Here's an example I just hit:
I know a Mrs XYZ was the landlady of a pub in a particular village in 1845. I want to look for all people of her surname in that village in the 1841 and 1851 Censuses born between 1780 and 1825 (a guessed age range for a landlady of a public house being between 20 and 65).
I can select her surname, I can narrow it down to the county and I can select England/Wales Census 1841 & 1851. But, even when selecting to "show All Information", the results do not give me the location of the results. I cannot use Ctrl-F to go down the 211 entries to search for that village.
I can narrow it down by sex, now yielding 105 results that are female.
I used to be able to see the current residence and be able to dismiss them by eye based on proximity to the village I was after.
All it now shows me is the person's name, when/where born and age; their relationship within the household and others in the household.
But I am trying to find the first name and age/year of birth of somebody in that village who was a landlady, or landlord's wife.
I really dislike the new search page. The old one was easy to understand and scroll. The new one? Geez. Advanced option doesn't help. I'm not sure what you thought we be improved by the change in format. Please change it back
I presented feedback a few days ago to ask for an option to have the panels switched. On the old Search the results panel was on the right and on the new it's on the left. Being on the left at first glance threw me and I'm sure others off on how to navigate through the change. Maybe that could be done in Preferences but it would have more effective as a default. The real estate can be the same but just switched. I also sent feedback to have on the search results an indication or text stating that this record is already attached to selected person. This gives one the ability to ignore the search result or clicking to find out who the source is attached to. I am getting used to the new search and like the new options. It will be just a matter of using it more to get many comfortable with it. Some instructional videos on it's use would be nice.
I'm a volunteer family researcher and guide. Of course, I research my own family, but I spend most of my research time helping others to find their biological families, such as with adopted and orphaned individuals or when someone seeks my help to solve a difficult family riddle or mystery. Although I am not an LDS member, I do associate and work with LDS members of the community and missionaries in their quest to learn about their family and the tools such as FamilySearch that help to make this process easier. Unfortunately, the recent changes to FamilySearch Records area have made this process much more difficult.
The old record search function in FamilySearch was working well for me and it was a great research option. I suspect there must be a valid reason for the changes, but I'm not sure if anyone asked for or needed it. Change for changes' sake is not progress. If the previous system returns as an option for use, then I'll return to use it. If not, then I will consider this site a waste of my time and discontinue recommending it to others. It saddens me that the thoughts and ideas of a few, although with good intentions, have created such a large problem and discourse within the research community. I am frustrated, angry, sad, disappointed, and lost as I suspect that many others are. I feel as if I have lost a family member to a violent crime and can do nothing other than remember and mourn the loss. I hope for a better future.
I hope to return someday and find that the Records Search area is useful again and that all of this was just a bad dream that I waken from. I hope that others can find healing and peace from this in the future as I am attempting to do now by walking away. I thank the individuals who put the effort into the new system as a means to make improvements and help others and I hope that someday their vision will come to fruition.
I hope and I thank you for your time, - Rob Finch
This went from being a favorite site to now my LEAST FAVORITE. It sucks. Please put it back the way it was or I'm deleting my account with all my info. PLEASE!!!
You're killing this site. Too bad I spent years on working on the data. NO WORK can be done here anymore. Even if you fixed this, your hesitancy to do so now casts doubt on your entire credibility.
Do the results look very useful to you? You must be braindead.
The Results look like from Finland but not necessarily the specific location for which you are looking. You may also benefit from selecting a Collection filter option?
i wonder if everyone at familysearch uses giant 4k monitors and therefore is not bothered by all of the whitespace and scrolling necessary to see all of the information because they can still fit everything on one screen without scrolling.
With 1920x1080 monitors these new changes make the presented data practically unusable since it is impossible to see everything on one view without scrolling horizontally and vertically.
Many people around the world may never have access to a 4k monitor and are trying to do family history work on their phones...
No. It is tucked up.
I necessarily required the specific location. The data is there. The engine is just picking up wrong data. Not telling the location. And not telling the dates of the found records. Also truncating the birth dates by dropping the day. Also the relationships are not shown because they broke those three years back.
I was just trying to find/identify another couple. I have the man's full name and age and I can guess his county for starters.... I have the woman's full name and age and can guess the county.
