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Redesign instructables to make searching easier and more practical!?!?!? Answered

i'm fairly new to instructables. i've only read about 100 or so and not made any myself. for the most part i can rarely find an instructable that is of high enough quality end-product or end-result for me to commit to making it instead of starting from scratch and designing my own thing, or buying something that has already been produced for a more affordable and higher quality end-product.

but there is one huge reason i remain committed and interested in instructables as a website and a community! my dad has a garage full of high-potential junk! now if only there were an easy way for me to search instructables for projects based on my plethora of ingredients (inventory) rather than typing finished project titles or end-result names of creations into the search bar.
i understand that this may be extremely hard to do since there may literally be an infinite number of names and objects, not to mention the various languages, misspellings, and misnaming of objects and processes that would need to be accounted into the search process as well. the idea would be that instructables users could rack-up all their junk and save it as a list to their own digital library or, "inventory" of all the parts and tools they currently have and manufacturing processes they can do with said items. from there they could click "search by inventory" and include or exclude items from their total inventory to run a search based on that.
for example i could select:
-super old motherboard (or specific part number)
-old motorcycle seat
-some bolts (or specific sizes of bolts)

search results would turn up projects based on the parts that i have selected, results would mention whether i am missing or have all of the tools or parts i searched for.

imaginary examples might be stuff like:
-strange computer motorcycle seat
-cyborg motorcycle seat
-a computer build from an old motorcycle seat
-ride fast while computing fast
-tune your old motorcycle with an old under-the-seat DIY ECU
-etc.

though, this sounds like a daunting task, especially with the numerous vague and sometimes seemingly useless projects people can come up with, instructables has already begun to specify categories and sub-categories (channels?) of project styles such as leather-work, CNC, electronics, wearables, etc. etc. and to add tags and specific names for parts, tools, and processes to a library would simply be a more detailed and concentrated addition to these categories. what i'm hoping we could maybe do is add an option to search by ingredients in a similar way to how myfridgefood.com searches for recipies (maybe we could start by adding a similar function to instructables' recipies category?). it's just an idea and i'm not sure how willing the developers of instructables are to allow this community to contribute to the redesign or addition of search options. 

aside from searching by ingredients, it would be extra helpful to know if there are other instructable members in our local neighborhood who are willing to collectively use their junk to make a project together! combined inventories could lead to a world of possibilities for creations and networking! maybe one person doesn't have enough junk to make their own forge but a whole neighborhood would be willing to contribute their efforts to make a community forge? i know my dad isn't the only one in our neighborhood with a garage-full of junk, and i think with everyone's junk maybe we could send a project to the moon, or make a super awesome rat-rod, or make a community wind-turbine farm, and get all that legally approved by our local comminity! maybe as a neighborhood we could create something only large companies are currently capable of manufacturing!?!?!?

and finally on a side note i think maybe there should be a filter between serious and non serious ("fun") projects. or at least a rating service so that readers can scale how serious they think a project is on a serious to fun scale with fun and serious being in the middle. that way everything stays positive and constructive; no negativity for being too serious or too fun!

yeah that last idea is pretty crazy, but maybe we could start with my first small idea of searching by parts/ingredients? let me know your thoughts! thanks!!!

(expecting answers along the lines of where to start, whether or not other instructable-type websites exist, i know for a fact this is possible and doable since myfridgefood.com basically has the format set up to do so.)

i'm open to (negative) answers that completely tear apart my idea as long as they are educated and provide specific counter-reasons as to why it would not work. i'm fairly certain the first idea is possible, it's just a matter of convincing the developers to get on board and getting everyone to start labeling the parts, tools, and processes in their projects (they are already "tagged" maybe we could start there?)

Discussions

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joombaloomba

2 years ago

thank you for such quick responses. now, not to be rude but Downunder35m has given a perfect example of what i am NOT looking for. conveniently this opposite example helps perfectly with explaining the question i am asking. Downunder35m has provided the most specific and efficient way to search for the "end-results" or "products" of instructibles using website search on google (which i have already done) which is highly useful IF i already have in mind the end-result of what i am trying to build. those return excellent projects for induction heaters. but what i am trying to accomplish is searching what projects are available on instructibles based on an inventory of parts, components, assemblies, and tools i already have and processes i can do with them. in other words: if i was trying to make an induction heater, this would be perfect. but if i were trying to find projects with induction heater assemblies as a part listed in the bill of materials for that project; then this is the exact opposite of what i want to do. did you guys even try using myfridgefood.com ??? do that first because it provides a perfect example of the reverse-type searching i'm wishing instructables had.

