@CarolSwensen You can use the Collection filter to select Census collection or under Search> Records> More Options> Record Options> Type: Census, Residence, and Lists
As far as alpha sort - there is no such thing currently that I am aware of (other than perhaps exporting to spreadsheet and sorting there - which you can do on More Options> Preferences> Export Search Results) - you could suggest this filter/sort through Ideas> Records (searching and viewing) category I believe.
Unfortunately a typical "improvement", probably by an IT guru. So...
1) Lots of dead space to "simplify" the appearance and reduce the amount of information visible.
2) Take a simple chart that clearly shows ALL the Search options and break it up into nested menus and hidden options.
3) Move all the Search options to the opposite side of the screen.
You do realise that English is constructed and read from left-to-right? No-one puts a search / navigation panel at the right-hand side; it's neurologically challenging and creates cerebral dissonance, as the feedback clearly shows. It's not Aramaic!
And, because of the (totally unnecessary) effort & cost involved, and because you think you know better than decades and millions of users, you will resist the clear preference of your predominantly amateur users to return to the original, simple, totally visible Search chart and results tables, thus committing the Sin of Pride.
Well...contrary to so many negative posts about the Search interface being changed, I actually quite like it. I know that my wife has complained about it. I find the interface intuitive, and search parameters easy to use. Just my 2 cents.
@Stephen A Meyers ,in what ways do you like it over the former?
Has anyone considered that the "Datasheet view", which shoves information off the screen and requires massive amounts of scrolling to bring any search results in view, is massively unfriendly to users who have limited mobility? Has anyone considered how the new display of search results interacts with screen readers that low-vision patrons might need?
If we able-bodied users are screaming at the amount of extra keystrokes and work it takes to see the information we came to look for, and we feel that we have been rendered blind because we can't find things, imagine how it must feel for our fellow users who don't have our advantages.
I already spend too much time at the keyboard and mouse, and have to be careful to limit my time researching. This new interface, requiring so much more mousing and scrolling, is a repetitive stress injury waiting to happen.
With microfilms one can always browse and avoid this hideous system altogether, but I'm baffled as to how we're supposed to access search results for index-only collections when you won't show the results to the users in any coherent fashion.
Looking elsewhere in the community, I see that there is a blog post on how to use the new search page:
This is all very nice, but it doesn't address the main issue, namely, once we have made a search, the system doesn't show any search results. The results are hidden because the Datasheet view shoves them off the screen.
Where is the corresponding blog post showing us how to bring the search results to the center of our screens without scrolling?
@Jan Murphy - California 1 you make some valid points. One thing that might help a little bit is switching back to the fixed table view. Have you tried that? I can’t say it solves the issue entirely, but it is a definite improvement on the data sheet view.
You can access it by clicking “more options” on the search page — “preferences” at the top of the advanced search slide out menu — under “format” select “fixed view”.
I also find that “default view” under “display information” is the best compromise to minimising screen usage per record return as much as possible, whilst still being able to see enough information to properly assess a record’s relevance.
Not a lot we can do about the endless scrolling and clicking and load-lagging in the the new UI it seems, but I hope that goes a little ways toward helping.
The only ones who benefit from the new interface are other content providers by the exodus of users from
FamilySearch to their platforms. This update shows a callous disregard for the needs of the researcher by
removing the simplicity and effectiveness of the original design in favor of obscuring research results and the
ability to narrow focus within the same. If FamilySearch wants to lessen their server load by driving away
users then this is a master stroke. With this interface change I cannot now recommend their service to -anyone-.
Whilst I would be delighted if the "old version" of "Search Historical Records" were to be reinstated, I am disappointed at the lack of specific examples from users who are claiming that, with the new search engine, they can no longer get the results they would have previously expected .
Okay, many of us have detailed the poor design of the pages (having to work on the right side instead of the more logical left, for example), but some users are saying things like, "I can't find census results like I could before". With the use of the filters provided (on Type, Collection, etc.) I have to be honest and say I am having no serious difficulties here. (Although a bug with some of the US census records has been acknowledged.) I am finding I am now able to narrow down my "desired" results (in making a variety of searches) with relative ease - admittedly after having had some initial problems.
I think it would help if FS users could describe exact examples, in order that the developers (and us ordinary users) can examine the problems, and confirm whether, or why, the search engine really does seem to produce so many unwanted items in our results list. (That is, those that are completely unconnected to our search inputs.)
In making the above comments, I must emphasise that I have definitely found no improvements attached to the introduction of this new Record Search. Maybe those adept in using smart phones are happy with the constant scrolling now required, but it doesn't suit my use and needs!
