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The Clinic Answered

HI EVERYONE! We have a new Clinic now. You can find it here.

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 You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best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!

Discussions

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Kiteman

3 years ago

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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schaapkameel

6 months ago

hello there! I would like to know from the most awesome people of the internet how I could improve on my slightly ridiculous instructable: how to make a plastic trash necklace
Thank you all for being here. I have found my people

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jessyratfinkschaapkameel

Reply 6 months ago

I like it! Clear photos and text and a good main image! Keep it up. :D

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jessyratfinkAmalMathew

Reply 6 months ago

I'd say the one thing you could change is the main photo! The background is a little busy and detracts from really seeing the lamp. :) Otherwise, you explain everything well and you've included a video so that's great!

Let me know when you update and I'll have a look!

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AmalMathewjessyratfink

Reply 6 months ago

Thanks for the reply :)
I have made a small change by blurring main photo's back ground.
Please have a look on that.

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jessyratfinkAmalMathew

Reply 6 months ago

Honestly, I think I liked it better before! The blurring might be a biiiit too strong. :)

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jessyratfinkDavidPatterson

Reply 6 months ago

Honestly, this is solidly documented but the text can be a little overwhelming with so much on each step! Something you can do to help with readability would be to add more formatting, such as bulleted and numbered lists, bolding text to signify different procedures, etc.

Let me know when you update and I'll take a look and give you a feature! :)

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DavidPattersonjessyratfink

Reply 6 months ago

Thanks for the reply!
I have added formatting as you suggested.
There appears to be some differences in the way the editing section displays the text, compared with the final display. A bit of trial and error is needed.
Any further suggestions will be greatfully appreciated.

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seamstertaifur

Reply 7 months ago

Hmm. I'm left slightly confused by it. The title refers to an example project you're using to show how to use Tinkercad to test your hardware. Perhaps a title change to reflect the bigger picture of what you're sharing, like "How to Use Tinkercad to Test Your Hardware" or something might be helpful. Because it reads less like a guide on how to make some thing, and there are just so many diagrams . . it is a little overwhelming to follow. That's my unfiltered feedback, for whatever it might be worth : )

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Max2Play

7 months ago

Hi Instructabillies,

I have been pretty active on Instructables in the past and now I finally got around to creating a a new one! I always try to make detailed, descriptive projects and most of my Instructables have been featured in the past. I'm really proud of it and would also like to get feedback again on how to get it featured.

Looking forward to your feedback :)

Cheers
Heiner from Max2Play

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seamsterMax2Play

Reply 7 months ago

I'm going to guess it wasn't featured because it reads a bit like an ad for a product you sell. That can come across as a bit spammy, and can be a turn off for readers. But it wasn't blocked from being published or anything, so that means the site moderation team thinks it has merit and is good information, even if it doesn't necessarily get featured.

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ThirdEarthDesignElectronic45

Reply 7 months ago

Hello and welcome, congratulations on publishing your first Instructable and welcome to the community :-) a lot of neat electronics tricks there! To help get your Instructable noticed and to improve the chances of it being featured I would recommend trying to improve the main title image, first impressions really do count with these things. I'd recommend looking at the home page and the featured pages to get an idea of what gets noticed.

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Electronic45ThirdEarthDesign

Reply 7 months ago

Thanks for the tips to improve my instructables. I will be updating my instructables as per your feedback.

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ThirdEarthDesign

7 months ago

I like the project, the only thing I would highlight is that not every step has a title image. Though there are inline images in most steps, I like to see every step with a main image.

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Techgenie

7 months ago

I have been a memeber of instructable for a very long time. I always try to make good descriptive instructables and mostly all my instructables are featured.

Yesterday, I made a new instructable of a walking robot (https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Walki...) which did not get featured.

Kindly, point out my mistakes and suggest me some improvements, so that this instructable can get featured and i avoid this mistake in future.

Thanks & Regards,

techgenie (https://www.instructables.com/member/Techgenie/ins...)

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ThirdEarthDesignTechgenie

Reply 7 months ago

Looks like a fun Instructable, good work! All I can suggest is that some of the steps are lacking a little bit of 'meat on the bone'. Each step dives straight into the how-to without any description or introduction of that particular step. I'm not sure if that would be an issue for the editors, but it is something I like to see. Otherwise maybe it just didn't quite strike the right chord for some reason.

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ThirdEarthDesignTechnovation

Reply 7 months ago

Good Instructable. To understand why Instructables seem to get less views than they used to, read this if you haven't seen it already:

https://www.instructables.com/topics/Reduced-views...

In terms of getting an Instructable noticed; getting front page featured or in the newsletter it one sure fire way. Otherwise you need to do your best to get outside traffic to your I'ble. I'd suggest sharing it on social media, post a YouTube video that links to the I'ble. Also consider SEO (search engine optimization) when writing your I'ble, choosing a title and your keywords.

For some useful tips check out these:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-choose-a-t...

https://www.instructables.com/id/Using-SEO-to-incr...

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NicolasJ7

8 months ago

I'm a featured addict XD.......Please consider my request

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fixing-and-Restor...

There is no much info about this radio on the web. Also, this tutorial has useful tips for other users restoring tube radios. I included an Arduino code to make a capacitor meter tool too. The tutorial is well documented and includes a video. English is not my native language, but I tried my best. Thank you beforehand.
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ThirdEarthDesignNicolasJ7

Reply 7 months ago

Overall a pretty good Instructable, the standard of English is fine and very easily understandable. Two things I would suggest improving; first some of the photos are slightly out of focus, but on the whole they're fine. Secondly, some of the steps could have more detail. While they explain what you did they don't detail how you did it, so it relies on a lot of prior knowledge from the reader.

Other than that, good work!

