Ancestry.com

New Family Tree Enhancements in “Preview Mode”

Posted by Kenny Freestone on June 4, 2009 in Family Trees

NEW LOOK- AND MORE SPEED
Today we launched in a “preview” mode several enhancements (with more coming soon) designed to make your family tree experience faster and easier. These changes will remain in preview for the next several weeks before they become permanent.

The family tree pages will load faster and we’ve introduced some key navigation improvements to help you find what you’re looking for quickly and navigate your tree with fewer clicks. We’ve updated the Ancestor Profile Page and the tree navigation, and added a new “click card” feature. Enhancements to the pedigree view also will be coming soon.

HOW TO ACCESS THE PREVIEW
To access the preview, navigate to any person in your family tree and select the link at the top of the person page “Check out the new look of family trees and give us your feedback.”
old-person-card-highlight

 The preview link is also available from the pedigree view page.old-pedigree-highlight

HOW TO EXIT THE PREVIEW
To return to the current family tree look, click the “exit the family tree preview” link at the top of any page in the preview.new-person-card-highlight

Also in this same area you’ll find links to learn more about the changes, and a tool to send us your thoughts on the updates (which we welcome!).

WHAT ARE THE ENHANCEMENTS?

Ancestor Profile Page
We’ve changed the look and navigation of the profile page to make it easier to use and to help you keep your information organized. Tabs across the top of the page make it easier to access sources, photos, stories, comments, hints and more. General information about the person you are viewing will remain consistent at the top of the page making is easier to always know exactly where you are.
profile-tabs

 

Show me the sources
The new “Facts & Sources” tab makes it easy to see what facts and events a person has, and what evidence supports those facts.
profile-facts

 Family is always a click away
We’ve made the “Show immediate family” link available on most pages so you can always put the person you’re viewing in context of his or her immediate family members.
profile-showfam

 Photos, front and center
You spoke up, we listened. You let us know that you prefer photos above the timeline. That’s where they are now — back on top. In addition to showing photos, the media gallery shows all of the media items you’ve added.
profile-gallery

Built for speed
We’ve completely rebuilt many pages from the ground up. It’s faster than ever to load and navigate around your tree. So this is more than simply a new color & layout change—moving to this new design helped us achieve substantial improvements in performance. The new design has major technical improvements (requiring 65% fewer object requests, and 90% fewer server requests), so your pages will load faster than ever. In addition we’re loading the most important parts of pages first, so you can get on with your research sooner.

New Navigation Shortcuts
The new tree navigation is designed to make it both easier and faster to access key tools for your family tree.

What’s different?
When you first visit your tree you’ll now see your pedigree view first, rather than the “overview” tab with your recent updates. Instead, you’ll find those updates in the “Recent Activity” tab, and your photos, audio, and video in the “Media Gallery” tab.

Tree Shortcuts
The new tree navigation offers convenient shortcuts. (Click the arrow next to the tree name opens a drop down menu.) This gives fast access to:

  • view the family tree
  • view tree settings
  • tree privacy
  • invite family members
  • view recent activity
  • view all the photos and stories you’ve added in the tree “media gallery.”

In addition, the new tree navigation has persistent links to the home person, the list of all people, and a quick search box which lets you type in a name to quickly navigate to a person.
profile-tree-shortcuts-highlight

Profile Shortcuts
A new navigation feature we think will be especially helpful on the profile page is a “click card” link next to the names of each family member. Clicking this icon will bring up a quick overview of the person’s information along with fast access to:

  • view profile page
  • view Ancestry Hints
  • quick edit
  • search for records on Ancestry.com
  • view family tree
  • and add a relative
  • view immediate family members

profile-clickcard-highlight

When you click this link, you’ll see this card:
clickcard-highlight

Coming Soon: Enhancements to the Pedigree View
Next up in our preview of tree updates will be a new version of the pedigree view that will let you see more generations at one time, see your tree full screen, drag and grab your tree, and zoom in and out. Improved navigation tools will make it faster and easier to return to an ancestor profile page.
pedigreeview

 Look for more information on the new pedigree view coming soon!

FAQ

What’s a “preview”?
A “Preview” enables members to see upcoming enhancements in their own family trees with their own family data. Many members appreciate (and have requested) a chance to learn more about and comment on significant changes before they are finalized. The preview model provides an opportunity to do that.

Why are you making these changes?
We’ve approached these changes with a great deal of caution—why mess up a good thing? We have two key reasons for these changes—first we’ve studied how members use the family tree product and found several areas where the current design hampers navigation and requires too many clicks. 

The new navigation model will make it easier to move to different people in your tree, with fewer clicks, and easier to review the information and sources you have for each person. To minimize the amount of change, we’ve done our best to add these key navigation improvements in the most low-impact way possible.

The second key reason for the change is to improve site performance. The ancestor profile page has become the single-most viewed page on Ancestry.com. Improving its performance will minimize wait times so you can focus on getting your research done.

How do you know this is better?
Our confidence comes primarily from working with members and watching how they do their family history work. We visit members in their homes to observe how they work, we invite members to our office to see our new design ideas and try them out, and we get a lot of suggestions online and by email. We’re launching this as a ‘preview’ to make sure everybody gets a chance to see what we’re changing and give feedback. The feedback tool sends each message straight to the team responsible for these changes to the tree system. We will be reading and considering each feedback item we receive. If you find things that don’t work as well for you as you’d like, please let us know.

How do I give feedback on the preview?
To access the feedback tool, click the link in the preview banner “Give us feedback about the new design”.  The feedback tool has four general categories for feedback: General feedback, Share an idea, Report a problem, and Give praise.
profile-feedback-highlight

How long will the preview be?
We expect the preview will run for 3 or 4 weeks while we continue to refine it, fix bugs that come up, and implement your suggestions. When the preview ends, it will replace the current experience.

     

85 comments

Comments

[...] the Ancestry blog Ancestry.com today announces: We’re working on a new look and feel for the family tree [...]

2 John HirschmannJune 4, 2009 at 10:09 am

I just had to redefine for my tree who was the home person in my tree. Could the fact that you put in this upgrade be the reason why?

3 Jacqueline StephensJune 4, 2009 at 10:25 am

A general comment about how your website “sorts” records…did it ever occur to you to sort alphabetically???? When I research for a person born in, say, Arkansas, died in Arkansas, even with the year given (+/- 2 yrs or so), it pulls up every conceivable death list from all over the world, NONE of which shows up either alphabetically or by relevance!!!! I spend countless hours scrolling through lists and lists and lists…isn’t there a way to simplify the search a little more? Ditto with marriage searches. And when merging a census report to an existing person, even though that person shows the same siblings as the one on the census, your website makes them appear as “NEW PERSON” and there doesn’t seem to be a way to get around that. There has GOT to be a better way! Please!

4 LisaJune 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

I had to change my preference to not block contacts. Before the upgrade, I didn’t have any contacts blocked. This is what I read today: “This member has chosen to not be contacted
We’re sorry. You are unable to send a message to Messages Team because they have currently chosen not to allow other members to contact them. You may want to check again later in case they change their settings.” It would seem to me that this needs immediate attention.

5 MikeJune 4, 2009 at 11:54 am

Just want to say two things. I think the basic set up is WAY far better than anything else out there. and one major item that really needs to be addressed is “double” exact same people in the tree. I would suggest some function that if clicked, would allow exact same people to be combined and/or the function automatically does this for you. Mike

6 RebekhaJune 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm

It hurt my eyes.

