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The Clinic Answered

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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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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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FedericoM61 (author)2018-02-20

Hi,

How could I get this instructable feature on home page? Any tips?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Creeper-BOT-Creeper-Pet/

Thanks for you help!

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sakshambhutani (author)2018-02-04

I recently published my 3 Instructable! I think I worked really hardfor this one! Fortunately it got featured, but I didn't win any contest (aka Arduino and Raspberry Pi)! Could you please give me some suggestion on my instructables?
https://www.instructables.com/id/Octopod-a-Smart-IOT-Home-Automation-Project/

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陳亮 (author)2018-01-27

Could you please give me some suggestion on my latest instructables?
https://www.instructables.com/id/Print-Your-Own-Moon/

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RajenderK4 (author)2018-01-24

Guide me for homepage feature my all instructible featured but none of reach at home page feature, please guide what should I do to be on homepage.

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MillennialDIYer (author)2018-01-21

I had (as of now) a pair of questions, with relation to an Instructable being featured or not.

- Is excessive overall length something that can be considered negatively, even if it's properly formatted and separated into sufficient paragraphs and steps? I do realize some of my "guides" are really, really long (my longest is almost 11.000 words, I believe) since the information isn't online elsewhere and I like being through.

- Can using too high quality pictures (taken and edited yourself) ever be perceived negatively, inferring they were professional images used without permission? Sometimes I feel like without an (unnecessary) disclaimer the pictures are mine, I could personally understand someone assuming the pictures are not my own and not featuring for that reason.

Have these ever been issues for other users in the past, or is this something that frequently causes hesitation to editors? I just ask because sometimes I feel like putting extra effort is more counterproductive than anything else.

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mtairymd (author)MillennialDIYer2018-01-21

I just took a look at your postings. First, I noticed that every submittal was featured so you are definitely doing something right :). Next, I feel you write very well and everything is fine with the formatting. My one piece of advice would be to break up the some of the text with additional pictures. As for your pictures, I noticed that you use a combination of yours vs. downloaded. Your personal pictures look nice so I would stick with those and skip the memes.

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MillennialDIYer (author)mtairymd2018-01-21

Thanks for the response! Some I've had to request review (which were then featured without issues), hence the questions. Regarding memes or other funny pictures, what can I say, sometimes it's just an easy, generic picture which makes for more light-hearted reading in long texts. Specially when there isn't really anything of which to take a picture. It's precisely what allows me to "break up the some of the text with additional pictures" like you also suggested.

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AMbros Custom (author)2017-11-14

any improvement required in my Table Instructables.

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Stainless-Steel-Coffee-Table-With-Ceramic-Top-/

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user

You should probably link the items directly instead of name and non-clickable link. It would certainly get you more clicks and save space. Maybe be more selective with the images. If you have 'Pro' activated (which you should, I imagine you have free codes), consider 'justifying' all the text for more pleasant reading, and perhaps separating into more paragraphs in some area. In the larger blocks of texts, perhaps add some bold text to emphasis the important parts. All in all, and even as is, I'm surprised it wasn't featured.

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fede3rgedielisava (author)2017-12-09

Hi, any suggestions avout my project? Would like to hear all of you!

If you want, you can vote my project in the arduino contest please :)

Thank you!

https://www.instructables.com/id/FGC-Train-Seat-Av...

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seamster (author)webgeeks2017-12-08

That's a great looking project!! Looks like it has been featured. Well done :)

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xp4xbox (author)2017-11-23

How could I get this instructable featured?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Python-Backdoor/

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Matlek (author)xp4xbox2017-11-24

Hi! It looks like your instructable is quite specialized. Maybe you could write a more generalized introduction explaining what is a backdoor, why you have used python, and why you have decided to write about it (this way it is more attractive to non-initiated people).

And you could also add more attractive images and gifs (a keyboard, a mouse...). Because screenshots of the codes are quite scary if you have no idea what the code means.

The idea is to make your project accessible to everyone, and not only the ones that are specialized in python language. I think that would give more chances for your instructable to get featured!

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ThirdEarthDesign (author)xp4xbox2017-11-25

Also try to provide at least one image for every step. It's not always essential to getting featured, but it is certainly desirable.

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xp4xbox (author)ThirdEarthDesign2017-11-25

I was thinking about that, but I didnt really want there to be too many pictures. Il fix that.

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watcan (author)2017-11-12

I have just made my first Instructable and I would love to hear what I could do to make it a better Instructable!

Here is the link https://www.instructables.com/id/10-Simple-Places-...

thank you!

watcan

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ThirdEarthDesign (author)watcan2017-11-15

Congratulations on your first Instructable, excellent work.

It is well written (I also like the humour) and the photos are excellent. I'm struggling to think of ways to make it better, if that were an I'ble that I'd written I'd be very happy with myself :-)

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watcan (author)ThirdEarthDesign2017-11-15

Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

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Patrick LASCHETTE (author)2017-11-15

Hello, my https://www.instructables.com/id/Real-Snow-SNOWSPEEDER/ was a winner in the scifi contest but was never featured ? does it not fit the checklist?

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While the Instructable has a lot of good photos, it is lacking a detailed written description of each step.

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FunInventor11 (author)2017-11-12

Do you think you can help me improve my instructable?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Holder-in-Disguise/

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My only suggestion would be to use landscape orientated photos instead of portrait, as a matter of personal preference.

