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General New Homepage Improvements Answered

Hey Everyone,

It has recently come to my attention though the forums that many of my fellow Instructabrarians, or as caitlinsdad will have it 'Iblers, are not at all happy with the current homepage layout of the website. Now, I'll admit, I'm quite biased towards this. As a new member of the Instructables Staff, I actually got to beta test the new site a week ago and as a long time user of the site, and I quite honestly didn't see anything glaringly wrong with it. Sure it wasn't the original homepage, but I felt the white background and interchanging instructables gave it a much more "Apple-esque" feel. But, after browsing through the forums this morning, I can tell I'm slightly in the minority on this.

So, I was really hoping we could start an General All Purpose Site Improvements page with constructive criticism of what you think could be improved. JamesRPatrick has already suggested what kind of things could be improved with the site, and I would really love to hear more. Rather than complain about what you don't like, please tell me what you would like to see improved with the new homepage or features you think could make it better. Look, I'm a fan of the site just like everyone else is and I've been a fan much longer than I've been working here. So if there's something on the homepage you want changed, please tell me because I want to know.

As new member of the Instructables team and admin, I can't make any promises that anything can or will be changed on our homepage but I can promise you I will at least bring all of your comments to our next staff meeting.


New Instructables Intern 2011


Sigh, Lithium Rain, I can see you're still upset with me about the earlier. But I'm still a fan of the site just as much as everyone else is, so even if you don't want to trust me, just know that I WILL bring any comments posted here to the site's attention.

If you knew the whole story you would be too, but then again you might not since you're still riding the new intern high. BTW, do they have you on coffee detail yet?

Not sure what you mean by "riding high". If you're assuming I'm only posting this in order to be pompous about my new position, know that Instructables did not ask me to do this. This is something I'm trying to do to help, but if you would not like to have any help, I am not forcing you to take it.

And by the way not coffee, but I have gone on a pizza run for office before.

When are HQ going to realise that if they get interns of, er, slightly more mature years, they can be sent out to buy beer.

And if they get an intern from the UK, they'll bring back beer worth drinking!

Yea, I hear American beer is a lot like being in a canoe,
Its Fn close to water

Only the crappy beer. There are many loverly (craft) brews that are sufficient to tickle anyone's fancy. If you're concerned about weak, poorly made beer (as many should be!) may I suggest "Mephistophles," by the nice folks over at Avery? at 14% alcohol and a hue similar to that of the inside of a pocket, yet somehow with balance between the malt and hops, no one would think of it as Fn close to H2O. But I digress. Boy howdy.

This new new change is much better. I do like the cleaner look, and no bizarre pictures jumping all around the place, hiding from you just as you wish for enlightenment on something new and fun. Thank you THANK you for listening to our pleas, I've really been frustrated trying to peruse 'ibles on a daily basis, as per my habit.

You're welcome but really all credit goes to our amazing dev team. I just wanted to generate good suggestions.

Well, I do turn 21 in one year from now. Hopefully I'll still be here by then. :D

Also, I'm partial to Canadian beer myself.

OHHH NO WAY! Someone hold my earrings, this is about to get real!

Please stop saying "Fn" because every time I see it, I think function key.

Quite possibly, Instructables has had a long history in the Fertile Crescent of Ideas. However in order to determine that, we need a true Instructastorian, one who isn't employed by Robot, one who is an impartial Instructajudge.

Nah, I consider myself an Instructastorian.

*high five* My thoughts exactly.

Also, "Apple-esque"? No, something is wrong with you Apple and its copycats can keep their silly format, Instructables should have its own style, not something similar to another evil companies.

Well you know, we do give away iPads in literally almost every other contest. Not to mention we are located in the Silicon Valley.

You must be a PC :)

HA! I am slightly offended that you consider me a PC. I used to be one but I am a convert, now I am a penguin, Linux FTW!

LOL, coincidentally I also study in Canada :p

I think a dedicated Site Improvements page is a great idea but i am concerned that such a page would soon get filled with Off-topic stuff such as have collected on your comment here. Also I "for instance" may not like something but have not the skills to suggest improvements.

Perhaps it could be a pro-forma that was already asking a set of questions and spaces for the ideas. Just thinking.

I think... that I'm going to have to agree with you on this one craftyv. The basic purpose of this thread is to generate in-forum discussion about the current homepage to see what people either liked or disliked about it, and find perhaps suggest a few that were good. Sadly though, the dev team already said the new homepage is permanent and while there's been quite a great number of ideas here, I have a sinking feeling even after I suggest them, they will still say No.

I was thinking of perhaps expanding this out to total site improvements. That way, in case Instructables should ever have a site overhaul in the future, at least we can have some of your requests down on paper

There's no such thing as a permanent home page layout.

Brilliant. Thanks for the pointer. No more annoying ever changing miniature thumbnails.

Yea, I have ABP and it is awesome! I see no ads at all, not even on youtube.

Instructabrarians? Like librarians?


Apple-esque to Orange-esque. Interpreting hard numbers and trying to implement tailor the homepage for SEO (search engine optimization to get more views) should have the real audience factored in. You can glean from the forums that many use alternative browsers and operating systems, there is increasing usage of smaller and mobile devices, and have conditions such as less than keen eyesight, ADD, being leet or not computer savvy at all.

That said, maybe just have that first bigger image in a row slideshow with a title. It can then push its image to the row next to it. The image on the end falls off and you have a reference of where to go when the "featured" image is scrolled off. This avoids the slot machine effect. At least the rapid movement is concentrated on one side and you can get used to it like avoiding the banner ads.

Yes, thank you caitlinsdad! So perhaps instead of scrolling upwards, the page could be scrolling sideways? A bigger first image might also look nice too.

Like now, the bigger first image in the row gets appended with the title so it displays. It slideshows through all of the selections pushed to the filmstrip row. One or two new selection gets introduced to the rotation in the first image. After that cycles through, one gets pushed into the filmstrip. Maybe dig up the old code from the old way of viewing slideshows.

Hmm, good idea! I will bring this suggestion up to my supervisors at the next meeting.

Perhaps an Instructables Mobile Version might help? As an iPod user I do agree that it does tend to feel a tad narrow at times.