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Site Updates: 1/22/2018 Answered


I'd like to give everybody heads up about some big changes happening on Tuesday (1/23) at 9AM (PST).

First off, the Instructables pages are getting a major update. Aside from a sparkly new look, they will now have a section for Questions and Tips. This will provide a place to ask questions when you get stuck, or provide a tip for doing a project better.

Secondly, the Community pages (i.e. these forums) are getting a very long-needed makeover.

Finally, we are updating our search software, which should improve search results on our site in general.

These changes will require a period of downtime on the site of about half an hour. Please check @Instructables on Twitter for updates.

Stay tuned for more great changes to come in 2018!


As it seems all the unwanted changes are still there...
The forum section is a terrible mess with noone answering anything anymore and by the looks of it a lot of old and active friends are missing too.
At this stage and with the state of this site in mind I thinkI will need a much longer than what I already had.
I might be back one day when the site and features changed back or to something that is actually usable for those active here.

To all my friends and subscribers here:
You are not forgotten, you are missed!


6 months ago


I also have some issues with comments. On sunday I puplished an instructables and yesterday noon I had a look on my stats and there I found the information that I have 1 comment. But i didn't find it in the instructable, nor in my discussions nor in my emails.

Yesterday evening at 6pm I got an email that I received a new comment and when looking into the discussion it said that the comment was posted 10h ago.

Now I can see on my instructable page that I have 2 comments, but I just can see the first one from yesterday.

Furtheron with the comments, I'm quite afraid to write any since I can't edit or delete them anymore and since I'm not a native speaker I'm afraid to make to many mistakes or write things in a way they can be misleading without the chance to correct them.

I also liked to read in the forum, but just in specific sections.

I am not interested in anything and I don't want to read a long list with strange headlines until I might find a thread which I'm interested in. There is no "order" the forum is right now. Please change it back to a real forum with sections and subsections and then the questions and topics.

I also dislike the new images sizes and the floating editing box next to my own instructables. If I would like to edit them I would click "edit". But those topics were already discussed a few times below.

I hope that things will be changed soon. Please don't let this great page destroy itself.

For me, this site is completely broken.

I'm in the middle of a conversation with one of my viewers, I have replied twice to his comments and have an interesting exchange going on. I have included links and photos in my replies. I cannot see any of this exchange at the bottom of the Instructable (I have replied after receiving a email notification of a comment - the only way I can conduct this exchange). All the comments, but one have disappeared from below the instructable. I have no idea whether my comprehensive replies have been received, they certainly don't seem to be visible to anyone else as far as I can see.

I would now like to add some images to this comment that I am writing here, now, but when I click on the Add Images button below (just next to the Post Comment button), I get a transparent greyed out screen and nothing else - no way to add images at all.

I hate the new layout. Nothing seems to work the way I expect. Most of my screen real-estate is wasted with huge images and white space. I have not read many of the comments below, but I agree wholeheartedly with the criticisms I have seen - very hard to obey a 'be nice' policy when the site you love (and have been a contributor for several years) seems to have been wrecked so rapidly.

Best wishes

I am not seeing any comments either. Do you happen to have any email notifications that include the missing comments? The more information that you can provide, the easier time the dev team will have in sorting it out.

Also, what browser are you using?

In terms of the new layout, we are currently considering everyone's feedback and will be making some changes.

The new upgrade has two colossal errors, and a few improvements.

The most obvious error is the ludicrous image size. Initially, I assumed this was a roll-out screw up that would be quickly fixed, but it seems it is a clear design choice. This must be by someone who browses only on a 4K screen or a phone, because anything in between looks terrible. On my laptop using Chrome at 1920 x 1080, I have to reduce the screen scaling setting to 50% (!!) to see the entirety of a single image. This. Is. Ridiculous. I would LOVE for someone to tell me the thinking behind this one. “Usage data show us that readers prefer to see only half an image at a time”?