It is a Breach of Promise. I am trying to find what happened to them both next.
I can't find either of them in the search results. It's just too many pokings and selections. For starters, I am only interested in England. That used to be easy. I used to start with name/England and see the results. Now I have to additionally have to select relevant collections from England too.
The initial search box wants: name, surname, location, year. If I type England in location it doesn't seem to do much. If I type Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom in there it doesn't do much.
As for year - what year? I used to start by typing in: Name, rough years of birth, choose England at the bottom - and that was my starter list.... being presented just with people in England of that name born between those two years.
What you type in those first boxes appears to be irrelevant to the results you're given - it seems to want to give you everybody and every event in the world that might match the person's name, sort of, close to, vaguely like.....
And I still don't know what it's expecting when I type in a value in that initial Year box.
I just used the initial search box to find myself. That should be easy. I know who I am :)
I found me -> Then it lost me, I am no longer a search result, even though I did nothing wrong.
I typed in my firstname, my surname, my town of birth, my exact year of birth. For my town I put: Town, England, United Kingdom
Yes, it found me.... but it also found nearly 5000 other suggestions.
When I changed my location to be: Town, County, England, United Kingdom it offered me 58 others it could be.
BUT - there I am, right at the top. That's correct (but only confident as I know that's me) - but it doesn't tell me where I was born. It is not showing the town registration district, county. If I'd had a common name I'd have got hundreds of results without any clue of the location being right or wrong.
Yes, I can click on each name in the list, to see where it is, to see if others are me - but it takes 6 seconds to load that right panel with more detail.
It takes too long, it's too inaccurate, it's long-winded, it's confusing. It doesn't yield workable results without your heart sinking.... there'd have to be a prize of £1million to consider further poking about for many people.
THEN!!!! I narrowed myself down by choosing Residence. I chose UK ... and now it's lost me! I no longer am offered as a result. Where have I gone???
It's clearly broken if I can lose my own entry when I know precisely who I am, dates, where I was born.
As if designed by Rube Goldberg himself!
I also am beyond frustrated with your new search system. I am trying to complete a family, so I enter what I know about the first person I am researching - I have date and place of birth so the search finds my person. Page shows 12 similar records along the right hand side - YEA !!! I am going to find more children for this family. So I click on the top one, but wait - it is the same person I already have up!! So I try the 2nd one on the list - YUP, also the same person! I jump down a few on the list and find a new child, so I bring up that record. Still have the long list of "similar" but no way to tell which are the ones I have already tried, so I go through the same process ... find another record for my 2nd person, then I click and get the first person back up. I gave up -- 12 records but no way to tell which ones I tried, which are repeats of the two I have already looked at. Somewhere on the page of one record I found, it has the option to "go to that page" or something like that. Clicked there and page opened in new window. Get another new entry up, look for the button to open in new window NOPE, not there! You NEED to have the page change to color of the text of an entry once it has been viewed to avoid going around in circles !! Today has been a complete waste of time.
Hmm - staff want "constructive feedback"? Here is a clue to good user interface design: "discoverability". That is , it is easy to discover the method needed to achieve a desired search result by simply observing the user interface.
Now, in contrast, here is an example of a "NOT discoverable" user interface design: "option links". When a function requires first selecting a link to a "pop-up menu" or "drop-down menu" or "Advance Options" page, then the desired functionality is "hidden" and "invisible" to the user, or, in other words, "NOT discoverable", except by, first, "trial and error", and then after, by unnecessary descent into "hidden menus". This is called "bad user interface design".
Here is an example from the "new" records search user interface page: "Place". This is called an "ambiguous reference". What sort of "place" is "Place"? Is that the "birth place" of the search target? Or is it maybe the "current residence" of the desired search target? Or, maybe it is the location of the actual record that is desired, and nothing to do with current residence or birthplace of the person acting as the search target?
Unfortunately, we do not know. Nor, as far as I can tell, can the user actually "discover" the meaning of the word "Place" in this context.
As I understand, the intent of the "new" record search user interface is to, effectively, provide the inexperienced new user with "instant gratification", presenting a group of superficially pertinent "hits" in response to a set of vague search criteria. This kind of functionality is called "short-sighted", and may be characterized as "penny wise and pound foolish", since, when a more precisely crafted record search is needed, the search will likely be impossible to craft, or will simply fail horribly. Alternatively, as seems now the case, the results presented will be impossible to recognize or to decipher, simply because the presentation format provides so little visible information, a consequence of "dumbing-down" the user interface.
