These are just some tips based on unscientific observations about what exercises are the most and least popular in the LASR Community.
Printed targets not required
This makes the exercise easier to setup, and opens them up to folks who may not have a printer. Some exercises accomplish this by just telling you to use something generic, like a post-it note or sheet of paper. Some of them do this by saying "here is a printable target, but you can also just use something similar like X or Y". Likewise, exercises that use common targets (i.e. a 1/3rd scale IPSC Metric) also tend to be more popular, as folks often already have those from a previous exercise they ran, or something else entirely.
When making your exercise, consider if the target type is really that important. Could this exercise still accomplish the goal(s) with something more generic that most folks have, or could a substitute target be used if they can't print one off? (Check out the El Presidente exercise or the Handgun Fundamentals Video Course for examples of this)
Exercises that have really elaborate target and/or target zone setup tend to be less popular, simply because they are more work to setup. Additionally, exercises that have more "props" like barrricades, or require larger areas tend to be less popular. Not everyone has something to use as a barricade handy, and not everyone has a 30ft long area for dry-fire.
Is there a way to simplify the target, target zone, or shooting area setup? (If you check out the FBI qual exercise, two different sizes of reduced-size targets are used in order to keep the maximum space required down to 10ft)
Some of the most popular exercises in the community are some of the ... to put it nicely... least original. While we like to see fun and inventive new stuff, a lot of people, especially when choosing their first exercise, stick to things they are familiar with or have at least heard of before. An example of this would be the El Presidente exercise.
Good but concise instructions and firing proceedures
One thing that we've noticed is that the shorter and more to-the-point the setup and firing instructions are, the better. This is one where the Handgun Fundamentals Video Course actually seems to loose some popularity, as it actually takes about a half hour to complete, if you actually watch the videos... most shooters don't. On the other hand, exercises with very concise and to-the-point videos (or even no videos at all, if it isn't really needed) and written instructions tend to be more popular.
Even more popular are exercises that don't have redundant instructions. If your exercise is just five runs of the same thing, then just say that for the first one, and don't enter instructions for the remainder. One less button click and much less reading for the shooter. An example of this is Luck Charms, where it just skips the firing instructions, as they don't really change
Don't be too long... or too short
Extremely long exercises tend to be less popular as folks loose interest, especially if it very redundant (doing the same thing over and over). Likewise, exercises that are too short tend to be less popular as someone isn't terribly excited to spend 10 minutes getting things setup and then shoot two rounds and be done. Alot of exercises remedy this by repeating the same drill a few times to give you a few runs, or make the par time gradually more challenging, etc.
Of course, the best way to do this is to have a target setup that allows for a variety of different things all in one exercise. Remember, you can change the setup between drills to change out setting for things like reload mode, target down, timer mode, etc.