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Too many layouts!!! Answered

I am getting a little annoyed by how the layouts are always changing. And I bet a lot of other people  are too. 

...so I got an idea that there should be a poll, showing all of the previous layouts, and maybe a few new ones, where the Instructables community could vote and pick their favorite one.

Leave a comment on what you think about this, or give some other suggestions...


Instructables isn't a democracy, it's a business. You can create whatever poll you want, and I'm sure the results will be very interesting and perhaps informative (though people tend to like whatever they used most recently). They are quite unlikely to change anything, however.

I'bles collects a tremendous amount of data on "click throughs" (how did people get to page X?), and use that data to improve the top-level layout. If you recall several months ago, when the "Answers" link was taken off the masthead, the reason was simple: a very small percentage of accesses to the Answer section came from that link. Most of them came from the "Answers" boxes in the right column of I'bles pages. If a link isn't being used, it doesn't need to exist. That's just one example that I happen to remember.

What you're saying makes sense, but just because someone's used to a certain layout doesn't mean that it's the best...

...which is why I brought up the idea for a poll. Just I don't quite know how I should make one. Maybe contact Eric W. to make it in the form of a contest?

It may be useful for you to contact Eric and Rachel in any event, if you are really interested in helping to collect real data about what front-page layout is most useful.

I've also gotten the impression that the front-page isn't necessarily intended for existing members (clever users will create bookmarks to the pages they want to access), but rather as a way to entice newcomers into the site. The feedback about what existing members want is not necessarily consistent with that goal.

They've already hooked ya - why rebait the hook for the fish in your bucket? ;)

Aha - it took me 5 hours to get that one.

I'm a bit slow. :-\

You're not counting the nine hours of sleep in between, eh? Slow, like Forrest Gump not running?

Yep, not counting sleep, IIRC it was approximately five hours between when I first saw it and when I saw it again and Got It.

:P You're cold as ice!

I was going to complain that there was now no link on the front page to all Instructables sorted by date- but then I realised I don't see the front page much because I have that bookmarked anyway, and the front page might be better off with just categorised views for the newer viewer.

Ultimately, for a regular reader who knows their way around the site the layout isn't nearly as important as a first-time visitor. We know where the good stuff is!

I bet if the site went straight back to the original 2005 layout, you would hate it.

This is the 21st century. Change happens.

I happen to have liked the layout when I first came to this website the best back in '08. ...but the thing is, change isn't always good.

As kelsey has pointed out the layouts are based on research, also the powers that be have final say on the layout, it must appeal to both users and passers by, most of the disturbance is just from change, not better or worse layouts. Instead of polling for an absolute change you could find out if the old layout exists somewhere and use a greasemonkey script to implement a user chosen layout switcher for those that dislike the current one.

Whining at the staff is one thing, doing something's another.