7 JadeJune 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Kenny,

The new layout does not load significantly faster.

The new tabs are redundant, and do not give the information given in the old handy list of numbers of photos, comments, etc. that are at top right of old page.

On the individual page I do not like changing from gender-profile thumbnails to color-coded (reddish brown and pale gray-blue)thumbnails. This does not fix the problem for families headed by same-sex individuals, and is a problem for color-blind persons.

What do the two brown half-circles indicate that are below some of the ‘calendar’ images in the individual-page timeline?

Those of us who cannot run Flashplayer10 cannot see what is on the “Family” image page. Make it display like the pedigree page.

The “Family Group Sheet” should show all spouses and children. You have eliminated the handy Relationships page, accessible from the person’s initial Profile page, that is useful for an at-a-glance evaluation of what’s missing or duplicated, and useful for easy editing from that page — and shows **all** spouses and children. It is especially useful because you can quickly make a change under a particular spouse, with **one** click (no extra click to choose which spouse goes with the change, if adding a child).

It is telling that you say “When the preview ends, it will replace the current experience.”

Overall I much prefer the old layout.

I really do not like your combining photos and ‘stories’ into the category ‘media’.

If you were to make an **improvement** it would be to add a category “Documents” and allow images including PDF files to be uploaded to it. For those of us doing actual research, it is humiliating to have document transcripts called “Stories”, when we could easily upload PDF files of deeds and other items as Documents if you would only allow it.

8 Joey Thomas JrJune 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm

As well as the next guy I like Progress but why don’t you fix things that don’t work properly. I like the new look but was just getting used to the Old. Sometimes old is good, wouldn’t you say. We all have problems with our Tree Sites sometimes from human error. Most of the time its from errors in the ancestry programs. All should be addressed. Thanks for listening

9 Karen WebbJune 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I also had my contact preferences changed. Please fix this! I was in the middle of speaking with a new found family member and now we have blocked each other. I fixed mine but I am afraid he will not know about this glitch and I have no other way to contact him.

10 Ruth GernhartJune 4, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I can’t log on now for several days. I need to know why.

Thank you.

Ruth King Gernhart

11 Ruth GernhartJune 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I can’t log on now for several days. I need to know why.

The webpage cannot be found
HTTP 400
Most likely causes:
There might be a typing error in the address.
If you clicked on a link, it may be out of date.

What you can try:
Retype the address.

Go back to the previous page.

Go to and look for the information you want.

More information

Thank you.

Ruth King Gernhart

12 Norm KaneJune 5, 2009 at 9:06 am

I try copying whole family from the 1870 census but the I cannot, butthe system will not allow me to do so, but if I go to the 1880 census I can. Why the difference. It seems sometimes it allows me to copy all families and sometimes not.

Norm

13 Darrell WesleyJune 5, 2009 at 10:04 am

What about better integration between Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker.

Seems like there was a blog post seeral months ago that indicated that this was something that was going to be worked on.

14 BarbaraJune 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I agree with Jade #7
My initial reaction to the new look was that I hate it. I don’t like the new look or the layout. I like the time line on the left at the top and I don’t need the Media Gallery in my face. That should be at the bottom out of the way. Just add the new enhancements to the old layout or if the new layout is a done deal and it’s going to be forced on us, at least make it so we can customize the layout like on the homepage.

One problem I did find is the inability to get back to the individual’s profile if you choose any of the options from the drop down box at the top of the page, next to the tree name or if you choose to go to the “View family tree”. If you pick any of these it takes you out of the person’s individual profile page with no easy way to get back that I can figure out. You have to go to the “List of all people” to find the individual whose page you were on or you have to type in the name in the “search for person” box, or if you go to the Family Group Sheet and click on the little View Profile icon it, which took me a while to figure out. This doesn’t make it easier or quicker to navigate. In the old layout you could choose “People” to get back to the individual profile page from the tree view. That choice seems to have been left out of the new layout.

One thing I would like you to add would be a place under the person’s name to put an alternate or nick name.
Also, I have been researching in the City Directories lately and I have found it very frustrating. I have been searching manually to find the people I am looking for because the search engine will not find certain names and I waste a lot of time trying to trick the search engine into finding the page that person is on so I can attach that record to the individual. It would be helpful to be able to save directly from a manual search of the City Directories.

I think you wasted a lot of time and money on this new layout. I really don’t see much of an improvement from the current layout. I would rather you use your time to add content and definitely fix the search engine problems.

15 AGJune 5, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Are you kidding me? Did you do a survey to see what types of operating systems people are using to make sure that the “new and improved” Ancestry is viable? What good is preview mode if you cannot easily discern whom you are looking for? What good is “speed” when you cannot access the system? Why do I have to type in locations when before I could use your drop down menus? What a mess! Please seriously reconsider what you are doing to those of us who are trying to build a family tree!

16 mtitoloJune 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I wrote but have not received answer. Found ss death certificate dated March, 2009 however, cannot find anything futher. Why

17 JadeJune 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Re: my #7, in paragraph 6 I said tyou had eliminated the handy Relationships page (in old view, accessible as a tab in the “Edit Profile” section).

This was incorrect. The good old easy-edit pages are still there, but you have put them in the tab “Edit Person” **way** over to the right. I failed to even see this tab since it requires scrolling to the far right of the page that has nothing else functional.

Also within this tab are the old EZ Edit Vitals and Events pages.

This means there are three ways to edit vital and other dates (two are links to the same edit page). This redundancy is a bit silly. The most cumbersome way is to use the new Facts and Sources Tab, which requires us to click on each one to edit – when the identical edit page could have been found from the main person Overview Page by clicking on an individual Event title.

The list of Events unfortunately does not indicate whether any Source is linked to or otherwise entered for the event.

In the Facts and Sources tab list, there is an indication that there is a Source for an event, but with a very truncated description. If a series of similar documents (say, deeds) were Sources for a particular event, this page view does not help you tell if something should be added, a duplicate subtracted, or an edit needed.

Why not consolidate the editing functions, preferably adding more detailed Source info on the EZ Edit text-box pages now accessible from “Edit Profile” and newly accessible from the isolated “Edit Person” page. These pages should include all the Source edit / add / delete options and the delete-event option. The links to items from the Time Line should go to the overall EZ Edit pages, which do not require an extra click just to get to the extra page to edit each item.

It is confusing that the “Edit this Person” tab is where it is. Put it at the left where it can readily be seen.

18 marrene2June 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm

First of all I like the old way to search much better and secondly why can’t your names be set out alphabetically? I was hoping I’d see something I like in the new way but unfortunately so far, can’t say I do.

19 Kenny FreestoneJune 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Hi John (#2)–Have not seen other examples of this, so it seems unlikely. We’ll look out for other cases.

Lisa and Karen (#4 & 9)–I’ve heard of one other case similar to what you describe. Yesterday we made a change to this area of the site (unrelated to family trees) that may have caused this. We’re investigating.

Mike (#5)–Completely agree. This is high on our list.

Jade–I appreciate your thoughtful comments and suggestions. Great feedback.

Ruth (#10)–Please contact member services for help on this. 1 800 ANCESTRY.