Where, ostensibly, the purpose of "automatic computation" is to automate tedious and repetitive actions, such as searching records, when instead, the user is forced to engage "trial and error" methods, first, to craft a search, and then subsequently, to peruse the results of a search, this obviates the very power of the computer. Maybe someone on the design team still thinks of records searching as a kind of "trial and error" process, and does not know how to actually use a computer?
Some things to think about...
Boy, I totally agree with every single comment I've read, except, for the one comment which praised this nonsensical new version and for the fact that I did find one thing to like: Making the search result turn red when viewed. That's about it, but unfortunately, not enough to enjoy using this website and justify the wasted time and effort it represents.
What turned red??? That was one of (many) complaints I had - no hint as to what I had viewed and what I had not from a long list of "similar records" !! Sheesh, why did I come back to see if any more comments were made LOL
See your feedback helped!
hahaha... I can totally understand your frustration. I am totally bent out of shape with this new version. Here is a screenshot of what I mean - Carlos Norris, below, is the seach result I viewed. I turned red when I did.
This went from the most useful site, to the least useful site. What a pity FamilySearch felt the need to do this.
Here are my comments and asks:
A. USER INTERFACE DESIGN IS POOR
Like many others I've also done software UI design for several years. Here's what's so very, very wrong with this design.
B. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS RELEVANT RESULTS
Right?? And new search is not retrieving the RELEVANT records on top for me any more. Relevant results is job #1 for genealogy searches.
Example - I wanted to look at all the FS records for a particular person in my tree. I already have her basic information, but wanted to come here and look at the official sources on FamilySearch, where I can easily retrieve them and look at the various collections via the tool that has worked extremely well for the last 20 years. **Typically this would take 30 seconds.**
**What I used to be able to find within 30 seconds, I'm simply not finding on Page One.**
Why are my search results no longer relevant?? Old search, relevant on top - worked very well. The new search function isn't even returning my most relevant results on the first page, let alone at the top.
If the new dumbed-down tool returned the same high-quality results, it could still be useful for some very basic things. With what I'm seeing, I have serious doubts. Search logic just isn't hitting the database the same way any more, even with the simplest of tools. Even something I can find in a specific collection on Ancestry I cannot find on here. Searching is dumbed down there, which is why this was so valuable. Now this is worse than that. Fix it. I am assuming you'll work the kinks out with this.
C. GIVE AND TAKE - OUR EFFORTS AND DATA ARE WORTH SOMETHING.
There's been no focus on this issue in the thread discussion so far. Maintaining useability for experienced users who contribute valuable information to FS, is an issue of fairness.
As I said, I've been using FS for 20 years. I've given back to the community by participating in indexing projects. I have also had a paid subscription to Ancestry for over a decade. I feel like I've paid for this tool many times over.
We need give and take here. FamilySearch, you owe it to long-term experienced users to restore a meaningful experience.
PLEASE...JUST LET US USE THE OLD TOOL
FamilySearch, why are you resisting this? It costs NOTHING for you to add a button with the option to let us use the old search tool.
I wish -- LOL
RE: THE DRASTIC CHANGE: No thanks for making the search results infinitesimally more difficult to navigate. Why is it that every time someone makes a change lately, it is for the worse?
I have no interest in having to relearn how to carry out a search, nor fooling with the bassackward way you have now oriented it.
Some computer geek, who, unfortunately, understands nothing regarding the work flow of genealogists, has done irreparable damage to what was once a useful site.
I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the whole job has been sub-contracted to start-up created by a private equity company, and all they've done is to sub-contract it again to the sub-contractors who do Acnersty. :o)
The Search web page optimization for mobile browsers is hugely more usable, even with all these problems.
So are we all expected to go out buy 17 inch tablets just to use the search ?