The more subtle error and one that only authors will care about is that you have reduced our contributions to an afterthought. You glibly say “what precisely have we gotten rid of in this release?” We’re now a piece of text (not even graced with any indication that it is a hyperlink to our profiles) and a thumbnail that doesn’t appear until you scroll down and is easily overlooked when you do. No recommendations to our other work; indeed, barely any indication we’ve done any other work at all. Just promotion of classes and random other work. I strongly feel that you marginalize your authors at your peril. We get it: Instructables has a massive back catalogue of projects and that’s where most of your views come from, and that most of those authors have long since stopped maintaining their instructables. But I’ve harped on about the parable of the goose who laid the golden eggs before, and here I go again: whoever is making these decisions is focused on the eggs and not the goose. Go show off your shiny eggs and enjoy them while you can, because you’re mistreating your goose and eventually it will lose interest in producing any more. We hate shortsightedness in our politicians; it’s no more appealing in the people who make our favorite websites.

Improvements: you added “I made it’s!”. That’s great, you need to give more credit to those who have actually gone out and done what this is site is designed for.

Search is better.

Tips is a well-intentioned idea but poorly implemented; some clown can make a completely wrong-headed comment and have it pinned to the top of the comments section for eternity, unrefutable by the author. It seems a huge stretch and very naïve to think that someone coming to an old instructable is going to synthesize the contents and a collection of tips of dubious value into a coherent whole; more likely, they’ll move on and find a better source elsewhere. I’ve been a member for 8 years and have wondered the whole time why there is no facility for collaboration; I still wonder. Do something bold: make unmaintained instructables editable by others, and add them as co-authors. Re-feature them if they’re newly awesome. Keep the original – anyone heard of a wiki?

As for point 1, we are currently collecting user feedback and data, and will make adjustments as necessary.

In terms of point 2, you are right that we are not showcasing the author well on the project page. We are currently working on some design changes to give authors a larger presence on the project pages and showcase them better. This was not an intentional slight, but an oversight by the design team. If you have any suggestions on how we can showcase authors better on the design page, or otherwise, I would be happy to hear them.

Tips is just a first pass, and will eventually transition to a rating-based system. Eventually we may allow authors to edit tips in some form, but while this seems simple, it actually requires a lot of development time to make happen. Before we can commit most of the dev team to that, we are testing to see if people post tips at all.

As someone who has written 308 projects, I agree with you that there should be a mechanism for authors to remove tips from their own Instructables. This is something I have personally been advocating for because the last thing I would want to see is people getting stuck with a bunch of suggestions on their project which make no sense, are terribly written, and/or are factually inaccurate. I think it is beginning to be recognized a better moderation system for tips is necessary.

In the meantime - and this goes for anyone reading this - if you want a tip removed from your project that you think is grossly negligent, or just grammatically tragic, please PM me.

More suggestions (a wall of text, but you did ask for it Randy)

I’ve got 4 tips on a single instructable already. People are using them, and will continue to do so because they’re a powerful way of making their view prominent while escaping contradiction. I think you’ve created a lot of work for yourself, because to be effective they’ll *all* have to be moderated. They’re supposed to add value, but when comments do that authors can incorporate them IF they want to. See https://www.instructables.com/id/Improvised-woodworking-clamps/ for an example of this practice in action. Questions are odd because that was what the comments section mostly was for. I suggest you changing the system so that a commenter can select options “This is a question” or “this is a tip”, and when looking at the comments section readers can sort by ALL | TIPS | COMMENTS. Or just add buttons for “add a comment” “ask a question” “provide a tip” and have them all go in the same (sortable) section. All should be addressable by the author if they so choose; I’m puzzled as to why you’ve disempowered the author.

I think there is some confusion over whether the heart means “I like this” or “save it for later”. It’s both of course, but because we can’t sort our favorites at all I use it very reluctantly and there is really no mechanism for me to give authors a quick thumbs up for a great job while not wanting to keep a record of it. This may be true of others, and certainly not many views generate a favorite. Not a big deal though and there are bigger fish to fry.

