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Summer 2014 Updates Answered

The site is always undergoing changes as we work continuously to make Instructables easier and more fun to use. Sometimes these changes can go lost or unnoticed, so I thought it might be time to post here more often. If you're interested in seeing more frequent updates here, please comment on this topic directly so that I know it's worth taking some extra time.

This summer there have been a number of significant changes:

iPad support for our iOS App Live in the app store now! We're especially proud of our beautifully redesigned app for iOS7, with full iPad and iPhone support. We were featured in the app store once the app released, and we hope everyone enjoys the new editorial presentation of Instructables, complete with large images beautifully assembled.

Social Login You can now use your Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Autodesk accounts to sign up for an Instructables account. It's easier than ever to get involved at Instructables! While we were at it, we redesigned the flow and the associated UI, and made in-context modal login work more smoothly.

Fusion 360 Integration  For those interested in 3d modeling, the Fusion360 Viewer is a great way to show off your projects. Ultimately, they'll be supporting a wide variety of file formats, and using the Fusion360 viewer will ensure that your project looks its best as people browse the site. Click the link to learn how to embed your 3d models.

Fluid Homepage, Contest Page, and Explore Page Designs As screens get larger and higher resolution, we're trying to make sure you can get the most of the screen real estate that's available. To this end, we're gradually making our pages fill up more of the available space on screen. The contest page was updated at the beginning of summer, and the homepage and explore page have been updated in the last couple of weeks.

And... around the corner:

Much Improved Search Results We'll be testing and rolling out greatly improved results when you are looking for something in particular. We've been serving our own internal results for a long time, but through your feedback we've heard these aren't good enough. We're in the final stages of testing a new much-more-intuitive provider of search results, and we should have those working shortly.

Mobile Web More and more people find Instructables first on their phones, and we don't want you to have to download an app to have a good experience on the site. Big changes to mobile web are on their way, stay posted.



3 years ago

I am a free user, now I can see all step even without login..
in desktop and mobile version.
Which is the point of being pro?

Fewer/no ads, and more tools for publishing your own projects.

Oh, and you can download PDF files of any project as well.

I am a free member and have had an account for approx 2 years. I log on to day to find I can now longer download without paying for Pro membership WHAT GIVES

Tell me about it I have had an account for 8 years and now all of a sudden I can't download them either. C'mon Admins what gives ?

Yeah, sorry folks. We released a bug that affects people who had PRO memberships in the past. Happens sometimes.

That should get fixed early next week.

The video advertising has made my experience of viewing this website such that I find it irritating and cumbersome to navigate, up or down. I experience freezeups, delays and jumps to where I do not want to go. Two clicks when nothing happens takes me to the bottom of the page. Is it me?

(Of course, if you make something cool enough to get Featured, your Pro-ness will mean you don't see those ads at all...)

Yes, agreed. We don't entirely control these videos from advertisers, but we are already looking into possible solutions here since they are pretty disruptive. Very sorry about that -- we're working on it.

Has something changed about the way you count views? Either that or the site seems to have undergone a massive increase in traffic over the last year. I somehow suspect the former though, because the view count/day under the stats tab hasn't changed much (it suggests I get about 500 hits/day for my top 5 projects, and that has not changed much over the last few years). If the latter, that is of course great - any idea why?

Not much has changed about how we count views in the last year. We did start counting "collection" views as a part of authors' total views about a year ago, but it doesn't appear that that would affect you. Traffic is generally up. Which number are you looking at that seems to be increasing at an unusual speed?

On the topic of views, in the event of a collaboration, who gets the views?

My total view count. The stats tab suggests I get about 1k views a day for all my projects combined, and I feel like that hasn't changed hugely in the last 3 years or so (certainly the 500 views/day for my top 5 hasn't changed all that much). However, this seems to be becoming more and more divorced from what must be the actual traffic (which must be more like 3k+ views/day) to account for my view count. I'm not complaining - more traffic is good - I'm just puzzled by the discrepancy and the large increase in views. A good example of this is scoochmaroo, who hasn't published much (at all?) in the last year yet her view count has increased hugely (doubled?).


