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The Clinic Answered

Welcome to the clinic, a place to get help and constructive criticism on your projects. Here's a brief intro on what it is, written by AngryRedhead:

"Some Instructables don't get the attention that they deserve. Many times the reason boils down to presentation, and if the presentation is off in one way or another, an Instructable might flop no matter how wonderful the project is. The presentation of an Instructable requires a certain set of skills which involve story telling, technical writing, planning, and photography. Even the most experienced technical writers and photographers still benefit from an edit or an outside opinion. As an author, it's difficult to see the flaws and errors because your thoughts and experience fill the gaps that might leave readers puzzled. It happens to every author.

If you feel you have an Instructable that isn't getting the attention that it deserves and you would like some ideas on how to improve its presentation, please post a link to it! We're not here to tear it apart or to tell you that you're the most horrible, stupidester person in the whole wide world. We're here to give you ideas for improvement and hopefully get you more attention and recognition for your project ideas. Think of this like editing or proofreading which is something everyone needs regardless of experience, intellect, and knowledge.

If you would like ideas on taking your idea to the next level and making it bigger and more awesomer, please say that you would like this extra advice. You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best instructables have."

So... that's what this forum topic's for. There's a team of seasoned Instructables authors watching this topic, waiting to give you help!


50 Replies

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Kiteman (author)2015-09-20

Starting your first Instructable?

Trying to get more views for an existing project?

You need to read this guide:

https://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-write-a-gre...

Focussed on getting Featured?

You need to be aware of this checklist:

https://www.instructables.com/community/Featuring-C...

PLEASE, do not reply to this comment - you need to start a fresh top-comment for each new project or problem.

Caveat:
comments here are the opinions of those making the comments, and do not
guarantee that your work will be Featured or win a contest.

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Artuino (author)2018-06-22

Hey guys!

Glad if you could help me get my instructables featured..

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-LED-GLUE-STIC...

Thanks!

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AmalMathew (author)2018-06-15

Dear team Instructable,

2 days back I posted this instructables

https://www.instructables.com/id/Remote-Controlled...

and within hours my entry has been accepted for contest.But even though my project was unique ,it didn't get featured.This instructables also maintain the level of my another 16 featured instructables.I don't know what is wrong with it.Kindly give your guidance so that I can improve

with Regards,

Amal Mathew

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seamster (author)AmalMathew2018-06-21

I would recommend including a couple steps with photos of the actual physical build process. The electronics info appears good.

I would also suggest creating a cover image that displays the finished project in a way that is clear and enticing to readers. Good lighting (for example, setting this up next to a window for natural daylight) would help - snap a few shots from different angles and distances and then pick the best one to use. A great cover image helps encourage more people to click to see what your project is about. Best of luck! :)

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AmalMathew (author)seamster2018-06-21

Thanks for suggestion, Actually I have included whole physical build process clearly in the video , but I did not explained in the project .I will be resolving these mistakes by next instructables project.

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seamster (author)AmalMathew2018-06-22

Ah, I see : )

You said "I don't know what is wrong with it.Kindly give your guidance so that I can improve"

Be sure to read the Featuring Guidelines linked above (or here https://www.instructables.com/topics/Featuring-Che...) and note the point:

"Video content (youtube videos, etc.) must be accompanied by photos and written step-by-step instructions, as outlined in the points above."

That's a key aspect of Instructables, and in turn a requirement for being featured - the steps to reproduce your project should be completely covered in written format. Videos are often great, but are supplemental to the written and photo content, and not directly considered when it comes to featuring.

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taifur (author)2018-06-19

I have made a huge update on my instructable:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Rotating-Planter-...

Could anybody please help to get it featured?

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seamster (author)taifur2018-06-21

That's pretty well done! It's been featured :)

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Kink Jarfold (author)2018-06-16

Hi, Team,

I'm fairly new and just want to say thanks. This is a great site, lots of fun, very informative and I'm enjoying myself a lot. Plus I'm learning how to do things I didn't know I wanted to do. And things I've always been curious about.