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ThirdEarthDesignschockmade

Reply 8 months ago

Looks like a pretty decent Instructable to me and you have been featured already, so well done!

In terms of improvements, if I were being particularly fussy maybe some of the photos could be a little better. Most of them are nice and clear, just the odd few that are a little fuzzy or the color / tone is not quite right (I know how tricky it is to get a decent photo sometimes).

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schockmadeThirdEarthDesign

Reply 8 months ago

ThirdEarthDesign,

Sorry I thought that I posted a reply to this yesterday.

First off thank you very much for taking the time to reply and offer guidance. I appreciate it.

I could not agree with you more. My photos tend to take a back seat to my production, and I do need to work on my photography and video production. I recognize this and in fact I recently recruited my Brother for help in photographing some of the photos in one of my Instructables.

Cheers,

Schockmade

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Waldemar Sha

11 months ago

Hi, hello. I have posted an instructable recently:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Sh-Ba...

Although it was a sort of a fail report initially, and, I believe, for this reason the instructable wasn't featured. I have added one more step on how to make the rcipe work recently, so now it's kind of usable tutorial. I also believe, that photos and descriptions are fine. Can you, please look it up and decide weather it worth being featured now.

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ThirdEarthDesignWaldemar Sha

Reply 8 months ago

I quite like the Instructable and the photos, but maybe the editors thought it was just lacking the 'wow' factor. Also, while I can see what you're trying to do with the title I'm not sure if others might see it as a negative.

When it comes to publishing an Instructable, if you want to have the best chance of being featured you want it to be as good as it can be at the point of being published. I don't think they get featured retrospectively too often.

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Waldemar ShaThirdEarthDesign

Reply 8 months ago

Each time a contest comes to a judging period a bunch of instructables pops out in the "Featured" feed - the contestant i'bles that were published a way ago and weren't featured untill this point. It means that edidors do pretty sloppy job on judging them on the first look, or atlest have quiet inconsistant creteria. I think, it's needless to say that it influences the the chances of an entry to get to finale of the contest.

I'm actively posting on Instructables for almost 2 years and at this point I usually kind of know in advance what's wrong with my instructable and for what reason it might not be featured. In some cases it's still a mistery.

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ThirdEarthDesign

8 months ago

Overall it looks pretty good, but I would suggest trying to write a bit more detail in steps 3 to 6. Also you can try to provide an image for every step.

Well you've been featured so must be doing something right, and that looks like a lot of fun!. I'd say that all you are lacking is a 'killer' title image.

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Nematic!

9 months ago

Hi support sent me here
I recently posted an instructables
Link- https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Arduino-Nano-/

It was not featured despite have good picture, step by step instructions and more over it has got plenty of views. I don't know what's wrong with my post let me know.

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ThirdEarthDesignNematic!

Reply 8 months ago

Looks like it has been featured. Good I'ble with some really good quality photos by the way :-)

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RayP24

10 months ago

Hi, I posted this ible just yesterday

https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Paper-Straws...

but it looks like it didn't get featured :( I wish it had of course for being seen as an author etc.but I also thought it very rellevant. Perhaps it's not the most original thing ever but I couldn't find other ibles showing this process.

Thanks! Ray

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RayP24RayP24

Reply 9 months ago

....so, my question is, how could I have made this a more "featurable" instructable? Thanks again

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ThirdEarthDesignRayP24

Reply 8 months ago

You've since been featured, guess it just takes a little time :)

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RayP24ThirdEarthDesign

Reply 8 months ago

Yes, I was too impatient with my comments here. Or maybe my comments brought attention to the instructable. Whichever it was I'm glad it was featured. It seems to have generated a lot of interest which I hope translates into people being inspired.

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david-mccann

11 months ago

Hi, can someone please give me some hints on why my instructable wasn't featured?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Rainbow-Tower-Wit...

I tried to include complete instructions and I think the photos look good too. I'm not sure what I could have done to improve it to make it worthy of being featued.

Thanks!

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ThirdEarthDesignArtuino

Reply 8 months ago

Hi Artuino,

Overall a nice idea, a couple of improvements you could consider:

1. Explain why you decided to mold LED's with hot-melt glue sticks and give a little back story to where the idea came from in your introduction.

2. Eye catching images play a big part in getting your Instructable noticed and featured. While for the most part your photos are fine, there are a couple that are slightly out of focus. For further tips on photography check out this Instructable

https://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-take-great...

While it is specifically for taking photos with an iPhone, there are a lot of tips and advice that can be carried over to other phones and cameras.

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RayP24

9 months ago

opps! I see it now....sorry for the mistake and thanks!

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Wildcat Man and Robin

9 months ago

Hello! Support sent me here to let you know I understand why my 12th Instructable wasn't featured: I had been inadvertently blatant about a book coming out with more details, and I corrected the Instructable. I honestly wanted people who felt daunted by the info to know help was coming! But to an experienced builder, the Instructable is all they need to build a a wood-framed panelized yurt.

Here's the link, and I appreciate you all giving it a second look, as it's the only one I've written that hasn't been featured. Thanks so much -- Wildcat Man and Robin

https://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-Wood-F...

That really looks great! I think if you add any insider knowledge you have on your choice of materials and a cut list would put it over the top. Great information!

Thanks so much! And we appreciate the feature very much. The cut list is on "the list" to be done as an illustration, so we'll be sure to add it when it's done sometime soon. It's hard to get us to come inside and work at a boring old desk.

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Friedlc

9 months ago

Hi, I have published a new instructable over the weekend and think it meets the featured checklist. Could you help me understand why it's not being featured?

The link is here: https://www.instructables.com/id/24-in-1-Clock-a-C...

Looking forwards to your reply!

Thanks!