No, I think the new GUI is the result of laziness. Trying to create a single "Look and Feel" is a nice idea in principle, but there will always be a heck of a lot of stuff you just can't do well with a tablet. Those people who say "I can type a 1000 word article on my tablet" are misleading. They're actually typing on a keyboard that's connecting to a tablet. If you're going to use a keyboard, and maybe even a multifunction mouse, then you're not really using a mobile interface, which is primarily a one finger interface. I always laugh at the "two finger" interface, but maybe that's just an English idiom.
Forcing power users to use a new protoype that is biased toward tablets was just a huge mistake, and the reaction is plain for all to see. There will always be a need for a simple and an advanced level. If the mobile GUI uses the simple level, that's fine by me. Restore the old GUI, called it "advanced" and don't bother about trying to make it work on tablets.
What can't understand is why the results are so bad. Something is definitely wrong with the criteria being passed to the engine, or, the engine has been altered so that it is not handling the criteria correctly. I've posted in another thread that I've found that Acnersty is suffering from the same drawbacks and it wasn't not long ago. My supposition is that the two 'improved' engines are related in some bizarre way. Who's copying from whom? If it was school, both would be in detention.
I have to echo the comments of almost everyone else here. I hate the new user interface. Even as I am slowly finding where things are, I find it cumbersome and visually chaotic. Search results come up in no particular order instead of being sorted by type like they were on the old page. They aren't even in order of relevance to my search parameters. I find that if I change one search parameter, say location or date of birth, I have to re-enter everything all over again.
I hate the first page with its four factor search. Who wants TOO many results? Your explanation seems to suggest that you changed things so people get MORE results, but more IRRELEVANT results is just annoying and an obstacle to efficient research. Can you please provide an opening page that allows for all our parameters to be entered? Let us, the users, decide if we want more results by altering our parameters.
I know you won't change it back because you've invested in these terrible changes, but please at least provide a clean opening page with more search parameters to enter, sorted results, a way of modifying a search without having to re-enter everything, and a more visually clear and less confusing interface.
I wish there were an easier way in this Community platform to reference a previous post - quote does not appear to work from one page to the next. My post here on page3 is a continuation of my constructive feedback from page2
@LDS Search Test
SAME COLLECTIONS + SAME SEARCH PARAMETERS =>SAME SEARCH RESULTS?
If you look at the interfaces 'old Search parameters' versus 'new Search> More options' the change mainly appears to be UI - there are literally only 3 changes -beyond interface - the parameters are all in the 'same location' (except 1 - a clue?) - - that I can see: 1) the addition of Sex filter 2) the change from Birthplace being default to Any place - which I would think would return more Results not less 3) Exact search slider instead of checkbox.
...but the Search Results are telling a different story something else has changed in addition to the interface - and I do not know those changes. I have guesses but do not know.
Some of these issues that guests are reporting could be resolved through profile/account settings.
For example, If I always want to view Data Sheet format for Search Results then I should be allowed to make that a setting for my account/profile and not have to bother with the Preferences tab (unless for some reason I want to change them).
As far as Results - part of it is re-educating us about the changes in the Search algorithm. For example, the default place is 'Any place' not 'Birth place' - what does 'Any place' algorithm return - results for any place (birth, marriage, and death that's what I would assume)?
What I am pointing out is - I do agree - something seems to have changed in the Search Results - but I don't know exactly what. FamilySearch will need to educate us on the changes between Results we could 'expect' in 'old Search' versus changes we need to learn in 'new Search'. If 'new Search' requires us to filter this and that to get the Results we came to expect in 'old Search' - we need to be taught that. Otherwise the algorithms 'behind the curtain' will remain a mystery.
As many guests are indicating some Search Results are 'lost' - can a FamilySearch representative explain why the 'same Search parameters' are resulting in not finding what we could expect in 'old Search'? Are some of the 'collections currently unavailable' through Search> Records or only accessible through 'Search by Collection'? Are some items from a film 'currently unavailable' in the Catalog? All Search Results should be a return of all collections applicable to the Search Parameters - but is this happening? If some collections are 'currently unavailable' then obviously they would not be included in Search Results...
So are we all expected to go out buy 17 inch tablets just to use the search ?
No, of course not.
The engineering team has asked for constructive feedback. Feedback that some aspects of the new Search interface are good does not contradict or invalidate feedback that other aspects are bad.
The only positive thing I can say about your changes is that they have forced me to find other sources for the information I'm looking for. I have actually returned, physically, to my local library!