KJ

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schockmade (author)2018-06-08

I am open to suggestions and looking for some guidance. I would appreciate any comments as to how to improve upon this Instructable. Thank you. https://www.instructables.com/id/Battery-Powered-Motorcycle/

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E_Alves (author)2018-05-31

Hey buddies

I want your suggestion to improve my instructable :

https://www.instructables.com/id/Stylish-Chess-Boa...

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seamster (author)E_Alves2018-06-05

That's a good Instructable, and was featured. Congrats!

For improvements, I would recommend only using your own original images, even for photos of materials and tools. Otherwise, your photos are good, steps are clear, and your outcome is reproducible. You're hitting all the most important things in order to be featured. Keep it up! :)

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AMbros Custom (author)2018-05-18

Dear Team Instructable,
This past week I posted this Instructables

https://www.instructables.com/id/RGB-Alienware-Hea...

and next day my entry has been entered in the woodworking contest (which is quite a long duration so far for me). I think that this project going to be featured on the main page but it didn't happen. I don't know what wrong I do in this build. Kindly give your guidance so that I can improve my mistakes for the future builds.

With Regards,

AMbros Custom

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seamster (author)AMbros Custom2018-05-31

Hi AMbros,

It looks like it was featured, and even included in one of the site's email newsletters. Nicely done!

To get that elusive homepage feature, on top of nailing all of the other featuring guidelines, projects have to really have a near-perfect cover photo and title.

On my own projects I often put a lot of effort into creating a cover photo that is well lit, balanced in appearance, and that captures the finished project in a way that will appeal to potential readers. Along with a stellar image, a concise and directly relevant title is a must.

You're doing great and your projects are always really solid. Keep up the good work! : )

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MichaelsTestKitchen (author)2018-04-08

Just posted this one, but it's been a little while so I was wondering if I should give it more time to get featured or is there an issue with it? It seems up to the level as my other 80 featured instructables...

thanks!

https://www.instructables.com/id/Lemon-Berry-Smoot...

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user

Hey, I noticed it got featured eventually so congrats!

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Studio66Designs (author)2018-04-01

Hi everyone, my very first project https://www.instructables.com/id/Darth-Vader-Bust-Papercraft on Instructables was featured and got a lot of views, since I'm not in finalists league, I want to hear criticism how to improve my (instructable) next projects. And a secondary question: your opinion, does my project deserve to be a finalist or not worth the attention?

Thanks for the constructive answers

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38ren (author)Studio66Designs2018-05-30

Hi there, sorry for such a late reply I don't check the clinic too often. I'm personally very impressed that this was your first instructable it's absolutely documented well and the product shot was great! As far as winning a contest goes I feel your project definitely had the potential to be a finalist, but there are also a lot of factors that play into being selected... therefore, I don't think it's a problem on your part, but rather a limited number of slots for finalist, or it came down to criteria or something. Keep posting Instructables at this quality and you're sure to win a contest someday! Sorry, I couldn't directly answer your question but I hope this helps :)

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38ren (author)2018-05-30

I'm starting to think I'm too hung up on getting featured lol, I always feel unmotivated to continue when a project isn't featured, though this is just me being over dramatic I'm sure...

That being said, here's a recent project I posted:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Aromatherapy-Pape...

I'm sure it's just one of many paper flower Instructables here, but I personally thought I hit a niche ',:(

ANY suggestions are well appreciated

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RenusP (author)2018-05-27

Hi guys!

This is my second Instructable, and I wanted to ask for your advice on what could I do better to make my description worthy of being featured. I would like my instructables to be clear and helpful, but I’m aware that what I write perhaps is understandable to me, but maybe not to someone else.

The thing is that I describe most of my projects in a notebook, but I do it for myself to have a reference for my future ideas.

I would like to learn how to write for others. :P

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fern-Flower/

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38ren (author)RenusP2018-05-30

For what it's worth I found your pictures were very understandable. I think your instructions should aim to be more consice.

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RobBest (author)2018-05-22

Hello,

I posted 2 projects recently where I are compliant with all requirements for a project to be featured. Why are they not featured?

See:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Wireless-Doorbell...

and

https://www.instructables.com/id/Wireless-Doorbell...