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vidiovo (author)2017-11-09

Hi everyone! Here is my latest instructables. I'd love to hear your criticism for further improvement. https://www.instructables.com/id/Embroidered-Buckm...

Thanks for your time!

Ena

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seamster (author)vidiovo2017-11-09

That is a really solid, cool project. And it's been featured!

I'd say that to get it featured on the homepage, you'd probably need to include laser files for those parts (or printable templates for those without lasercutters), so people could reproduce what you've done as easily as possible.

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vidiovo (author)seamster2017-11-09

Thanks for the feedback! I just added the Corel draw files as well as the .pdf for the icosahedron template in Step 6. I'll keep your advice in mind for next time. :)

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seamster (author)vidiovo2017-11-09

Awesome! Look for it on the homepage soon :)

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4WantofaNail (author)2017-09-27

Hello everybody, Been a spell since last I've written an

Ible and I guess I'm getting a little rusty, as my latest:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Desaster-Preparedness-Pack-V314159265/

wasn't featured. No worries though. Any constructive critisiem yawl might have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

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seamster (author)4WantofaNail2017-09-27

This definitely should be featured! :)

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4WantofaNail (author)seamster2017-09-27

And it was! Super excited! What's even more amazing to me is that 200 some odd people viewed my hurricane and topical storm preparedness ible before all the hurricanes hit. Makes me grateful for this venue. I can only hope and pray that the information shared here might be of benefit to soneone else when they need it. Cheers mate

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random_builder (author)2017-09-15

Whoops nvm it is featured! Yay!

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SHAMSUDHEEN MARAKKAR (author)2017-09-13

My recent instructable "https://www.instructables.com/id/Bluetooth-Smart-Plugtime-Settable/" has not been featured at the time of publication yesterday. Now I edited and upgraded it. Could it be featured now?

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user

That's a very thorough Instructable, nicely done!

An area for improvement on your next Instructable could be the photo quality - some are a little dark and grainy, which could be addressed by adding some lighting, or taking advantage of natural light when shooting your photos if possible. But overall, the documentation of your project is solid and well done :)

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Thanks for your words and support, that gives me great energy. feels great to be a member of the instructable community. And it is my responsibility to make my next better :).

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MichaelsTestKitchen (author)2017-09-12

hi just a question: why wasn't my Instructables featured? Probably was just passed over, but just thought I'd bring it up (it is similar in quality to my other Instructables which have many times been homepaged & featured in Staff picks emails.) Thanks!

https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Peanut-Butter-Cookies/

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That's a good instructable, and very nicely documented.

An area for improvement would be the cover image. A more balanced composition and better lighting would perhaps make this project really jump out and grab readers, but it's still a very good Instructable.

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user

got it thanks. is this new picture better?

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Yes, I think so. With food especially, getting up close and showing texture and vivid, enticing colors really helps.

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Patel Darshil (author)2017-09-09

https://www.instructables.com/id/Things-You-Should-Know-Before-Using-ESP8266-Wifi-M/

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Anshu AR (author)Patel Darshil2017-09-09

Hi Patel Darshil,

That's a nice instructable with a fairly good amount of information.

As far as I think, that one is missing a significant number of pictures. Also, the resolution of the pictures that you have added is quite low. (For example, in step 3 you have added a single picture whose resolution is 225X225 which I think is quite poor) Pictures with low resolution turn out blury ruining the entire fun while reading an instructable.

Consider adding more pictures clarifying the whole connection process.

Also, use the instructable editor to clarify your process by organizing process in an ordered list. Or, by using Bold and Italic fonts to convey yourself.

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DiyCoolStuff (author)2017-09-05

I wrote an instructable and I tought it was very similar in quality than my other featured instructables. Do you have any ideas how to improve it? Does editing the instructable afterwards affect the featuring process? For example if I have bad images in my instructable when I publish it, but I change theimages to better ones later, could that get my instructable featured even if the instructable is a little older?

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Kiridashi-Style-Utility-Knife/

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seamster (author)DiyCoolStuff2017-09-07

That's a really good instructable. Sometimes it just takes a little time for things to get seen and featured.

I would always recommend putting the best you've got out there when you first publish. If you make changes later on, unfortunately chances are it won't get noticed.

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Chimera_Byte (author)2017-09-03

Hi,

I have a draft for my first instructable...

https://www.instructables.com/preview/EQEBG2JJ6MGB...

It hasn't been published yet....and I will appreciate any suggestions before I do it.

Thanks,

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Anshu AR (author)Chimera_Byte2017-09-03

Hi BitKraken,

That's a nice instructable on "Robot Car". You have also added a video of the working car. Now, as far as I think you need to add few more pictures just to make sure that anyone reading that instructable will be able to build on their own. If possible add separate pictures of the parts that you used (In Step 1) (If possible add the link of online source from where you bought that part). Finish the whole instructable by adding pictures of the car being assembled (Step by step).

And yeah, nice work!

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wobblycogs (author)2017-09-02

Hi, I posted this 'ible about a week ago and I was wondering if there's anything I can change to get it featured?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Motor-Brush-Replacement-and-Testing/

It's fairly short but I think it ticks all the feature boxes. Thanks

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