierarchically."

The changes as they are have not raised forum posts or things like them so much as they have buried everything more equally. As above, the more disorganized layout of things now has made things harder to find, and thereby, less likely to be found.

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

"The old profile page served 'my view of me' and 'my audience's view of
me' somewhat evenly. With the changes we've made, and the changes in the
pipeline, we're taking a stance. The public page is for my audience,
the private page is for me. We're confident the new design better serves
authors' audiences, even if it has some weaknesses for the author's own
view. The author-centric side is coming, please hang in there!
"

I would like it if my public profile page were for my audience--and indeed, I guess it really is for my audience nowadays. Most of my profile page is dedicated to what my audience is doing: favoriting, subscribing, leaving me smiley faces or the occasional spam comment. That's lovely...except that most of my audience is probably more concerned with what I have been doing rather than what people like them have been doing.

It's not an unreasonable conclusion to draw that most of the people who have visited my profile page went there to see what I, OrigamiAirEnforcer, have done. Unfortunately, nowadays they will see less of that and more of what others have done since notifications from me are few and far between compared to my audience's. That probably isn't going to go over so well with my viewers' or others when they visit other content creators' pages.

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

Re: Surfacing Older Content

Noble concept, but not one that is well served by the layout we now have.

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

Re: Top-Five Projects

Under the old layout, this would have been a very nice feature. The five selected projects would have the displayed total number of projects prominent right next to them in the sidebar.

With this layout, however, things are different. There is no outward indication of how many other projects the author has posted. As a result, the number of instructables posted by a person could be mistaken to only be 5 total.

For a person such as myself, (having made 402 instructables at the time of this writing), this means only a tiny fraction of my projects are visible on first glance and to the roaming viewer, the others are completely unknown--absent some exploration by them. It would not be unlikely for the average viewer to make the incorrect conclusion that this mere 1.25% of my content is all that I have posted, solely based on the lack of information given under the new layout.

----------

"Activity Feed. Love it or hate it, it's here to stay."

If things are going to be "like it or lump it" (as you say they will be with this), what point is there in bothering submitting feedback?

Earlier today, I made a response to another person's comment on the activity feed, the problems it presents to authors and their content and what might be done about it. This was part of my comment:

"I personally doubt anything will be done about [the activity feed]. I don't think the
powers that be value content enough to reverse this mistake."

Lo and behold, the problems it will cause for content creators are not enough to convince the administration to institute change--instead, what we have is "here to stay."

"We believe that the activity feed, with the 'top Instructables' feature
in particular, makes it much easier to determine at a glance how a
member participates."

This works great in theory...except the only things visible of my participation for the most part are those "top Instructables." Viewers favoriting and commenting on my instructables are not my participation in the community--nor are people subscribing to me.

With the activity feed as it is, there is actually very little indication of what I do or how I participate. Far less than the old layout wherein comments at the very least were immediately visible.

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

"We'll also be looking carefully at how the page looks, making sure that
we aggregate activity events such that no one event type (ahem,
favorites!) takes over, etc."

Why not simply make the profile page customizable by its user? As the subject of my profile page, I would like to make the decisions over what is shown so that nothing of any particular type overwhelms what I do not want it to.

Perhaps you could even make it possible to allow users to revert their profiles to the old layout...

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

I care about Instructables' well being...that's why I oppose the changes as they are. The developers no doubt had the best of intentions, but I must again warn them that this layout is not what they believe it to be.

-OAE

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user

Here are some numbers we looked at while considering the new designs, aggregated over August-October this year, as a percentage of total profile pageviews:

Total views of all sub-tabs: 12.6%
Total views of Instructables sub-tabs: 9.7%
Total views of favorites tabs: 1.9%
Total views of all other tabs combined: 1.0%
Total views of all "forum topic" tabs: 0.018%

The tabs on the left of the old member page, with the exception of the Instructables tab and (somewhat) the favorites tab, do not drive any traffic to your content. In particular, to your point about old forum topics, there may be people finding your old posts, but they have never come from the member page. There were only five profiles, in the course of three months, that had traffic to the "forum topic" sub-tabs. That tells us the tab isn't used, and should be removed.

On another note, I very much like the idea of having the member page customizable per user, but there's nothing "just" about it.... At the scale and complexity of Instructables, it's a monumental task! That said, there are a number of stats and changes that we'll be bringing back as a result of the feedback here. That's why I'd encourage everyone to write feedback, even if we can't concede a wholesale revert to the old page.

