Did Any Focus Group Review the New Desktop??
The new desktop may be "sleek", but it is NOT intuitive. Did any actual users get a chance to critique and improve it? Given my survey of seasoned FHL missionaries (AWFUL is the most common response) I'm fairly certain there was little or no attempt to do so. Can NEW users find their way around? Likely not. I couldn't without a lot of clicking around. Lots of wasted space on the desktop and descriptions too general to quickly guide you to where you want to be. And some features important to FHL missionaries are now buried in obscure places. Again, did you ever get feedback from actual users before releasing this?? Having worked my career among IT folks, this appears to be another result of a "we know best" attitude too prevalent among IT types. As a suggestion, how about a "Button" that asks, "What Do You Want To Do?" followed by an easily interpreted list of functions. And perhaps consider retreating to the old desktop and THOROUGHLY vetting the rollout of the next desktop.
Among shortcomings is the fact that you have to be signed in to your account to access Ancestry Institution and other partner sites. This can be a great hinderance to those who just want to access their application and don't want to have a FS account. If you are helping a patron and going to partner sites from your own account, it brings up your personal info which is not a desirable condition. This isn't patron-friendly. And this condition runs counter to the instructions given to FHL missionaries to NOT pressure patrons to sign up for a FS account.
Lastly, the rollout of the new desktop came with NO training, NO introduction. Just jump in the pool and try to swim.
I wish I could be more positive about this. I haven't explored all it's nooks and crannies. There are some "pretty" parts, subpages that are an improvement on the old application.
Bottom line: It isn't intuitive enough to make the grade. D+ in my book.