now searching with words and text is what i would like to move away from in a sense. it would be nice to be able to click on parts, sizes, etc from a library that has been approved by instructables community/ oficially recognized from parts libraries across the internet. for example: if i've got 2 bolts of a certain size and a certain sewing machine and a certain size and type of wood i could begin to type the names of said parts when instructables might auto-complete the part name from where i could click it as a whole, recognized part and add it to my inventory from instructibles' library. THEN once i have my whole inventory listed on my instructables account i could click parts from there and click something that says like, "search projects by selected parts". to use Downunder35m's example i might have

-2 IGBT half-bridge modules

-4 MOSFETs or IGBTs

-2 1/4" compression unions

-A 3-phase bridge rectifier

-A 5gpm water pump

stored in my inventory of parts. i could select these parts from my inventory and click "find projects" and THEN the search results might turn up this exact induction heater project while mentioning the parts i do not have in my inventory, or maybe even projects that have nothing to do with induction heaters but happen to use the exact same parts!!! now i could type each of these parts into google and search instructibles in the same way but there is no guarantee that i will find it since i might name my parts in a different way the users name their parts. things get even more complicated when i might have THOUSANDS of parts stored in my inventory with no recognized, approved, standardized naming conventions. does that make sense? and for iceng's comment: i am currently subscribed to that email list and it is just about as useless (but still fun) as searching regularly. no i haven't checked the forums yet, so now i will! i didn't even know they existed! thanks for that! my skills are limited to CAD and design, nothing along the lines of coding, unfortunately. but i plan to learn very soon!

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Downunder35mjoombaloomba

Answer 2 years ago

Don't get me wrong but if you won't have the slightest clue of what to do with your parts then you will have a hard time.
You simply can't expect to find a search engine that gives you a recipe based on what parts you enter.
It is not an interactive cook book trying to help with an empty fridge and pantry.

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joombaloombaDownunder35m

Answer 2 years ago

but if other people had the option to log all of their parts from their bills of materials officially and make them searchable on instructables it WOULD be easy...

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Vyger

2 years ago

NO, well maybe, ---

There once was a rating system, 1 to 5 with the readers being able to give it one to five stars. There were a number of problems with it. We just had a discussion about it. You should look it up and see why ratings are no longer used.

I nvere missspleel anything,

You are doing htings backwards. You come up with an idea first, make mental pictures of what you want, then wander through the stuff to find the parts that will fit.

Do you have permission to wander through the treasure room?.

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VygerVyger

Answer 2 years ago

I forgot to mention. Not everybody makes lists. I often don't. Also i sometimes just make up words for things , like thingy, when I can't think of the correct name. That sometimes makes searching a little hard.

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joombaloombaVyger

Answer 2 years ago

i understand that, but at least we could have the option to catalog things we DO know the names for in an official, searchable, filterable BOM or something...

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iceng

2 years ago

One more idea, when you become an Iinstructable pro and may download PDFile of any ible to your own computer {no cloud} you can arrange any kind of search available or use Real_Basic to customize a search of your own which could include a private list of your Dad's garage full junk as a cross reference for any number of PDFs in any sub directory.

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Kiteman

2 years ago

(BTW, you have nearly 200,000 projects to go back through and edit - that's about 15 years o work for one person.)

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joombaloombaKiteman

Answer 2 years ago

i know right!? it would be a ton of work, even if only the more serious projects did it! hopefully there may be a way to search keywords and automatically make tags throughout the projects and fix/edit them later if the automatic label creater makes them incorrectly. but i don't know that much about coding yet! ok i'll repost this in the forum. thanks!

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joombaloomba

2 years ago

maybe i want to find a project with a motherboard and lettuce, instructables might even be able to link search filters THROUGH other websites and find the perfect crunchy computer sandwich we've all been trying to make.

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joombaloomba

2 years ago

another great example of part-filtering searches is https://pcpartpicker.com . on this website all searches can be performed WITHOUT the typing of complex part names and/or part numbers, but simply clicking on them from a huge list!!! though, this website is limited solely to computer parts, I THINK IT COULD BE DONE with every part ever!!! or at least standardized parts with part names and sizes etc.

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Downunder35m

2 years ago

If you want to find quite specific Instructables you can use the search function - if you have the time and will to sort through a few hundret unrelated Ibles.
Otherwise use my good friend Google for the job.
Simply type what specifics you have, e.g. electronics scrap.
Then add this:
site:www.instructables.com
Now you will get very specific results, often with enough short info, to find what you need.
As with all Google searches, the more precise you phrase it the better the results.

Just as an example.

This will give everything on Instructables related to induction heaters.

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iceng

2 years ago

What are your skills and interests ?

Sign up for email, of ibles the editors consider note worthy.

Have you perused ( Explored ) the Forums ?

Follow some people and PM me when you list your skills and interests maybe I can point you to excellent ibles that you will want to make improvements to :-)