On the profile page, I’d like to see more sorting options, e.g. sort by category (what other workshop instructables has this person made?), by views other than just total, which says as much about the age of an instructable as its popularity, but also by views in a last and or average views per day (week, year, whatever) since publication (which is this person’s most currently popular instructable?), by favorites (who really likes this instructable?), by number of I made its (what instructables have actually been executed by others?). I’d love to see recommendations to other authors at the bottom of the page e.g. “if you liked work by makendo, you might also like work of X, Y and Z” (and it would be great if we could edit these, if we didn’t like the algorithmically chosen ones). The author’s social media presences could be provided as linked icons, where only the ones you populate appear.

On the project page: the old version may not have a sparkly new look but it did a perfectly OK job of giving the author credit. I try to look for the best in an update, but I’m struggling to see the improvements this time around. I would prefer that the recommendations for our other work not be to most recent but to most relevant (i.e. first to the others in the same subcategory, then to category, and only then to most recent). That would be nice because then the recommendations e.g. to my treehouse would be to my climbing rope and kubb set, which make a lot more sense and would drive views internally.

In terms of outreach to authors, I think you should design an author update letter where periodically we get emails about how our instructables are doing. It could collate all of the last year’s data and sent on the anniversary of the author’s joining date, so it could then double as a celebration of that date as well. You kind of have something similar already, but just for the one week mark after publishing an instructable is an odd choice, because if there is ever a time when I know how many views an instructable has it is then. Better to be sent on the anniversary of a particular instructable (“In the last year, your instructable “How to Build a Treehouse” received 45,391 views. 2 people commented, 1 left a tip, and 1 person made it. This puts it in the top 5% of instructables published in the “Outside” category! Congratulations”). There was a brief but memorable period where authors got a newsletter that was aimed at them, which died because it was considered too much work and the payoff was too nebulous. But the ideas in this paragraph could be coded rather than hand created by a person, so while the payoff would be ongoing the work is limited to the initial creation.

Troy’s email after you’ve started a draft is fine but maybe a statute of limitations is in order.

Apps & video games & some websites often do achievements in a fun way that I think could be adapted well to instructables, but I also recognize that badges are an abandoned experiment here. I suspect that is more to do with a half-hearted approach rather than a fundamentally flawed idea. I some think people would likely be encouraged to participate by an unobtrusive system that rewarded a variety of interesting and fun hidden milestones, but I accept it is probably a lot of work to do it well (having said that, you have a creative community at your fingertips – run a contest and crowd-source ideas).

The long-broken trophy system. The medals aren’t especially interesting because they don’t tell you that much about the author (just about any author who has been around for a while is silver in views and in instructables, but hardly anyone is gold, and under the new views system no one ever will be. I might not even be silver despite having been here for nearly a decade), and the system doesn’t do much to reward those who participate in the site without authoring. I’d prefer a system more like the following, which tells you something about the author (what kinds of instructables do they publish?), rewards participators, and gives every author a unique profile (mockup attached to this comment). The 8 bars are for each of the categories of Instructable. I’ve broken it down for so that no bar = no featured instructables in a categories, and then bars of length 1 2 3 or 4 for a little to a lot. So mine looks like that because I’ve published quite a few in Tech, a lot in Workshop, none in Craft, quite a few in Home, Food and Play, and a few in each of Outside and Costumes.

The icons to the left of the profile pic are for participation. Authors like it when people comment, favorite and try out the instructable, so the comments one should stay, the heart could be added and the hammer is for “I Made It’s” (you could always make this number = # of instructables + # of I made it’s if you wanted to boost this in favor of authors, who have already made all of their own instructables). These are things we want people to do, so give them credit for it. Obviously the mockup is very crude (I made it in Paint). But it might subtly encourage authors to diversify (hmm, maybe I should publish something in craft to get a blue bar?), to publish more (make the scale logarithmic) and to keep quality up (only count featured instructables).


We also used to have a collaboration feature for Instructables. It might still exist buried deep within the editor. People rarely used it, and the internet shifted away from wikis towards individual authorship.

One of our earliest (if not first) tag line was Step-by-Step Collaboration.

