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Answers ??? What's happened to answers ? Answered

What's happened to the answers field on the 'ibles main title ? Its gone, as of this morning's update ?



Yes, but now find where to post a question from the main page.
That's right....its at the very bottom.

I always use that link, no problem. Perhaps this is a move to exclude moronic questions - only smart people will work-out how?


(My homepage is attached)

You finding it is not the problem here.  IT's the new people or people who only use it once in a while.  Being at the top of the page means that it is right there for everyone to see.  At the bottom of the page it's not easily found.

I'll re-iterate Perhaps this is a move to exclude moronic questions - only smart people will work-out how?
Then ask whether questions have significantly dropped-off in the last two weeks?


Answers are now prominently mixed into all the content on the channel homepages.  See https://www.instructables.com/offbeat for an example. 

We'd all like it better if it was on the top bar with "Home Explore Communit Submit".  Cmon.  I think the change that you made makes answers less accessible to newer members (I had a somewhat difficult time finding it myself). 

Hi, DJ.  It appears that this was not done arbitrarily.  They have a tremendous amount of data on how users navigate from page to page within I'bles (the server can capture the REFERRER URL on every HTTP transaction). 

The "Answers" link in the masthead had very close to zero traffic, whereas the blue "Answers" tabs within the different categories (what Eric calls channels) were the dominant origin for access to the Questions area.

As for having trouble finding it -- you, and I, and the other existing members know where our links are "supposed to be," and are surprised when they disappear.  New members don't have such preconceptions, and will (and apparently do!) find the link in the blue tabs lower on the page, rather than in the masthead.

Think about how few newbies use (and probably never even notice!) the search box in the masthead, and instead just ask a question that the search could answer.  If they were looking at the masthead for "Answers", presumably they'd find the search box, too.

Remarkably, the search box is probably the single most used feature of any Instructables page. 

:-)  I guess that goes to show just how much traffic this awesome site gets!  If the number of silly questions answerable with a search is a small minority of the total....wow!

I'm sorry but I did go to that page and scanned it 4 time without finding anything about ANSWERS or QUESTIONS.

Hi, Re-design.  I finally figured this out, and posted a direct reply to Eric above.  What he meant was that they are now mixing together I'bles, Forum topics, and the occasional featured Question into the "featured" list on each category main page.  In the case of Offbeat, there is actually one (the one about Spock becoming a Jedi) in the current list.

The whole thing is still illogical.

Featuring a question on a page is not the same as featuring a link to "Questions" at the top of each page.  Questions is now an unwanted stepchild.

I agree!  That was exactly the point I made in my direct replies to Eric and Ed in another thread.

What Eric has said (and has the statistics to support), is that the masthead Answers link was essentially unused.  The link to Answers that you still find on each I'ble and each Forum Topic are the dominant way that the vast, vast majority of users access the Questions section.  Therefore, the unused link in the masthead was removed.

Well some of us used it.  I don't see what the problem is to leave that link there.  I hope they're  right.  I enjoy the questions.  I"ve learned more then I've given back.  I don't have time to participate much in instructables.  But the questions I can work into my day often for a few minutes at a time.  I hope it doesn't wither away.

Just go to YOU>CUSTOMIZE and add the link to answers up next to your inbox and whatnot. Boom. Done. I don't see what the big deal is.

An again I'll explain.  It's not me or you or any of the regular users that are on the site.  I have it book marked to go directly to Questions.

It is the new user or the regular user that DOES NOT KNOW QUESTIONS EVEN EXISTS that I am thinking about.

They don't know that they have to "customize' their toolbar to get to questions easily.  They might not even know there is a place to ask questions here and get the great answers available.  In a fit of depression they might got to "equestions (suck and never give a good answer) to get answers that they could get very well answered here.

Hi, Re-design.  What Eric has said is that there's lots of traffic to Answers/Questions.  Every single Instructable has a box with "Answers"  and a place to type in a question directly, along with a sampling of recent ones.  Every single forum topic has that same box.  The I'bles home page itself has that same box.  When you go to recent I'bles, there are three tabs shown, one for I'bles, one for Guides, and one for Answers.

Apparently, all of those different links generate the vast majority of traffic into Answers/Questions.  The fact that there are still lots and lots of current questions (no drop off, no stoppage) is pretty clear evidence that such links are still working very effectively.