Norm (#12)–The reason for this is simply that not all census years have additional family relationships specified. If you look at an image from 1870 you’ll notice there is no column in the record to indicate relationship to head of house.

Barbara (#14)–I agree navigation back to a person can be a frustration for those used to clicking the “people” tab. We have a few updates coming that we hope will improve this.

AG (#15)–Which browser are you using? We choose to roll this in “preview” mode before we were fully supported all browsers in order to gather feedback and input before the final launch.

Jade (#17)–Enhancing the edit features along the lines you mention is on our list, but was not something we were able to fit into this preview. Great feedback.

In addition to the feedback here on the blog, we’ve received nearly 2,000 feedback messages from those using the product. Please keep it coming. The feedback so far is generally very positive. We especially appreciate those who provide great details and explanations for what they like or don’t like. We’ll keep listening and working to improve your experience.

20 Karen WebbJune 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Thanks so much, Kenny. My contact problem is corrected now.

21 brenda romanekJune 5, 2009 at 6:01 pm

When I add a source not generated through ancestry the item does not show up as sourced. Why don’t you fix this.

22 Michel BrysonJune 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm

I’ve tried both the Feedback link and the Profile Shortcut – neither work for me. I get an error in the corner of IE and / or javascript voids. I’m running Windows Vista and IE 7. So as much as I’d like to test the new version, I can’t. And I’m worried that once you switch it over in a few weeks, I’ll be stuck and unable to use the site. :-(

23 SherryJune 5, 2009 at 7:36 pm

This is totally unrelated to this topic but there does not seem to be a place where I can initialize a “blog”.

I have purchased five or six MI booklets from Scotland. For the most part, these are not indexed anywhere “online”.

It would be great if ancestry had a spot where one could donate an index to this invaluable resource. I am not talking about the transcription (the sale of these transcriptions fund extremely important projects), just an index to these transcriptions that would include the surname, forename(s), death date, age, a calculated birth date from the age at death or the birthdate listed on the MI, the burial ground, parish and county.

Of course, this would have to be “free” as I envision a volunteer effort. Although pushing the envelope a bit, would like to see a link that directs the user to the local FHS website where they can obtain the transcription.

With regard to research in Scotland, I think something like this would be extremely invaluable to both the subscribers to ancestry as well as the local FHS in Scotland.

Sorry for being off topic.

Sherry

24 Robert LehnertJune 6, 2009 at 8:07 am

On the Ancestry hints when you click on Attach this hint could you set it up to show where the different families branches connect without having to spend all that time to go through all the names to see where it is

25 DeAnn LeonardJune 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Your new look is rotten. can not
find anything you use to have.
Just Punched in the Mecha name
came up with Eisner, Eising, Eisentraut, Eisch Very discussed with
all of this.

26 Carol A. H.June 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

What part of “STOP MAKING CHANGES AND FIX WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE RECORD DATABASES!” don’t you understand?

The new look in trees, what little I have been able to see is depressing! It makes me physically ill to think I have to go through more hoops to get my people in a tree on your site. I dread the extra hours it would take to work on the trees. While not perfect, the present system works well and I know how to get around the kinks fairly efficiently.

The historical facts while you can click on them, and then click again to close them, are not in the same block/box as an item in the timeline, so you don’t know by looking if or what historical records goes with what event. You cannot see at a glance how many historical records you have attached to an event in the time line. You have to click on each one, one at a time, to see them and this in NOT efficient.

The colors are terrible. Much too pale if you are depending on them to be able to see if you have a male or female. People are not generic! We are not one sex! Some names can be male or female.

I have no photos or stories to add, and NEVER will have video or audio. My people are all DEAD! You know, like buried, not moving, cold!

Move the above mentioned block/section to the bottom of the person page for those who have photos, and etc to add. Add the user option to NOT have it all if we choose.

The underline in the index part for a census (or SUMMARY page/screen) for the original person is missing so you can’t tell you can click the name to go back to that person in your tree. You can click the name and it will go back, but the underline is not there.

The pages are NOT faster. Not even a little bit! In fact nothing on ancestry is faster. You have records but they all load slowly and I can’t get any faster ISP cable speed. It doesn’t exist right now.

I just may have to stop using the tree part of ancestry and keep my information on my own computer only. Now that would save me time! No more duplicating source records.

It has been great getting an email regarding a “match” for a person in my tree. Most of the matches have been right on target. But then I wouldn’t have to deal with the other problem areas in the new look for the trees which I find terribly inefficient, time consuming and just a pain in the you know what.

I will re-post when I have had a chance to peruse the trees further.

27 Carol A. H.June 7, 2009 at 1:53 am

I would like to say that Jade in #7 and #17, and Barbara in #14 have made some excellent points. Please pay attention to them.

And for AG in #15, I suggested a log time ago ancestry do a survey of the operating systems, hardware and software people are using so they can make a good determination that what changes they force on us, will work for all. They did not respond so I assume no one paid any attention to that.

Concerning the new look in trees you are going to dump on us:

Keep the definitive male and female silhouettes and make them darker. They are just right the way they are today, 7 June 2009.

Give us the option to move “boxes” up and down such as we can do in the home page. I don’t want a media box at all, but some may use it. Let us customize the look. The ability to eliminate unnecessary unused boxes would be ideal.

Give us the options to change the colors from pukey greens and yellows to soft tans and beiges or soft grays. Basically, let us determine the color schemes like we do in windows desktops, etc. Some folks may even like some stronger colors, but they would hurt my eyes after a few hours.

The text fonts and sizes should be selectable, too. At least give us a few options there. I know we can’t have super large text in small boxes. I’m not stupid.

I want to see the historical source documents cited in the timeline event blocks much as they are right now on the individual profile page/screen with dates. I can tell at a glance what I need to look for/check or what I already have. It is so important for the censuses and births, marriages and deaths. Visibility of multiple marriages helps determine what children belong to what parents. (His, hers, and theirs.) In the early years of this country, people remarried for survival. Mothers died in childbirth frequently, and fathers died young leaving widows with children needing fathers.

Please, not so much wasted blank space. That is one of the serious problems with the new search. It’s not efficient. Keep the historical record citation on line with the event description. (Birth, residence, marriage, death, etc. Tighten items up with the ability to expand when an added description is larger. More efficient!

I have no idea how to handle same sex marriages/partnerships and possible children. In my case, I don’t think it will ever come up while I’m alive, but the question was raised. I’ll leave that to you.

No ads!….. More speed!….. (I can dream, can’t I?)

28 LizaJune 7, 2009 at 11:58 am

I don’t necessarily have a comment specific to the new format but rather two general comments. First, obviously (or perhaps not) many of my ancestors come from countries that have letters with “odd” characters. For instance, a “v” shape on top of an “S”. Unfortunately, the tree doesn’t appear to accomodate these different characters and I like to include them…especially considering my married name does include one of those “odd” little characters. Second, I would like the option to add a person whose last name doesn’t necessarily match that of their parents. In Mexico, for instance, there are two last names and the children’s last names will not match that of either of the mother or father because the child’s last name is a combination of the two. But the odder thing is that sometimes the different name is accepted and other times it is not. To get around it in general a pop up window stating the last names do not match, are you sure it is correct would be better than a blanket “you can’t enter this name” when in fact the name you are entering is correct. For now, I’ve resorted to putting the entire name (at least for that part of the family tree) into the first name field. Hopefully this will help me get around that for now…

29 Jayne SigmundJune 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Hi,
Last August my brother and I both took a DNA test and sent them to you. I have been checking our results every few months and still, we do not show up one each other’s list. We have the same parents. Why is it that we are not listed as being related?
Jayne

30 Rebecca ChoateJune 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Family Tree Maker 2009 Essentials. I havent even got to get into my essentials after i sumited my CD. to ancesty.com. they keep trying to have me start over. I want to know if this is the way its going to be? I have spent more time then you know on trying to get my CD open to me. I put all my records on CD before I sumited it to you. I ask What should i do and never get my answer.