I can’t speak for before mid-2009, but in my time here collaboration was never implemented seriously – someone was always the lead author and all the co-authors were invisible entities. So there was no point in collaborating because the site never gave co-authors any credit. It’s always been puzzling to me. And I don’t doubt you know more about the internet than me, but the movement away from wikis may well be true in name but not in practice – most of my writing of documents today is done on cloud platforms that are inherently collaborative and are effectively wikis (e.g. Google Docs). Fusion 360 files are wiki-like – you can rewind them to any point and freely share and collaborate on them! I’m not suggesting you make it a free-for-all, just to give us better authoring tools and make them collaborative. And properly collaborative: give the co-authors just as much prominence as the authors (currently, that wouldn’t even cost you much space).

I have produced a graphic to illustrate the magnitude of your "oversight". See below. I estimate your design team has devoted about 40% of the promotional space to instructables, 59% to your advertisers, and 1% to your authors. I think rebalancing this would be a good start. I'd like to see the recommendations focus on the author's other work, preferably classified by area (if I've published a project in Workshop, show my most recent Workshop instructables, not my Food ones. I have plenty of other suggestions, but I also have a job to get back to...


All that useful stuff that used to live top right every Instructable - links to similar ibles and other articles by author - is sorely missed. If I enter your site from search engine I'm pretty much dead ended without links to similar articles. I'm off your site and back to Google search after one page view and no clicks - maybe I come back or maybe I end up on a similar search result on Make's page. I preferred navigating the site from suggestions rather than the search function. Could you imagine YouTube killing off their suggested video listings because that's pretty much what you've done. New look is clean but lacks a lot of functionality of old layout. Form follows function.

"new look is clean". I just attempted to go to the site without adblock and not logged in. Wow, makendo's graphic is correct!

I'm also missing the ability to see when someone has replied to me in the forums. I get alerted to comments on my ibles and can see that on my profile, but I have no way of knowing when someone replies to my comment in the forum. I know we don't want this to show on our public discussions section. It was there a while back and cluttered it up too much.

I cannot seem to find the followers list anymore. I have been absent for a time but seems like a lot of changes have happened. Can anyone tell me where to look? Also, is there a way to contact my followers as a group?

I really hate the way the new look is
Was there a point for this?

Because for me it's harder to follow the steps. And I don't see any improvements.

It's just all mangled up. The older look was easier to follow.

If you did this just to give the site a "new look" you failed.

At least you should give users an option to use the old look if we want to, like YouTube. You should really give this some serious thought. Not all of us like new things just for the sake of it.


Another issue with comments here on the forum is that a comment should bump it to the top. There's no wonder why so many people are posting different versions of this topic. This official thread dropped off the front page and didn't bump up when someone commented. Is the list sorted by when it was first posted?
Within a thread there also needs to be a way for users to tell which comments they've read and which they haven't. Before, it was easy, because everything was in order. You just scrolled to the bottom. On the glowforge forum new comments are highlighted the first time you view them.

Where did my list of contest wins go?

The update was certainly well planned and with some good changes in mind but:
Not everyone likes the bubblegum look of the IO system, so why do the same here?
Fonts are way too big, same for pictures.
And instead of at least adding some of the requested features more are gone now.

I am under the impression the look on certain devices is as important as having enough space for advertisements.
Where before I had a lot of content and easy access to it, I now only have a few lines in a huge and oversized font.
Nice shadow effects, rounded corners, fancy buttons (the few that are left) - why do we need this?
Where are the few functions and features gone that we had and when are the long requested improvements coming?
Getting to the point where I have to say the people behind this websites don't really care about what the users think or want as long as enough revenue is made :(

The biggest concern for the changes was to give people a way to suggest tips to projects that had been sitting dormant for a long time. Often someone will post a project, and then move on. We wanted to let the community help keep (potentially outdated) projects relevant with the most current information.

In terms of the redesign, since 2005 Instructables has periodically updated the aesthetics of the site to keep on top of current trends, make room for new features, and account for new devices. Sometimes the change has been dramatic, and there are always people who love and people who hate it (and all variations in-between).

We are definitely taking the community's feedback into consideration, and this is by no means the final version of the website.