I fully agree with you, Steve et al., that for the regulars, who are interested in accessing questions which have already been asked (so we can help answer them), removing the link in the masthead is inconvenient and confusing.  But it demonstrably has not affected the actual traffic into the section.

OH, are we still talking about that old subject.  I'd forgotten all about it now.

I used it myself.  When it first disappeared, I complained as much as the next fellow (okay, not as much as Steve...).  However, when I learned about the actual statistics Eric and staff used to make their decisions, it didn't seem as arbitrary, or as unreasonable.

And, as Lithium Rain pointed out, you can get the link back for yourself without doing anything particularly special.  Under You -> Settings -> Customize, select "Questions" from one of the five pulldown menus and you get the link up in the right corner of the masthead.  If you select "Answers" instead, all you get are the already answered questions :-/

It's not my site.  They can do with it as they like.  If I don't like what they do then I can leave and find someplace else to spend my time.

I just don't see what the harm in leaving the link at the top of the page where it is visible to EVERYBODY to the site is.

And that's the last time I'm going to mention it unless in a direct answer to someone's question.  I like this site too much to keep complaining!

Yes - I realized right after I posted that I should have specified questions instead of Answers, thanks for clarifying :)

That's because cleverly, its HALF way down the page, on the left, in a less than 1" high box.


Well, It ain't on mine.  It shows up on the home page and instructable pages, but it does not show up on the above mentioned page.  I even had my wife (newspaper editor) look it over and she couldn't find it either.  I'm using firefox and I've deleted the cache and even logged out and back in, but Answers is not available on every page like it used to be.

The only channel home page that it shows up on is "ALL".  The others are still showing up as single col. images and no ANSWERS.

Come on Erik, this is something that a very large group of your most active, paying members DON'T want.

Please put the "answers" heading back where it was.


.  I'm guessing the greater-than sign tripped it up.
.  Let's see if>this line becomes a link.

I don't think you have the statistics to back that up, Steve.  I see maybe a dozen or so requests for restoration, vs. the site's own statistics of thousands of HTTP transactions demonstrating it's non-use.

I've seen less than a dozen pro names asking for it back.

I was one, now I'm not.

The silent majority presumably either don't mind or don't care.

Hi, Eric.  Very confusing response, as you can probably tell from the followups.

First, as has been pointed out, none of the "channel pages" (categories) actually have a link into the Answers section, which is what this topic is discussing (and what we all assumed your reply described).

Second, throwing the occasional (very occasional!) "featured" Question into the list of featured items on each channel page is not the same as providing (in some way!) direct access to the Answers section. 

Since your "template" page design already includes an Answers block in the right-hand column of related/statistical content, why does that block not appear in every right-hand column?

Oh, I'm not keen.

I make it a habit of each log-in to check the Answers section to see if I can, er, answer them.

Having to hunt through sections to look for questions will, IMO, reduce the number of answers that questions will get.

 Have you not changed the links at the top of the page? I ALWAYS use those, and answers is still there.

I have, did some time ago, but many people won't realise you can.

I agree with Kiteman, Steve, et al.  Why change what wasn't broken?  Why hide a major (and previously heavily encouraged) category layers down in navigation?  Or are Answers destined to become like Groups:  a good idea, but eventually abandoned by the site administrators?

(cross-posted in reply to both Eric and Ed).

Nah, I think that's a bit harsh.  Replacing the text-edit user interface without warning, and then having to semi-manually reprocess the entire existing database -- that was a complete screw-up.

This is just an inconvenience.  From the past couple of weeks, I wonder if they just hired a new GUI designer, and are playing around with somebody's new ideas.

Weeeeeeeellll, OK granted. Its the "without warning" bit that grates - I hate it when I see the "we're rearranging the furniture" message, because, sure as eggs are eggs somethings going to get broken.


Yes, indeed.  But you do end up with a fairly large collection of paper wallets, now don't you?  ;->

ugh, now all the pictures are so big that it I will be endlessly scrolling and next paging to find things.  And I guess that option for classic grid or simple list is gone.

That's broken the directness of questioning, what's the concept behind it ? 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And please, as I say elsewhere ASK the people who pay for their membership, and whose clicking pays the bills whether a major change is worthwhile.


This needs a greasemonkey script to fix this. Pronto ^.^ Perhaps I should learn javascript and do it...