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user

If those numbers are accurate and only 9.7% of views proceeded to the full Instructables list, I'd say that viewership on instructables is now poised to take a nose dive. There are now only 5 instructables shown upon loading the page (versus 6) plus whatever number are carried under that sub-tab.

Only about 10% historically went to that page anyway per these numbers, but now that number is quite likely to drop as useful filters on that sub-tab (views/featured/popular) are now gone.

My point in bringing up forum topics was less about them in specific as it was pointing out the lack of ease that the new layout imposes. If 0.018% of viewers went looking for forum posts via the tabs before--when it was one or two clicks to get to--I can only imagine what it will be now that finding such things is a hunt for those items in a potentially huge and dynamic activity feed.

In light of that, I doubt viewers will be enticed to search for forum content. Based on what's happening, I'd say a drop in viewership to that sort of content is not far off--potentially across the board with other content too.

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user

Feel free to include a link in your bio to the explore pages with your own username included. All the filters are available there:

https://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/user-Orig...

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user
Kiteman (author)pseaton2016-10-28

Bit of a noob question from somebody who's been here long enough that he should know better, but is there a list/instructions somewhere of the types of filters we can use?

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user

"Feel free to include a link in your bio to the explore pages with your own username included."

If I put the link in the "about me" section, the link cannot be launched directly--anyone wishing to use it would have to copy the link and put it into their URL bar themselves manually.

If I put it into my website section, I will not be able to use that for linking to what I'd like it to--my website. Currently, I have linked my account to my Twitter feed with the website section because that is where my audience may connect with me for updates on my content.

As you can see, either way, some sort of capability is being cut.

Is there a plan to restore the filters on the profile page itself any time soon? Or is this improvised solution all that's on the horizon?


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user

The 0.018% stat demonstrates to me that no one is looking for forum content through a members profile page. I'd say that number is mostly newbies stumbling around. When people want to find forum content they go to the forums.

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user

What is a concern to me is the fact that my audience must now navigate through a Byzantine maze to get to seeing my content.

What maze? There is one button click to see all your ibles just like before.

If that was your goal, you've missed the mark. Far from reducing the amount of drilling a person must do to find anything, the work to find things has only beenincreased.

They aren't saying they're trying to make it easier to get this information. They're saying most don't look at it, so they've taken it out or moved it.

Re: Surfacing Older Content

Noble concept, but not one that is well served by the layout we now have.

I have seen tons of my old instructables on my profile page in the last few days. To top it off, they are clearly clickable and will surely lead viewers to them. So, with the addition of being able to customize the ibles at the top of the page, there's more ibles on my profile page than ever.

It would not be unlikely for the average viewer to make the incorrect conclusion that this mere 1.25% of my content is all that I have posted, solely based on the lack of information given under the new layout.

On this one I agree and have kindly suggested they add the number of ibles somewhere on the page.

With the activity feed as it is, there is actually very little indication of what I do or how I participate.

I'm sure your feed is full of unhappy comments on similar threads, clearly showing how you engage with the community.

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user

"What maze? There is one button click to see all your ibles just like before."

To see any of my content--minus instructables (though they do lack filters)--people will now have to hunt it down in an activity feed that is filled with notifications from other users, not me. As I get favorites and subscriptions aren't rare for my content, dozens of entries are added to this feed per week. This buries whatever the roaming viewer might be looking for.

Under the old layout, finding things I initiated was a simple matter--regardless of whether or not they actually cared to look into it.

"They aren't saying they're trying to make it easier to get this
information. They're saying most don't look at it, so they've taken it
out or moved it."

That's what I do not get. Traditionally, most websites make things easier for the viewer and/or get more viewership. This accomplishes neither and, in general, works against both.

"I have seen tons of my old instructables on my profile page in the last
few days. To top it off, they are clearly clickable and will surely lead
viewers to them. So, with the addition of being able to customize the
ibles at the top of the page, there's more ibles on my profile page than
ever.
"

With only five instructables now visible upon clicking on the page (down from 6), I believe I will soon be seeing a drop in viewership in general, with a further (and perhaps even more substantial) drop owing to the lack of total instructables indicated. As they are hidden, my 397 other instructables are now in such a situation as to possibly go unknown. Even on the page where they are at, they are not filtered by the usual measures as they once were. This isn't likely to make things easier for my viewers, which will likely just aggravate them.