As far as things missing, what precisely have we gotten rid of in this release? If there is something that we removed, it was likely not intentional, and I can bring this to the attention of the dev team.

This is just the first of a series of changes coming to the site. I know there is some more work slated for these forums (at some point in the near future). As well, I am certain they are going to keep iterating on the project pages.

No offence but what exactly is the point of suggesting tips to dormant projects?
Usually if something is dormant it means only two things:
a) it can't be found
b) the content is not interesting enough for the people
If there are 500 projects about making a flashing LED circuit than I would say about 490 are obsolete and don't need suggestions ;)

If you would take feedback serious than with no offence we would not request the same things year after year.
And if optics are more important than function it means you guys missed the point of having a website that active users like to use and participate.
If you want to know what got lost do some comparison as I for once fail to see why I would have to highlight this!

I use a lot of websites and forums but Instructables is the only that totally messed with my screen.
No adjustment works as with a smaller font everything else shrinks too.
Makes me wonder why other websites can offer this without the total mess that is created here.

Can't wait for more updates, maybe some some support for the visual impaired to read of the advertisements? ;)
Or an editor that totally ignores what the user wants to create? ;)
How about buttons that cover the entire screen instead of just parts of it? ;)

Downunder35m, I think the Instructables staff is just trying to make the site interesting and easier to access. Although you might feel comfortable with the old Instructables format(so do I), I think it is important to keep it as inclusive as possible. Newer generations have grown up solely on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter etc. and are comfortable with their minimal interfaces. They might find the design we feel comfortable with as old, complex and cumbersome. This might help bring younger crowd towards DIY and away from social media and video games.

"If you want to know what got lost do some comparison as I for once fail to see why I would have to highlight this!"
Although I understand you are trying to make Instructables more user-friendly with your feedback, you need to understand there might have been hundreds of iterations of site behind the scenes. When you're in the hotspot, it is at times hard to balance which items to add/keep and which to remove. You might hate the hiding away/obfuscation of certain features in favor of minimalism, but new users might feel at ease with lack of complexity. Maybe the staff could bring back the features you mention are lost as a dropdown so only available if needed. Randofo asked kindly for what you consider as important features that are missing, and although you don't seemingly mean to offend, it is only kind to enlighten people of your observations.

Trying to make it interesting? By making it more complicated and by making it all far too big?
The most annoying thing that got lost for me right now is how the comment section of an Inble is designed.
I ansered a question yesterday in my Ible on updating the X96 TV box and the reply is just lost while the answer is still there.
Someone who only knows social media will still struggle with this website once they actually want to more than reading.

You don't have to highlight what got lost as there is now already enough postings and complaints about missing features and things no longer accessible.

Hiding features or losing them to make it all look cleaner and user friendly again only helps those purely interested in reading and creating Ibles in the most basic form possible.
After several years of requesting proper editing features for both the forums and the creation of Ibles the least I woul have expected from a site overhaul would have been the option to use advanced features if the user needs or requires it - a thing standard in all good forums for over 10 years...

Let me sum up a few things for the code monkies one last time and maybe not even complete :
1. Proper editing features so a user does not need to revert back to HTML coding just to place an image within the text or to determine it's preview size.
This includes the support for external editors if including it is impossible.
Right now I use a good editor to create some meaningful text but once pasted into an Ible most if not all formatting is lost.
Embedding code is a pain too.

2. Following forum topics and questions...
Before I could at least find a topic LOL
Having replies sorted a bit better now is certainly a good thing but there is still room to improve.
Like, for example a highlighting function so a keen and following user can post new posts and replies quickly in existing topics/questions.

3. Where are the forum sections?
As mentioned before it is now all one big mass of topics with a different icon in front.
No more sections for tech stuff or home use...
Finding something that was for example posted in the Home section is now nowhere to be found unless you are able to remember enough of it to attempt a detailed Google search for it.
It really would make sense to use sections and even to add more than we had before as things have evolved and new stuff has come along that is of interest for people.