31 Joey Thomas JrJune 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Guess I don’t get any feedback !!!! I said why don’t you fix things that don’t work properly . I have 1500 people in my tree and I have down loaded alot of records that took me forever to do and still to this day you can not down a certain record and get back to where you started from. You site need work, fix whats wrong!!!! This might get your attention, maybe.

32 crisJune 8, 2009 at 12:12 am

I agree completely with Jade in 7 and 17, Barbara in 14 and CarolA.H. in 27.
I can’t begin to tell you how unhappy I am with the new design. I think the previous posters summed it up very well.
The overhaul is so unnecessary, not an improvement, not more efficient, not in any way faster and it is downright ugly. Sheesh, it’s shocking that you all looked at those dreadful colors and thought they looked good. This is so depressing and stressful.

33 JadeJune 8, 2009 at 2:16 am

Kenny,

The new display does not load significantly faster. It has no increased functonality.

Its navigation ease is less than the Old View.

You have removed the useful person-data box that was to the right of the person’s birth and death box; its handy drop-down menu provided a speedy way to add items without additional scrolling and clicks on tabs or in boxes.

You have hidden photo thumbnails and “stories”, requiring extra clicks to see them.

You have concealed “Comments” within a tab – this Comments section was useful as the only way collaborators on research on an individual could readily communicate thoughts and findings in the relevant place. It was handy to be able to see them just by scrolling down.

The revised person thumbnails and color changes are not improvements.

You say there will be added functions of the family trees view. This does not require a total rearrangement and hiding other items behind page layers (the tabs; the “media” box).

You have not explained what the brown half-circles are below some Events’ calendar-page image.

The faults in the mapping program have not been addressed, except the movable-pins functionality (why does it think Southwest Pennsylvania was in Louisiana?) (it still has no historical relevance) (the ‘show local cemeteries’ display does not even show half of what is in the GNIS database). The pin-moving thingie seems to get tired after a while, displaying a zoomed-in enlarged-pixel (like zooming in on a bitmap or low-resolution *.jpg image) instead of intelligible expanded view.

You have eliminated the clear Tree overview page. The totally non-intuitive, unlabeled tiny light brown arrow next to the Tree Name does not give access to all of what is on the Old-View “Tree Overview” page, and does not give the useful numerical info that is on the old Tree overview page.

The only actual addition, useful for some, is the added information about ‘hints’. This could easily be added via a link from the above-mentioned quick-info/entry box in Old View page. Rearranging and hiding stuff was not necessary to adding this.

Please reconsider making this display design change.

34 GarnetJune 8, 2009 at 9:06 am

Kenny,

I would prefer the media gallery be placed under the timeline. It is distracting when it is on the top, and requires scrolling down that extra bit to see the timeline items. Also hopefully this improves when not in the preview mode, but right now when you enter the overview screen you have to scroll down every time in order to see whether there are any family members.

One addition I would like to see is a delete key on the main screen rather than having to click on the edit tab first. It significantly lengthens the time it takes to “trim a tree” when you have to go to other screens. The confirmation dialogue box should be adequate to prevent “accidental” deletions. Duplication checking and merging duplicates within the same tree are still on the top of my wish list.

I am not so old that I don’t appreciate changes which improve the functionality of your product. But the big issue for me is what my eyes can comfortably absorb.

It should be kept in mind that
the average age for your technical development staff is likely half the average age of your customers. Perhaps that is why the display you offer is so hard on the eyes of us in or approaching senior citizen status.

Adding more to the screen in dashboard fashion may seem more efficient. But it is very hard to read and difficult to absorb when you have to squeeze all of this into a screen page. I have found the same to be true with FTM, which is why I have made so little use of the copy I purchased. If eye strain, confusion and headaches become a part of using Ancestry.com it will very reluctantly become something I will have to do without. Please try more focus groups with genealogists getting up in years before you make these kinds of changes.

While I have enough exposure to software development to realize this appears unreasonable, my ideal situation is that you maintain dual streams on your website:the proposed those desiring speed and the existing one for those vision-challenged desiring comfort i.e. the ability to read and absorb the screen itself.

Thank you for your attention,

Garnet

35 CynthiaJune 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

I cannot find any of my pictures and I have thousands of them.

36 Tony CousinsJune 8, 2009 at 10:32 am

#26 from Carol A. H.

Thank you Carol, I needed the laugh from this one – “I have no photos or stories to add, and NEVER will have video or audio. My people are all DEAD! You know, like buried, not moving, cold!” :)

And the understandably shouted – “What part of “STOP MAKING CHANGES AND FIX WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE RECORD DATABASES!” don’t you understand?” seems to be a concept that has left the building at Ancestry, but then it is always much more fun to generate new code than fix stuff that just doesn’t work. – :(

And yes, the colors are ‘pukey’.

TonyC

37 crisJune 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Please explain why you can’t give us an opt out of this overhaul. I’ve had my tree on Ancestry for 2 years and I’m totally fed-up with the constant changes that keep making using the site more of an ordeal than it already is. Just when I get used to the newer lower level of incompetence your changes always bring you unleash another on us.

38 crisJune 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Something I forgot to mention with the new design. People’s multiple middle names are only being shown by an initial. In Italian genealogy this is a significant problem. Is anyone else seeing this?

39 LisaJune 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I prefer to have the gallery above the timeline, the way photos used to be before moving it to below the timeline. We hated that change. Please put the photos above the timeline on the current production pages and dump this preview and fix everthing that is wrong with the current production pages, like viewing people with hints, filter by name, type of hint, etc. Where are the reports and all the functionality we had with the old Online Family Trees that were dumped before all the functionality was ported to Ancestry Member Trees. So were so many things lost when moving from OFT to AMT.

40 Kirk NashJune 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I agree with Cris (comment 37). Please explain why you can’t give us an opt out of this overhaul. I’ve also had my tree on Ancestry for 2 plus years and the constant changes are enough! Like the old saying, “If it ain’t broke,……..

Fix what needs to be fixed! Work on the database, I’m tired of asking for “John Smith” and getting everybody BUT John Smith

41 CathyJune 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I prefer the change not be made. The print is too small, the whole page looks cluttered, and it appears disorganized.

42 JadeJune 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Kenny,

What are the two brown half-circles supposed to indicate that appear below some of the ‘calendar page’ images in the Timeline in New View?

43 Kenny FreestoneJune 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Brenda (#21)—These source citations should be showing up. Are you looking on the “Facts & Sources” tab? The new design does not show sources on the timeline—although some feedback coming in is asking us to re-think that decision.

Michel (#23)—Not sure what you mean by “profile shortcut”. Do you see similar javascript errors on other sites?