Thanks

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badarsworkshop (author)RobBest2018-05-23

Your project looks pretty good. It probably wasnt featured because it doesnt have step by step build instructions. Thats what instructables is all about. Although I do understand that its hard to document the entire process but thats what is required. Also you cover picture could use a bit of polish. Hope it help .Best of luck.

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RobBest (author)badarsworkshop2018-05-25

Hello Badarsworkshop,

Thans for your reply but I have some problems with this and I also replied the following on an e-mail of Instructables in which I asked why the projects were not featured.

"Thanks for the reply but if my project complies with your instructions and I think it should be featured. Instructables introduces the 'featured' functionality to make a distinction between good and not so good projects.
This is already a bit doubtful because it is up to the one that judges it if it will be featured or not. I have seen featured projects of which I really did not understand why it was featured at all.

The whole subjectivity of it all can be shown by the fact that almost all my other project with exactly the same set-up were featured. One that was not (the last two excluded) was because of the same subjectivity not
featured but at that time I did not react on it.
I posted my request on the clinic and somebody responded that I might - subjectivity! - have not enough steps but the whole project is not rocket science and everything is posted including source files.
I think it would be better not to have the featured functionality at all. Of course you can still have contests but the whole featured functionality could be skipped. It does - like this time - not motivate me to post
another project and maybe move to another website to post my DYI projects.
I hope this gives some more insight about how - at least one - person(s) from your audience looks at 'featured'. Feature all (or get rid of it) since people have taken the time and effort to post something on your
website.
Thanks."

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annieoakley (author)RobBest2018-05-27

Hi Rob,

There are dozens of people on the site who have the power to feature things, including regular users aside from admins. If none of these people have felt inclined to feature your projects, it's unfair to conclude the system is flawed and should be done away with (as you said: feature all, or get rid of it).

What that means is your projects did not strike a chord with people and hit that "wow factor" that is mentioned in the featuring guidelines: https://www.instructables.com/topics/Featuring-Che...

To me, you've got one good project separated into two Instructables which limits the appeal of both. I think these two projects could reasonably be combined into one, perhaps with a more generally enticing title that helps people know the usefulness of the full project. Maybe "Complete Wireless Doorbell System" or something similar.

If you did that, I think it would push it over to the level where it would be featured. Just 2 cents :)

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RobBest (author)annieoakley2018-05-29

Hi Annieoakley

Thanks for your reply but I would like to respond to what you are saying. If have seen simple LED blink instructables just shown on a breadboard and although informative for beginners I do not recognize the WOW factor in that and they were featured anyway. Splitting the instructable in a transmitter and receiver project makes the instructables compact, better understandable and more easily reproducible since you will not mix up files from the various projects. I had a look at the checklist and as mentioned the "criteria we look for are excellent documentation and reproducibility" and I see that I comply with all points. Using the description, pictures and files you can re-built is yourself.

Being featured results in general in more viewers and hopefully some feedback so that's why I try to comply with all steps. Feedback and reactions always nice to see and motivates me to post more. As said before I am not sure if I will post more projects (in fact I am working on a quite unique one) since it does not feel good not being featured while complying with all the rules and being a bit unique by not making YABL (yet another blinking LED).

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taifur (author)2018-05-28
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taifur (author)2018-05-27

I published an instructable

https://www.instructables.com/id/City-Environmenta...

Could anybody tell me which update is required to get it Featured?

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YukonJulie (author)2018-05-21

hi everyone,

I would love some feedback on my latest instructable:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Hike-Effic...

I've done some edits and changed the title from "How to Hike Efficiently", to "Hike Like a Pro with These 6 Tips", which I think sounds better. There's really useful info in this instructable, and there's nothing else like it on the internet that I know of - these tips go well beyond the basics to help you take your hiking to the next level. It hasn't been featured and I worry that it's been buried in the flurry of weekend postings. I'm very open to any suggestions to improve it. Thanks, YukonJulie

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tomatoskins (author)YukonJulie2018-05-22

It looks like your instructable was featured yesterday. Great job and beautiful pictures! As someone who enjoys hiking I find your tips to be very helpful! Maybe you could include some tips on what to bring with you depending on what kind of hike you are going on? Again, wonderful instructable!