4. As mentioned for a few years now users have no way to edit something the posted, not even right after posting to correct a spelling error.
Quite often it is more than just useful to edit a reply.
For a lot of things it would allow a topic or question to stay much cleaner as unrelated or unwanted things can be removed/edited.
So instead of having 20 questions and answers to get to the point of the problem it could be reduced to one proper question and one proper and correct answer.

5. Following notifications....
I get quite a few Emails informing me about new replies and such.
But all that was and still is possible means following a link to the topic/question.
In a good forum this notification would give a link that leads directly to the reply, so it is the first thing to spot.
Especially for long topics it can be a pain here - just imagine someone replied to something on the third page of a topic...
Good luck finding it!

6. Embedding made easy...
First I have to say I have not ried a new Ible or anything meaningful in replies with the new engine, so all based on the old system:
It is quite nice to be able to upload images to the personal library here but the comfort ends there.
To embed an image properly one has to get the direct image link from the library and use HTML to embed it in the right place and size.
Videos are not possible at all this way as far as I know...
I would be great to allow for a drag and drop option directly from the library and to include videos up to a certain size too.
For example: Allow a button for an advanced editor and from there a frame to give access to the library to allow a drag and drop right within the text where the cursor is located.
If in doubt through placeholders that resize the image or video preview automatically to fit the users screen the best possible way.
And since there are still a lot of mobile users with limited or expensive data connections it should be possible to allow for two "skins":
One fore normal PC or tablet users on Wifi.
The other for those on connections with limited bandwidth or data allowance.
For the second images, icons and so on should be reduced to minimum or replaced by text.
Can make a difference of many mb just for a standard Instructable.
And if someone needs the image in full a click would do so...
also in general it could make sense to allow external links for images, like already done with Youtube videos.
As the library is just one ig mess a user could an external image hoster to have a better control of the content and to save server space here.
Maybe even as simple as allowing a user to link a hoster from a short list to be used as the library.
If in doubt it could be arranged that images are copied at the time of upload to the users library here with an alternative link.
So in case the image is lost on hosting site the internal cops can replace it.

7. Search function....
Right now I still use a detailed Google search to find Instructables that I am interested in.
You know like searching for making a line follow robot through Google and once I know what it is all about and want to build one I refine to find related Ibles and topics here.
The sections are already gone so that is a miss already.
And although I have to admit finding Ibles through the internal search now works 100% better there is no option to search for questions or topics.
Could be one reason why a lot of the same keeps popping up on a more than regular base, I would guesstimate we have about 2000 more or less identical questions and topics in the bag ;)

8. Coding, coding, coding....
As mentions several times by many users over the year the implementation of code blocks here is less than minimalistic.
Times have evolved and people use microprocessors all the time for personal use.
But proving code here or within an Instructable is a pain to say it nice.
Take the editing standard Notepad++ as the prime example.
Syntax is highlighted, common spelling problems for code is easy to spot this way.
All is easy to see and follow.
We need this here too!!!
If I post an Arduino project or help then I want to be able to present the code for the user to read - in a proper form and with colored highlights for the syntax.

There are a few other things but as said I did not keep a list of them over the years;)
And no I neither want to offend the code monkeys or whoever is behind all the ideas of changes/improvements here.
It is just that at I thought that if a major overhaul is announced that negative feedback in regards of missing features or things "we" need were taken into consideration.
Right now I have the impression that nothing of that what was asked for so many times over the years was even on the to do list....
Almost like someone with no real connection to the users did a review based on his personal view and limited feedback.

Just noticed that this quite active topic is now really for down the list of topics.
Not easy to find with STRG+F ....
Also I really miss seeing who made the last reply or comment in the views....

I'm not interested in all topics in the forums, so I really miss the sections. The time of last post is also really helpful when determining how active a thread is. I like forums that have sections with the top three or so threads listed on one page. So, instead of the old way with sections and sub-sections listed, perhaps ditch the sub-sections and list top threads within sections instead.