3 years ago

What has happened to the contest viewing page?


You used to be able to get to the contest archives but the link doesn't seem to be on there any more.

I look around where it used to be and I couldn't find it.

What, this archive link?

contest archive.jpg


I was looking down where the contests were being judged, that is where it used to be!

Thanks heaps for pointing that out!


3 years ago

What happened to the homepage feature?

You mean the large images in a carousel at the top of the homepage? I believe we're just running a "homepage takeover" ad right now, but the regular home page should return soon.

Thanks for letting me know, I was getting worried!

I have spend the last few weeks on an 'ible that I think may have complied for the requirements and then it disappears!

Finally got around to checking out the ipad app - agreed, it looks great.

Looking forward to the improved search. Results I still find v. puzzling - the right results eventually come up but I'm yet to figure out the algorithm used for establishing the order.

I really dislike that instructables.com now requires users to accept tracking cookies in order to function properly. If the "Pro" features were free, it wouldn't bother me as much, but seeing as I'm already paying, forcing me to accept tracking cookies bugs me.

Did something about this change recently? So far as I know almost all websites require cookies for login to work correctly. There are some plugins that disable tracking cookies that sometimes interfere with various scripts on our pages, and unfortunately we can't commit to supporting the various 3rd party plugins that are out there. But the website is not dependent on cookies outside our domain. I'm curious to know more about what you're seeing, feel free to pm me if you'd like to follow up.

One thing I do to

I disagree. I have been using the Ghostery plugin (among other methods) to manage tracking cookies, but no other plugins. The vast majority of sites try to track users via cookies, but it is a minority that require those cookies be installed for their site to work properly. I have been using Ghostery for years, and only recently did the Instructables site stop working properly if I don't accept the cookies. I can no longer "add to collection", or "view all steps" without accepting tracking cookies.

Oh, when did the "Share" button appear? Good idea!


3 years ago

I really like most of the changes, I think the site looks great! However, I do miss the option to sort the contest entries by "views", "featured", and "popular". Browsing the contests isn't as much fun now, any chance the filters could be brought back?

Message received! I can't guarantee where this will slip into our timing, but I'll keep in mind that these sorts are missed, and try to bring back the sorts at a future date. Unfortunately there are some technical difficulties to making that happen (yes, it seems strange that it would be hard to keep a feature we once had, but it's true), but I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for all your comments!

Yea! I miss the sorting as well. While you're at it, perhaps a random sort button would be fun and help some of the lesser seen ibles.

Thanks for the info!

I have entered the lego contest and want to see where my entries square up in views and all that stuff, now I can't, I also would like it back it certainly helped a lot for me.

I agree, it's hard to gauge how well you're doing in the contest.

By the looks of my entries in the Lego contest I am NOT doing to well...

I sooo want to win a camera, I only have a HTC desire to take photos with (8 mp).

I find this stuff interesting. Most of the changes of late have been good, so they are probably less unnoticed than they are quietly appreciated. I suspect you'll know all about it when you make a change people don't like...

Is there a reason why the mobile site currently has no facility to comment on instructables (see screenshot)? Is it a feature of the updates, or a bug?


This definitely isn't a feature of the updates (we haven't released any of the mobile web changes yet), and I believe this has been the case for quite some time. In any case you'll be happy to know the mobile web updates will include comments when they go live.


3 years ago

I'm very much looking forward to the improved search!

And I'm happy the "Related" columns are working again and suggest actually related instructables.

A well working search and the Related suggestions make me feel my ibles don't get lost as soon the are off the frontpage... I like to think of instructables as a source of knowledge / an moxy encyclopedia - working search tools are kind of important for this...

Thank you for taking the time to write this post! I appreciate this kind of information about the site and hope you'll continue to inform the community about updates this way.