"I'm sure your feed is full of unhappy comments on similar threads, clearly showing how you engage with the community."

I am not the sort of person to stand by while problems persist. As a result, I am often the one who lays ou tthe problems in the midst of the community. It's not popular, but I do not expect it to be.

Most of the my engagement with the community is as a content creator; it's what I do best and I see it as being generally more productive than anything else can really do around here.

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user

Most of the my engagement with the community is as a content creator

You're contradicting yourself. One second you're saying people are going to have to dig stuff out of the feed, and the next, you're saying that there's none of your content in the feed, because it's filled with other people's actions.

This picture of the top of your feed shows two instances of an ible showing up on your profile page that isn't in your top 5. There were many more of your ibles further down the feed. That means that anyone that goes to your profile will see more than just those 5 ibles. If they scroll, which is admittedly easier and more natural than clicking a button, they will see more the further they scroll. They will also be encouraged to follow you, as there is a follow button on each notification that someone has followed you. It seems to be somewhat of a snowball effect. If someone favorites your ible, it shows up on your profile where more may see it and favorite it, thereby adding another instance of it on the feed for the next visitor to see.

If what you want people to see is your ibles, then they are seeing just as many, if not more, on your profile page via the top 5 and the feed. Besides, is one less ible space on your profile page really that big of a deal? There were only 6 before.

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user

"You're contradicting yourself. One second you're saying people are going
to have to dig stuff out of the feed
, and the next, you're saying that
there's none of your content in the feed, because it's filled with other
people's actions
.
"

To begin with, those two statements are not mutually exclusive. Second, people will have to dig through the feed to find anything they wish to find because if it is anything but new it will most likely have been dropped in the feed through some levels over progressive days. (I am sure forum threads I initiated years ago would prove to be quite a chore to find now for any roaming user.) Third, my feed--and no doubt others' too--is filled with other people's actions. At present count, 14 of 30 actions on the feed automatically shown are other users' (with plenty of duplication in the notifications too). If not for my being vocal on the forums, this fraction would be even larger. Finally, I have not said that "none" of my content is in the feed, I have said that viewers will have to hunt it down. Notifications from myself, not others, will quickly become the minority as soon as my activity on the forums tapers off.

"This picture of the top of your feed shows two instances of an ible
showing up on your profile page that isn't in your top 5. There were
many more of your ibles further down the feed.
"

There were 9 instructables shown in the feed; of those, 5 were ones which had been featured and one of those 5 was a spotlight selection. Though one can never be absolute, I suspect it's more likely the inertia of being featured and visible elsewhere that is carrying them onto the feed than the profile page.

The lack of an indication of what total number there are is a major fault--particularly so for a maker with as many projects as myself. 402 is a number that leaves a lot of room for many to be left behind--especially if they start out as unknown as they are now.

"If what you want people to see is your ibles, then they are seeing just
as many, if not more, on your profile page via the top 5 and the feed.
Besides, is one less ible space on your profile page really that big of a
deal? There were only 6 before.
"

I'd prefer 6--or 5 if we must cut--with bigger images as we had versus what we have now. The header is inefficient in its use of space, particularly on mobile where half the screen is site/user headers.

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user

If that ible was recently featured, then I'm sure you're right about it being on your profile from being seen and favorited elsewhere. In contrast, the profile page works for you while you're not publishing. I haven't published anything in a while, and 35 of my old ibles are currently in the feed of my profile. That's a lot more than 5. I also feel strongly that visitors are a lot more likely to scroll than click on the the "all instructables" button. Scrolling is more natural these days. When I'm looking at Instagram or Pinterest, I have to force myself to stop scrolling and put the phone down. It's so easy to just give it another flick. I really think the feed will help gain exposure for older ibles.

The two ibles on the mobile site are the left side of a scrollable area. Swipe right to see the rest. I think the way the edge of the second ible is cut off a bit is weird and doesn't quite demonstrate that its a scrollable area. It took me a bit to realize it. Perhaps they should be a bit smaller and show a sliver of the third ible?

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user

Orienting the feed and spotlighted instructables vertically--at least on mobile--might be a wiser solution than making things smaller.

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