Something got lost:
Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/X96-Android-TV-Box-Updating-the-Firmware/
As said before my answer to a question there seemd to have gone into the digital nirvana.
But I just an Email telling me user AdeolaA7 made a comment - neither the user, nor the comment are visible in the comments section of my Instructable.
I can only follow this through my comment tracker, which is thankfully linked correctly in the Email.
Still I think it could be benefitial to have comments, replies and answers to questions visible in an Instructable.

When making a reply to a message it goes into the digital nirvana.
Instead of sending the message an empty box comes where you can start over.
After clicking send there it finally seems to work - at least it says message sent.
Making replies to topics is stuffed too, most now just hang when clicking on "Reply" and nothing happens.

And you guys wonder why those using Instructables on a daily base are less than impressed with the new design and "improvements".
To me looks half cooked, unconsidered and done by totally ignoring year long user feedback and complaints.
Still no offence but if this keeps going in the same way I will have to find a new hobby outside this website.

Another removal: Formatting in comments, and the enter key producing a proper paragraph break.

Another removal (though a few months ago): The Related section on the right side when viewing an instructable. I used to spend hours at a time on the site due to that. Now I spend a few minutes reading one or two instructables that I found by searching, and then I leave, having missed a bunch of content that I would have been very interested to read. The Recommendations section at the bottom of the new version is not a sufficient replacement. (I do like it being at the bottom, though, because that's when I'm ready to read something else.)

Something removed that I think should not have been: the forum being categorized! I can't find the equivalent of these pages: https://wayback.archive.org/web/20170923214316/https://www.instructables.com/community/ / https://wayback.archive.org/web/20170820065224/https://www.instructables.com/community?categoryGroup=help&category=contests
I would like to ask a question about a contest, but now it seems that my post has to compete with people asking for help with their projects, reporting bugs, asking how to upload pictures, etc.

The comment "periodically updated the aesthetics of the site to keep on top of current trends" says it all. Let form triumph over function. To "make room for new features..." is great; the primary purpose of a site like this is functionality (in multiple senses). Nobody comes to a website merely because it looks nice. But the new look/design (over-large pictures, etc.) actively diminishes function. Stop worrying as much about fashion ('aesthetics') and worry more about function. Of all sites' users, one might relatively safely presume Instructables' users to lean more towards practicability than fashion trends! I look forward to future changes that acknowledge this.

I totally agree with you. The new update looks better, but you have to scroll more and I think it would be harder to actually make the project. The comments are a mess, it is harder to look through what other people commented and harder to post a comment.
And where did the forums go??? I want to check on the contest list, but I can't find the forums....

If I search for "How to make a pegboard", for example, I get tons of results from random Instructables that used "how to make a" in the title instead of "pegboard".
If I search for "magnetic pegboard", I get results for "pegboard", but also unrelated results for "magnets".

If I search for "bokeh", all of the results are accurate, makes sense.

If I search for "chisel honing guide", I get one result for a chisel honing guide, and a bunch of other Instructables on chisels. Wait, is my honing guide I'ble the only one on the site?
Also, all of those other chisel related I'bles (restorations, sharpening techniques, organization) are the ones that should be shown in recommendations...

This is obviously much more subjective and harder to test. When I search for the things you mention, I get results that I would more or less expect to see.

Is there anything in particular that you think should not show up, or anything that you think is missing from the top results?

This has been a problem ever since the old search engine was removed. (I could still access it for a while after that using a search shortcut that I'd previously set in Chrome, but eventually it stopped working that way too.)

The new search engine uses OR rather than AND between the words you type in. So, if you search for "bookshelf door", you'd expect to get results that include both terms (probably mostly secret doors disguised as bookshelves) but what you actually get is every instructable that includes the word "bookshelf" and every instructable that includes the word "door", all mixed together. The only good way to search Instructables now (for a few years now) is with an external search engine (e.g. Google, using "site:instructables.com").

Bug: Several profile- and account- related links are broken. Everything in a red box in this image is broken.

Edit Profile opens a profile-editing form, but the form is broken (in that the fields are not populated with the current values, and the profile photo looks like it couldn't load). After closing the form, the button does not open it again. Everything else in a red box just redirects back to my profile (the page I'm already on in the screenshot) when they should all take me to different pages.