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YukonJulie (author)tomatoskins2018-05-22

Thanks for the feedback and encouragement!

There are already some instructables on what to bring on a hike, and I find it depends a lot on the length and nature of the hike. Friends of mine are preparing to hike the Camino in Spain and have just attended a whole session on "what goes in the pack" put on by veterans of the Camino!

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badarsworkshop (author)2018-05-21

Hi guys. Can you give me honest opinions about my latest instructable. https://www.instructables.com/id/Bike-Protein-Bar-...

I was hoping for a main page feature and email feature but got neither. Its buried so deep that it barely got any views. I put a lot of effort in it and being someone who has over 5 homepage features, I think it checks all the boxes. I just posted it right before the weekend so I fear it got missed. Any contructive feedback is appreciated thou.

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Trotec Laser Canada (author)2018-05-17

Hello,

We've spent more time on this instructables than any we've done so far:

https://www.instructables.com/id/11-Beer-Coasters-...

It hasn't been featured even though there is extensive artwork files, images, and steps.

We've emailed support and they've advised us to post our request here. They told us it was marked as "spam" a few times. We put our information on there as well as our website on where people can get the materials and lasers to make these coasters.

Could your admins please have a look and reconsider not featuring this instructables.

Sincerely,
Trotec Canada Team

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user

The introduction feels like I'm reading an ad, and people around here are turned off that kind of approach. It's a bit hard to get past that alone, but once I do, the rest of the info looks very good.

Maybe stick a mention of your company in the very last step and remove it from the intro so it's not so "in your face".

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user

That's a good point, thanks we'll change that!

Thanks for featuring it

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John Choi (author)2018-05-07

Hi, Can you please give me feedback about my project? I thought it was pretty well written and easy to follow...

https://www.instructables.com/id/Augmented-Reality...

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user

I think the project itself is very well written. I can see how the use of computer drawn images can make it kind of hard to see what you are trying to do. Do you have any photos that you took of the assembly process? That may make it easier to understand and see what you are trying to do.

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user

Got it, thanks for the info! I thought the computer generated images look nice and were pretty straightforward (all the laser cut parts fit together without much hassle, and I think it is pretty intuitive where the parts are supposed to go as there are only 4-5 pieces). Thanks again nonetheless and I'll see if I have time to make a few tweaks ;)

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AmalMathew (author)2018-05-14

My latest Instructables is a unique project, I have explained everything in clear manner.

But it was not featured ,No worries though , once look into the following instructabes

https://www.instructables.com/id/Secure-Your-Login...

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user

That's a great and detailed project! I'm assuming that it wasn't sent to the home page because it could potentially be problematic as many IDEs can be detonated with something similar to this. Keep up with the instructables! You have a wonderful writing style and are very descriptive with your instructions.

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38ren (author)Vishwas Navada2018-05-09

Great looking instructable, pretty cool idea! It got featured though, so I'm not sure why you need the clinic ;)

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HippyNerd (author)2018-05-02

I thought this would be my most popular instructable, but it looks like its the least popular.
What can I do to change that?
https://www.instructables.com/id/Free-Parts-for-El...

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PhilippW1 (author)2018-04-28

Hi,

this instructable was rejected from the space challange and I'm confused why. Do you have an idea what could be wrong with it?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Gautlet-of-Gripping/

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user

They probably thought it "misses the theme" based on your pictures. Same thing happened to my Steampunk Tank Mouse, they decided it "missed the theme" even though half of the steam and diesel-punk universe is based around air and space travel, and foreign planets. Yours however would seem to fit pretty well, I would suggest you submit an appeal as instructed in the rejection email.

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user

Thank you, I did that and they allowed it for the contest. It can be more frustrating, than I would like to admit, when something one thinks to fit perfectly well is demed missing the theme. Now that you say it, the pictures were a pretty good reason, whey they migth have thought wtf is that.

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ashervivi88 (author)2018-05-01

Hello, I published an instructable yesterday, can anyone help me get it featured? https://www.instructables.com/id/Galaxy-Candles/

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