Carol (#26 & 27)—thanks for the detailed feedback. Love the detail. You’ve given us lots of good things to think about.

Jayne (#29)—The likely reason the DNA tests don’t return matching results is that they are possibly different types. Perhaps your brother’s test is a “Y” test and yours a “Mitochondrial” test. The two different types of DNA would not match each other. If your brother were to take a mitochondrial test a match would result.

Rebecca (#30)—please contact our member service team for help: 1 800 ANCESTRY

Jade (#33)—Again, thanks for more detailed feedback. The details are so helpful. The Tree “overview” page is not eliminated rather renamed “Recent Activity.” You can access it from the small triangle next to the tree name at the top of the page.

Garnet (#34)—Thanks for the great (and detailed) feedback. Very sorry to hear the new design is not easier to read for you. This is actually something we took great pains to improve with the new design. We understand well that many members not as young anymore and in addition often spend hours and hours at the computer screen. We’ve tested the pages with a software tool that mimics colorblindness and other eye ailments, and shows areas with too low contrast. Generally speaking, in the preview we have received very positive feedback overall on readability, with many comments such as:

* “…I think it will be much easier on the eyes when working for long periods.”

* “VERY NICE!!! Much easier to navigate and read!!”

* “I like the new look…easier to read and load.”

We’re very open to hearing more details on what makes a page more readable for you. The email feedback we’re getting (nearly 4,000 comments so far) is mixed, but the very large majority say the new look is easier to read.

Cynthia (#35)—You can see all the photos you’ve added to your tree from the small triangle next to the tree name at the top of the page. Select “Media Gallery”.

Cris (#37)—An opt out option is of course technically possible. Our preference is to only support one version of the product for better efficiency. The preview window gives us time to make sure that the final launch can include your suggestions–we would love to hear more details on what you see as our lower levels of incompetence.

Cathy (#41)—There are a few bugs with font sizes in the preview. We’ll fix those shortly. The new version will have font sizes the same size or larger than the current.

Jade (#42)–I don’t see those. Perhaps you could send me by email a screenshot of the page.

kfreestone@tgn.com.

44 Beth CahillJune 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Can you please help me??? I’m sorry that I am not savvy about this – but, my sister was the “techie” one and she put all her research here on site several years ago. (she has passed away). I joined this site a couple of years ago and could access her research and now I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Do you delete old files??? Please help me!

45 NancyJune 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Why did you feel the need to flop the page (timeline now on the right and extra info on the left) now that we are used to it the other way around?

What is the purpose of the “Show Immediate Family” when the list is right below that (under Family Members)? I much preferred the concise box with the person’s name, birth & death; and small box which told the number of events, photos, stories, etc.

I think that sourcing is one of the most important parts of building a tree. You need to re-think making it so hard to identify which events are sourced (I do not want to go to a separate screen and scroll through the events–I never liked that part of the old version, and now you have eliminated what was good on that version).

46 crisJune 9, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I’m sorry Kenny, overhauling the entire design of the tree page was unnecessary and I don’t see where the improvements are. You’ve taken away some convient features, added nothing helpful and it is just plain ugly. Saying it is faster doesn’t cut it, we’re smarter than that. Ancestry has once again managed to increase the endless amount of clicking and scrolling that we are all so exasperated and exhausted by on this website.

In the current view, clicking on a person from your list takes you to comprehensive view of that person and their immediate family that anyone could easily understand in the first glance. The person at top contrasted by being larger and in a pastel pink box with a pale greenish outline, visible to the right, parents and spouse standing out in grey outlined boxes with darker print. Timeline visible below with a lavender outline, documentation the the right. It is a pleasingly aesthetic comprehensive family view. Yes, we did need some improvements like the ability to add our own documents, ability to delete a person wthout going through the time consuming edit tab, ability to arrange our own tree page like the homepage, faster upload on photos, just to name a few.

The first thing you notice in the new unimproved view is that harsh putrid green jumping out at you. Everything is smaller, you can’t see the thumbnail photos because they are so tiny, all the print is smaller and difficult to read, there isn’t any contrast or color. There are too many redundant tabs, right in the middle of the tree that give you the ability to view what you are already looking at. The spouse is in with the children and there is nothing separating them. The small print, lack of contrast, poor arrangement, bad design choices and the multitude of unnecessary buttons make the page look drab, uninteresting and confusing.

You took out the convenient little box that contained comments to the right of the head person’s name, you moved the convenient edit tab to an inconvenient place. You aren’t showing the head person’s full name, only initials for the middle names. With the list of siblings you are showing the full names instead of just the initials so everything is jumbled, uneven and messy looking. It should be the other way around, show one middle name and the rest as initials in the siblings list, click on that person and see the full name when they are the top person on the page.

Giving us the ability to choose our own colors and arrange our own tree page would eliminate the inevitable complaining about where everyone would like things placed. Some like photos on the bottom, some on top, some like tons of bells and whistles, some like a clean minimalist look, we all appreciate different colors, let us do it ourselves. I just don’t get why Ancestry keeps fussing with these superficial design overhauls when there are more important issues about speed and function that need to be addressed.

47 Karen CJune 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm

A few points:

1. It’s not faster.
2. Who cares?
3. Why?

Let’s start with ‘one’. I didn’t see any noticeable difference(speedwise) when I clicked on anything, so there goes that.

Two- Seriously, who asked for a different skin on the Tree? I sure didn’t. Why even waste your time on it? Which leads me to:

Three- Why waste the time, when you have CONTENT that needs to be fixed.
Everybody’s been trying to tell you there are some issues with your content (You should know what they are by now).

I just got done telling some friends how user friendly your individual tree pages are, as opposed to other family tree sites. Don’t mess it up.

48 Karen CJune 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I will add from my previous post.

Since you’re probably going to do this anyway, I agree with Carol A.H. Please give us the mechanics to move the ‘boxes’ on the pages around, and keep the silhouettes. My father-in-law is colorblind, and it would probably be difficult for him to distinguish the male/female from the androgynous cutouts you have on the new one. The point of this is to make it a better experience for people, remember?

49 Kenny FreestoneJune 10, 2009 at 8:37 am

Beth (#44)—We would love to help. Please call member services at 1 800 ANCESTRY. We generally do not delete old files, so your sister’s information is likely still around.

Nancy (#45)—We’ve received a fair amount of feedback similar to yours on the “timeline-on-the-right” issue, which is leading us to rethink this decision.

The “show immediate family” link is there for when you want to see family members, but aren’t on the overview page (for example when reviewing hints). We agree with you that sourcing is one of the most important elements. The Facts & Sources tab we added to give more focus to sourcing. That said many have commented that they would like the source links to remain on the timeline and we are also rethinking that decision. Thanks for the great feedback.

Cris (#46)—Thank your for the details. You’ve given us a lot to consider.

Karen (#47)—Thanks for the feedback. The goal of the preview window is to gather your feedback so we don’t ‘mess it up’. We’ve heard a surprising amount of feedback requesting we keep the male/female silhouettes. We will keep them.

50 Katherine MilbergJune 10, 2009 at 10:12 am

The only thing I would like to see would be an option that will pop up when/if you try to enter information on a person already in your family tree. I am finding at least a couple of people, distant cousins, have married into their own family. Because of the way your system is currently set up I often can’t make that connection until days later (when I am updating people from the hints you provide.) This causes me to have to go back in and delete a ton of people from the family tree and is causing me a TON more work in making my family tree as complete as possible. Other than that I have no complaints about your site.