I have no way to access my posted instructables (if I had more than could be shown on my profile), draft instructables, draft collections, favorites, discussions, or settings.

(Also, I recently changed my username, and the links in the account menu link to URLs using my old username still, but the links on my profile page use my new username, so I don't think that's causing the above problem. And my Feed still welcomes me using my old username. Also, the only item in my activity is joining the site, when I've done a bunch of stuff since then, but I think that problem predates this update.)


6 months ago

It would also be nice to be able to either delete or edit comments


6 months ago

All "bold" text has disappeared from my articles yet the html code shows the text surrounded by "strong" "/strong" tags. (using " instead of correct symbols to avoid possible display issue)

Also the "bold" button no longer works when writing an article . Again the text is surrounded with "strong" tags which points to something in the CSS file.

This needs to be fixed as it affects the readabilty of all existing articles and makes the "bold" button pointless.

Since the change I can not see ANY images in ANY instructables! Not very useful. Have not changed anything at my end in past few days, so what is causing this? Firefox 48.0.2, as if it matters. Tried Safari (which I almost never use, but it works as a double-checking mechanism) and it cannot even load the Instructables home page as it "can't establish a secure connection". Please advise.

Hmm - seems I need to sign in, to see images. Never bothered before, mostly just clicked link to 'ible from the link in the daily email. And I hugely dislike the new large format pictures, now I can see them. They take up far too much screen 'real estate'- some take up more than the entire screen - and so it is almost impossible to see any text and the pics at same time. Smaller pics / thumbnails are easy to enlarge. An entire screen taken up with an image cannot be reduced. So this simply does not work for me and falls into the general category of "didn't need fixing, has been broken now". Adding new features or improving function (e.g. search) are ok, but changing things simply for the sake of it (larger format with no choice to revert or choose a display size - or is there that option hidden somewhere?) is never good. Why not offer the larger format as an OPTION, rather than forcing across the whole site?

And while I'm commenting, one thing that has bugged me forever is that comments are shown in reverse chronological order. Makes no sense, especially if later commenters are commenting on earlier commenters' comments, but one has to read the reply before the comment it is replying to. Other sites that do the same do at least allow the user to switch the order. Now that would have probably been a very simple change that would not have broken anything but would have offered the user a more tailored experience.

What do you mean by this? I see the initial comments display before the replies to those comments.

Sorry, you are of course correct - actual replies are indented below the posts they reply to. I should not have used the word 'reply'. What bugs me (in all forums where reverse chronological order is used) is that if someone's comment includes reference to an earlier comment, we'll have read the comment about the earlier comment before reading the earlier comment. If I want to read a thread, it only makes sense as a thread if it is read in the order people added to it. I appreciate fewer 'ible comments threads are 'to and fro' conversations compared to some places, but IMHO reverse chronological order never makes any sense, from any perspective.

Ah. I see what you are saying. I think this has less to do with chronology than our commenting system is a result of many legacy iterations. We used to have threads, and within them sub threads. We still sort of have that, but it is not always clear, and sometimes things end up 'out of order.' I'll pass along this feedback.

Another comment bug: All replies now show only "username2 >" rather than "username2 > username1".

This annoying problem was present when I started here several years back.
Again it shows the lack of care if noone listens to ongoing negative feedback.
But hey, maybe in another 5 or 6 years it works better ;)

Hmm. I'm not convinced. And I am certain that if your current comments function simply reversed the current order so all comments were read in the order they were posted, your comments function would be pretty much perfect for me - this would completely address my criticism. Thanks for the responses, though, re what is a side issue re the new format even if a personal bugbear.

My main issue is the new format's large pictures make it pretty painful to read 'ibles. I never used to need to scroll up and down much to read an 'ible and make sense of it. Now I am scrolling up and down small amounts all the time. It seems quite a few people have made similar comments. But you can only please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time. ;-)

Having two different site layouts running concurrently is not easily doable. However, we have noted your feedback.

Same here unfortunately. Chrome 63.0.3239.132