Over the coming months, we’re going to be looking closely at a number of aspects of Search, and listening to your feedback to improve them where appropriate. In particular we’ve heard that you want to have more control over how you search and browse into our data collections.
Tomorrow, December 16th, we’ll be launching the first of these enhancements, making it easier to browse and navigate right into the images of any of our collections, specifically, we’ll be making the following changes:
- removed the ad to make more room for information about the collection,
- moved browse up to the right and made it so you can navigate on the same page down to the specific area,
- included the fuller description on the page, to help users new to a collection (we’ll be expanding this to more collections over time),
- added help links and other information on the most popular data collection search pages,
- added related links on some of the most popular as well.
Old Search and New Search
While the wrapper around the search form is changing in both old and new search, the one thing we did not change was “old search” and “new search” forms. If you are an “old search” user, you’ll still see it. If you are a “new search” user, you’ll still see that.
What it was and what it is
So where you once saw this on the 1850 data collection search page:
you will now see….
We’ve moved browse to the top of the page so you don’t have to scroll to find it.
The browse has been updated so that you will have the ability to browse down in the data collection on the page, instead of paging through many pages, which should be faster and more efficient. This works the same way it does on the enhanced image page.
You’ll start with a browse menu, specific to that data collection:
and then you will drill down to the area you wish to browse:
In this example from the 1850 census, choose the township you wish to browse, and you’ll be looking at images.
So it’s time to revisit your favorite data collections, or search out some new ones. Check out the new page and let us know what you think.
About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.