51 Tony CousinsJune 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

Kenny

Will anyone from Ancestry / TGN comment on the many suggestions being made here and on other blogs and answer the following question?

When will Ancestry spend time and resource on fixing the many broken databases and indexes rather than prettifying the site which really does not improve genealogical research one iota?

And yes, I am holding my breath, currently a nice shade of blue.

TonyC

52 CarolJune 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I do not like the changes you have made.
The stories about an individual should stay on the same page. With the new system you have to click on the gallery button and than click on stories. Same thing with sources.

As far as the family view, I think it’s horrible. very hard to navigate.

Pedigree view is okay

53 Dwayne MilamJune 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I have been receiving the “technical difficulties” message page quite a bit since the new upgrades. For over a week now I have been unable to do much regarding searching for historical records. When I do get search results there are sometimes up to 1,000 records on one page to sort through, often from different countries or states that are totally irrelevant. I have tried the suggestions in your help articles, and contacted customer support with no success. It’s very frustrating to have a limited amount of time to do my searches and receive error messages or try to debug whatever problems the new updates created with my computer. When will these problems be fixed and will we get a credit for the inability to use your site?

54 Phillis T. ManningJune 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I personally do not like the new format. I have wasted a lot of hours trying to find information. If there were another data base I would change to it. I have been a member of Ancestry a long time and this is the first update that I find completely useless. I am very frustrated with the new format and hope you will modify the search format that is not so frustrating. I don’t believe that this is the time for such a change in format.

55 VickiJune 10, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for the chance to preview the changes to the tree user interfaces. Please continue this before rolling changes into production.

I would like the ability to set (and change) specific tabs as the default(s). When I enter the tree, the Pedigree view is displayed, when I usually want the Profile view. Other users may prefer the Family Group view or something else as the first page diaplayed.

This also applies to sub-tabs. For example, I may want to look at all the sources for each member of a family, so setting the Source sub-tab as the default on the Profile page would allow me to immediately see the sources for each individual as I pull up that person’s Profile page. Otherwise I have to select the individual, then select Facts and Sources, then select Sources. Only then do I get to see if I recorded that death cert or obit. Another time, for a different check, it will be a different screen I want to see as the default

Related to the Facts and Events sub-tab – please sort the sources in alpha-numeric order. Also allow the ability to “hide” or “show” the individual sources. Sometimes I want to see them, sometimes I don’t. To hide or show the sources can be set as a default and changed as needed by the user.

Thank you for adding the Hints tab. Related to Hints, please allow the ability to attach records as “hints” to a specific person instead of (or in addition to) storing them in the shoebox. I currently have too many records piling up in the shoebox, and have two places to go to when looking at possible records for a specific person.

Others have already commented on this – please allow the ability to customize the Overview tab the same way you do the Home Page. Also allow the ability to choose colors, font size, and to show or not show icons. Personally, the less scrolling I have to do the better, but my preferences aren’t the best for all users.

I think Tree Summary and People Invited would be more relevant in the Tree Info sub-tab than in the Recent Activity tab.

Related issues –
Please come up with printer friendly versions of the Family Group Sheet and Facts and Events (timeline), with listing sources as an option.

Also, a printable list of sources for an individual, for the whole tree, and a source usage report (and a way to clean out unused sources).

Other items you’ve heard before –
Add an optional field for a reference or identification number for each individual in a tree. If this field is used (or turned on), show it anywhere a name is displayed. Some users won’t use this, others definitely will.

A way to handle generational indicators (Sr., Jr., II, III, etc) and a way to enter titles (Dr., Rev. etc.).

A way to merge duplicate individuals in a tree.

For those individuals with no date of death – If a birth date is not supplied, please check spouses, siblings and ancestors to see if the person should be listed as “living”. Currently, if a person is entered in a tree with no date of birth, their information is displayed, even if a parent is hidden as “living”. I realize that response time is a big issue, and at first glance plugging this hole would seem to drag the system down. There should be a way to handle this issue with very little done dynamically. Possibly – when a date of birth is entered or changed, a check is done for “living”. If so, then a switch is set for that person and all his/her descendants, except where a date of death is given. That should be all that’s needed dynamically. A periodic batch-type check can be performed to catch those whose status has changed because of time marching on. And not all trees need to be checked all at the same time. Spread that part out, a certain number of trees checked every day over one or two (or more) years. Something like to above scenario should plug this hole without affecting performance. You claim to protect the privacy of living people, please do so.

Please do not store user preferences in cookies. I have my browser set to delete cookies when it closes, and it gets very tiresome to have to reset things every time I log on.

Also heard from other users – Please setup a system for users to enter change requests (a message board would seem to take the least amount of effort at this time). We would be able to see what other users are requesting, add our own, and/or (as some blogs allow) “vote” on the changes we want. This would also allow you to communicate with us about what you are working on (via your own entries or updates to what users have entered), what are priority changes for you, and possibly when some changes might be implemented.

Thanks

56 Joyce JonesJune 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Why does Family Tree Maker not take all the info from Ancestry? It is double work to have the “hint leaves” on FTM that are already documented in Ancestry.com. I find this very frustrating as I am paying for both programs and the publication of my tree requires both.
There are other parts of the programs that need work rather than changing the format of Ancestry. Note Jacqueline Stephens comment on June 4. I agree with her.

57 JadeJune 10, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Jan, #55,

You ask for a way to make Tree change “requests”.

You say further, “We would be able to see what other users are requesting, add our own, and/or (as some blogs allow) “vote” on the changes we want. This would also allow you to communicate with us about what you are working on (via your own entries or updates to what users have entered), what are priority changes for you, and possibly when some changes might be implemented.”

If you go to

http://boards.rootsweb.com/topics.ancestry/mb.ashx

you will see there is a permanent Message Board for Member Trees.

This, like all Message Boards, is mainly users-to-users, but some Ancestry.com staff monitor posts on the boards that are about Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com is a corporation. It is not owned by subscribers. Subscribers do not have a “vote.” It is extremely unlikely that any Ancestry.com manager would imply any such thing.

The occasional items requesting feedback on these blogs are a rather new thing. Such feedback is not at all scientific or representative of user sentiment, since only a tiny minority of subscribers ever look at the blogs or (assuming their cpu systems permit it; some do not!) make comments.

You can try to take a poll on a specific issue, but only a small minority of Ancestry users look at any of the boards that are about Ancestry topics, so results would not be very meaningful.

58 MikeJune 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Hi again Kenny. Now that I’ve had a chance to work with it a while I do have a bit more feedback for you. I prefer the background have a bit more brown in it, as the currect new look is very hard on my eyes and much harder to work with. Maybe a function that allows the user to change between 4 different color schemes…

59 MikeJune 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Also, here’s something that would be helpful. Let me give you a specific example. Say I am looking for the marriage of a relative in Maine. I find the appropriate Marriage/birth/death combination and it takes me to this LARGE page with all sorts of things. I would prefer to have the Marriage, birth and death searches be separate, as that makes one less step to take, and then when searching for something in Maine, maybe a function that allows for the search ONLY in that specific area. Would save a great deal of time and effort. Thank you. Mike

60 Pat SecordJune 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Don’t like it the new look. All you’ve done is re-arrange the page layout and so, once again, we have to get used to something new. I see no improvements, only more wasted space. I particularly don’t like the pictures and media stuff at the top. Why don’t you spend some time fixing all the problems the bloggers write about? PLEASE stop changing things.

61 Kenny FreestoneJune 11, 2009 at 11:40 am

Katherine (#50)–A great suggestion. We have this high on our priority list and hope to get to it soon.

Tony (#51)—-Tony, this is not a question we would hide from. We do spend significant time updating and fixing our data collections and indices. This year one of our primary focuses is updating and fixing our census data collections. We have thousand and thousands of collections and prioritize our efforts on the collections that are most popular and get the most traffic.

Carol (#52)-—Thanks for the feedback. We’ll work to improve this.

Dwayne (#53)–Sounds like your feedback might be directed more to search than to our family tree preview. I suggest you continue to work with our member services team to resolve your concerns. You can reach them by phone at 1 800 ANCESTRY.

Phillis (#54)–Sounds like your feedback also might be directed more to search than to our family tree preview?

Vicki (#55)–Fantastic detail! Thanks for your feedback.

62 Robbie BurnettJune 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Hi,
This may have already been addressed somewhere, but I can’t find it. I have an online family tree. I has been up for a couple of years. In the meantime, I have continued with my personal search, so there is much more data in my personal file than in the online file. I would not mind creating a new gedcom and updating that way, but I don’t want to loose all the pictures I have added. Has this been addressed somewhere?

63 Jeff JahnJune 11, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Its hard to say what type of speed will be gained by the new look. What I have seen so far is that the main screen has 3 basic tabs, Family Tree, Recent Activities, Media Gallery. Really no problems with them. The Family Tree tab has 3 tabs, Pedigree View, Family, Family Group Sheet. The first two have a printer friendly tab, the Family Group Sheet does alas. Of all of them this is where we would need one the most. Also no Individual (Profile) tab, re really need that. Only way to get their now is to mouse over a name and hit View Profile. Once their though its not as easy to get back to the main screen. No tabs really, only way is to click on view family tree.

64 Jeff JahnJune 11, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Not really related to the preview but a suggestion on the search option when not doing a exact search. It would be nice to have a go to letter “A” or such in the database. For example i am searching for someone in the Social Security Index and have to wade through a zillion data just to get to it. Some easier when not doing a exact search to get to a database you want.

65 Ron GoodeJune 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

The new look will take time to grow on me, but I do like much of the functionality of the new screen. Some thoughts

#1 I want the male and female silhouettes back. They are important and functional for quick recognition.

#2 As many others have commented the ‘Media Gallery’ is in the wrong place. Please tuck this box under the timeline box if possible. It is in the way!!!

#3 The Comments and Notes tabs are important. Can there be a way to highlight with a change of color these tabs or bars when they contain information? There needs to be a visual especially for the comments tab when information is available. Can the Comments tab be moved up on the “Family View Tree Bar” next to Notes?? Please help with this as there is no way to know there is information in these without a click.

#4 I have often selected “ignore hint” only to find later that it may indeed be correct. I love the new hints tab that allows you to review your hints options and selections.

#5 I feel we lost something when you eliminated the summary box. The summary box again gave you that quick look that indicated how many records, events, stores, comments, photos, etc. Was an easy way to know what you had and where. The new page does not give you that quick look. Could be the way to solve my #3 issue also.

66 Carol A. H.June 12, 2009 at 3:02 am

For Kenny Freestone #61 regarding your answer to Tony’s #51

YOU ARE WAY OFF BASE!!!!

The censuses get a lot of traffic because they have always been easier to search, at least as long as I have been a subscriber since 2002. They were the very reason I started my subscription when I first used them at my local FHC. You can look at the actual historical record for yourself and do your own transcription! You can in many cases, second guess the original transcriber because if the name isn’t correct, the place may be correct.

The reason I don’t use the newspapers, obituaries or city directories as much is because it is so difficult to get decent search results. I do use them, but I get so many wrong results that it is an overwhelming task to do so.

There is no way I will find literally hundreds of items in newspapers for one of my people. For most I’d be lucky to find one item. But hundreds are what come up and I have to mentally figure out what one item possibly could be logical. I search using a name and get every item that has one of that person’s initials.

THE PROBLEM IS THE OPTICAL CHARACTER RECONITION!!!

OCR gives hundreds of erroneous results. It is stupid!

Yes, this post might be better posted to someone who deals with “Search” but I am posting to YOU because of your feedback to Tony’s questions.

I have in the past repeatedly begged and pleaded for other databases to be fixed! Nothing happens regarding the newspapers. Obituaries have been fixed on occasion but I still see many of them that need to be fixed and I have submitted corrections until I realized I could spend days doing it and never finish with no pay.

The directories are better searched by using the alphabet and looking for names that begin with the first inital of the surname, page by page, than to let the computer search with the whole name. Same problem: OCR!!! You will be lucky if the whole directory is even there!

So be careful what reasons you give us for not fixing existing historical records that are in such bad shape. We don’t buy these flimsey excuses!

67 Connie NorheimJune 12, 2009 at 7:53 am

I would like to be able to rearrange the order of my photos. I’d like to be able to have the photos progress chronologically from left to right, ending with any cemetery photos I have. Currently the only way you can control that is if you enter all the photos at the same time, and enter them in the desired order. The Findagrave web site has a rearrange option that is nice. Couldn’t you add something similar?

68 LisaJune 12, 2009 at 8:10 am

Re #67 Ron Goode-

#2 I disagree. I want the ‘Media Gallery’ at the top above the timeline. So I guess to make everbody happy, please make the default above, and give us the option to move it below. The photo gallery should have NEVER been moved to below the timeline in the current non preview pages. This upset many of our tree members.

#4 I agree. We love the new hints tab that allows you to review your hints options and selections.

#5 I agree. Please bring back the summary box or equivalent like you did show on some of the preview samples. Put the #’s in the appropriate boxes. We need the quick look that indicated how many records, events, stores, comments, photos, etc are attached to an individual.

Please make the photo thumbnails in the gallery, the main individual and the children/siblings the same size as they are now on the NON preview pages. Please do not make them smaller so that they are practically useless!

Please provide the option to rearrange the content in the gallery.

Kenny, thanks for listening.

69 Tony CousinsJune 12, 2009 at 9:46 am

Kenny #61 – Patronizing.

Apart from a few small announcements about ‘improved’ indexes and the fairly large one recently about the Canadian census records not much is going on regarding records.

But – new message system, ‘improved’ new search, new navigation, upcoming tree enhancements – all get big fanfares and are always followed by large numbers of user complaints.

Ancestry is not a MySpace, it is NOT a social networking a cooking site or life style site regardless of the previous tenure of the current top management team, it is a site for Genealogical research. But given the forced changes that cause so much ire among subscribers you could consider it akin to Microsoft in strategy.

The big announcements about making the site prettier do not add to the main reason why people use this site, they want to research a family tree; they want to find relevant records – easily and painlessly.

Why did Ancestry / TGN not win the rights to the UK 1911 census collection when they are touted as the largest family history site in the world – with over a billion names and a million trees added in the last 3 years (press release May 2009)?

And don’t get me started on the FTM2008/2009 fiasco :(

Thank you for letting me rant.

Appreciatively, your loyal and faithful subscriber ;)

TonyC

70 Theresa WestJune 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

I enjoy researching on this site and with all of the updates and constant redoing of the site and seriously helped me alot in my research. Thank you very much

71 JadeJune 13, 2009 at 5:43 am

Please stop changing the *current* Tree items.

Why did you remove the item “People with Hints” (with link and number) from the Tree Overview page, “Tree Summary” box?

Please put it back. It is useful data for deciding what to do first without having to go to the Individuals list.

You have also eliminated this from the New View. It is needed.

72 BevJune 13, 2009 at 8:08 am

I must say that after about 9 or 10 yrs of using only Family Tree and being happy, I have now had enough.
First, I have put up with many many updates and no fixes for problems.
Second, I have put up with the lack of customer support as well as tech support.
I have supported Ancestry for a long time and recommended it to many and I will no longer do this.
I have sent request for tech support over two weeks ago and still no response. I updated to 9 and what a mess that is. Very confusing and no clear help anywhere to be found.
As for the new look, it also is a mess for those of us that have had a good knowledge of how things were set up and could even help others. Now it seems you want to make it so no one can help with site except you and good luck on that one.
I feel that if I must learn a whole new program I might as well find one that doesn’t charge so much and has Good customer and tech support for the software.
The new program now shows dupilacate hits which have already been already been added which is a big problem.
Also, I don’t understand why when the same company owns both Ancestry and Geneology.com they charge seperate for each site.
Finally had to but in my two cents worth.
Vey unhappy long time user.

73 Tony CousinsJune 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Bev #74 – Bravo, well stated

Ancestry take note, you may be the biggest but you are definitely not the best.

Bev is typical of so many other subscribers that will be taking the same action soon – not renewing.

You may have a new supply of people on the short term trial but will they renew given the problems – I think not.

TonyC

74 ritaJune 14, 2009 at 8:31 pm

that’s out of sight.

75 M RossiJune 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

Like the new family tree look Except when it is printed out the print is so small and very hard to read.
Previous family tree is easy to read.

Since the change am unable to print out the vital records from the Drioun Collection. Liked the custom print of the previous one.
M. Maureen Rossi

76 SheilaJune 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I haven’t been on here for nearly 5 months. I haven’t been able to research a single thing. I do not like this new set-up one bit, makes everything so hard to find. Looks like you all like us to read more, than do any real research.

77 NancyJune 15, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Kenny, I appreciate your re-thinking so many of the issues that have been brought up in the preview. I have been happy with the efforts that are being made to improve the site and the fact that there seem to be so many people involved in looking at various areas that have issues (e.g. the search feature, the speed of the site and the speed/number of clicks needed to do our research). This is a definite improvement from a while ago.

This thread is great in bringing up so many features that would be very exciting to have. I hope that you do move them up on your priority list. My biggest “wants” include the ability to merge duplicate people (currently a nightmare scenario); increased attention to the sourcing issue (especially the ability for us to add our own “historical documents,” such as death certificates); the ability to change the order of our photos; definitely giving us the box back (comments, notes, etc)!; and a less busy design. I also like the idea of setting our own defaults, such as whether to go to the Pedigree or Profile view.

I have another request which would really speed up my work. I would like to have the description line available when I am attaching records, such as the Census. I often have a note that I would like to add (e.g., occupation, number of children, years of marriage). Right now there are too many steps, and sometimes I forget the data that I wanted to put by the time I go through it all.

As so many people here have good ideas on how to improve the Search function, is there a message board or thread for that?

Thanks, Kenny, for taking the time to evaluate all of our rants! It’s only because Ancestry is so important to us that we get a little rabid!

78 NancyJune 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm

One more thing: I’d like a place to add comments about the person’s name.

79 LantrixJune 16, 2009 at 12:26 am

Is there any planned modifications to these changes, or are you at the user sociability testing phase?

Will there ever be a way to view more of a tree at once, say like geni.com do in a vertical fashion, and not just a generational side view.

80 gloria stanfordJune 16, 2009 at 7:31 am

why is my profile so hard to get into i xcant access it.

81 Sharron SwanbergJune 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I can’t get the trees to load at all.

82 Lynda FrenchJune 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm

I have been an avid supporter and subscriber to ancestry for years, but these recent “enhancements” on the family Tree have made it unusable. I get the exclamation symbol warning in bottom left with webpage error anytime I try to do anything simple link a merge a HINT and it apparently has something to do with javascript and Yahoo! (perhaps a toolbar, dunno).

Here’s a sampling of the error:

Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)
Timestamp: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 04:02:55 UTC

Message: ‘YAHOO’ is undefined
Line: 1
Char: 30
Code: 0
URI: http://c.mfcreative.com/trees/js/pt/fullcard.js

Message: ‘YAHOO’ is undefined
Line: 7
Char: 36
Code: 0
URI: http://c.mfcreative.com/lib/tgn/ancestry/header.js?v=1

Message: ‘YAHOO’ is undefined
Line: 1
Char: 1
Code: 0
URI: http://c.mfcreative.com/trees/js/pt/mergeFamily2.js

Message: ‘YAHOO’ is undefined
Line: 37
Char: 6
Code: 0
URI: http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/MergeFamily2.aspx?tid=7963014&pid=-1011022366&hid=-623987648&dbid=1138&rpid=5561952&pg=0,3,48&ret=-1011022366&altRet=

*****************

also acessing trees or any information (if you can get it without a webpage error) is very very slow to load anything.

83 Dottie BarkerJune 17, 2009 at 5:30 am

A lot of the comments on this blog are right on…. please take them under consideration. As for me, years ago when I first subscribed everything was great. Every year or every time you make changes, things get worse and worse.

Right now, I can’t search as I just get the notice that Ancestry is either down for repairs or I should try back later. Really folks, this is not helpful.

Searching takes twice as long as it used to. Why in the world, (when the system is working), do I have to go through literally thousands of records when I put in so much info on the person I’m searching for? Why when I tell you the person was born in 1659, the place where that person was born, etc, am I going though info from 1950 and in every other country but the one I wrote down? When checking through newspapers, I’m getting current issues??? Not helpful. It takes hours of searching for the simplest information. This year as been the worst year yet working with this system. It seems you’re taking what wasn’t broke and messing it up and you’re not addressing the things we’ve told you doesn’t work. I would also appreciate receiving answers when I contact customer service. This is very disappointing. Please listen and fix the system!

84 Dwayne MilamJune 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm

#83 Dottie Barker, I’m apparently not the only one having the same problems (see post #53) since the preview of the “upgrades” have been made available. Whatever is causing “our” problems, someone should address it. Tech. support takes a very long time to reply (maybe a lot of people are having issues) and the suggestions so far have not fixed my problems.

85 LindaJune 18, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I like the Media Gallery at the top where you’ve put it, so I know if this person has photos. If they’re at the bottom of the page and I have to scroll down, then I may not know they’re even there.

I would like it noted if there are Comments or Stories, so I don’t have to click on them just to check. I don’t do that on every person, only if there’s more said about them. This is important!

I would like a descendancy chart as well as a pedigree chart. It’s easier to find where a person fits into the tree, especially if they have a lot of children. You used to have this available, or at least it was on roots.com.

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