The K.I.S.S. method works better if you just learn to keep it simple. I have been using FamilySearch since it first came online just over two decades ago. While there were minor changes through the years, but nothing like what just happen which I find totally mind blowing. I doubt very much that whoever put this together had ever done a search for their ancestors using the old format. Had they, they would have noticed the difference between the two systems right away. I doubt very seriously that whoever did write the current program would ever be able to find their family members back to the 1700's using this new program. I have not read a single positive comment about the new program except for the one comment from the a staff member promoting how "good" it is. It stinks, and we all know it. Please bring back the original program, and let's stop playing games.
I have used FamilySearch frequently for 15 years.
We all recognize things will change to accommodate the different devices people now use. We may groan and moan about it, but if functionality is there, we will adapt.
Unfortunately, the recent changes seem more for aesthetics than for functionality. I am deeply disappointed. Searching with this new format is frustrating enough on my computer-- I certainly will not even try on my iPad or phone.
Some of the issues I ran into:
1.Example: I tried to search Hungary, Catholic Church Records.
-- Chose a record I knew was indexed, and could be easily accessed with the old system.
-- Typed in the first and last name.
-- Since the records are indexed by baptism date, I entered a date range in the “Any” category.
-- Chose “exact search” for date.
-- Every time I tried “exact search” for date (or place), page said “Something Went Wrong”. (I can’t tell you
how many times I have received this message over the last few days.)
-- Removed exact search. Ended up with pages of results, in miscellaneous order.
2.Using a wildcard also brought up page that said “Something Went Wrong”.
3.Having to double-scroll now is time-wasting – one scroll for the search parameters, the other for the search results.
4.Not being able to see all of the search parameters at one time is more work. I had to keep scrolling up and down to make sure I added a father, for instance, in the Father search area as opposed to the Mother search area.
5.The screen freezes periodically. (This didn’t happen very often with the old search.)
6.“Export Search Results” option disappears periodically. Reappears if I refresh page.
We know this new system took a lot of work on your part. We’re sure you had good intentions about wanting to update the search to a more modern interface.
Please know, our difficulties are not based on a lack of understanding how to use this new system. It has to do with the inaccuracy of search term results, especially with the inability to replicate specific search results received with the old system. It also has to do with the frustration of a search taking much longer than it used to, with much more inaccurate results.
It is my belief that people, especially newbies, will give up using FamilySearch because they are exasperated by the search experience and/or results.
As someone used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Or at least, PLEASE give us an option to use the old system.
I would just like to add the comments about the new search interface. I have used many different interfaces and find this new one to be just one of the worst. I cannot find anything that I am looking for, and found that I have almost completely stopped using FamilySearch because of the aggravation it causes me because of its difficulty. This used to be my favorite search engine and I often recommended it to other. I cannot recommend this new search engine. It is cumbersome, time consuming, illogical and altogether DIFFICULT to use. Please give us an option to use the old engine. It was so useful and so helpful.
Thanks very much! I'll let people know about switching back to the fixed table view.
I cannot believe that after SO MANY complaints about the new search facility you have not admitted that you have stuffed up big time and returned to the previous format. HOW MANY complaints is it going to take?? You have turned an important resource into a farce. Someone needs to get down off their high horse, admit their mistake and move on.
I feel your frustration. There are still plenty-o-issues to fix but it seems the Search is running 'well' now. If you have specific issues with Search being frustrating - feel free to use the Feedback button (usually right-side on Search Results pages) - and give as much Feedback to the FamilySearch engineers about what the general or specific problems are.
I think they are moving ahead and fixing issues in the new interface - there probably won't be a replacement or optional interface similar to the old one.
Funnily enough, I was about to look for a post that recommended using "Feedback" as an option, as it has been suggested elsewhere in Community that this is a good option for reporting issues of this nature.
Unfortunately, using Feedback appears to be no better than reporting here. I just received the following response:
"Thank you for your feedback. I am not sure exactly what you are referring to, but if it is regarding the new "Search", I know change can be frustrating. I found a 17 minute video that explains how to use the new Search page. This really helped me know how to navigate. The link is: https://youtu.be/rRDe7QPwxGg I hope this helps.
Bernadine Sullivan, Family Search Volunteer"
So, no, it does not appear ones feedback is going straight to the engineers - just to another well-meaning volunteer who (in this case) admits she doesn't even understand the nature of my query.
I am finding that I have to move in and out of my Facebook container in order to see the icons on the upper right of each search record in order to know if it is attached to a profile or not.
It also seems that some records just do not come up in searches anymore. I have even learned to use wildcard search strings, and it is not as good as the old one. Why not provide both?
Please review comments from WikiTree experts at https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1307423/what-do-you-think-of-the-new-familysearch-results-page?show=1307423#q1307423 .
@Paul W Good to know (well...). Maybe it was the "general feedback' and not the 'specific page feedback' - maybe they go to different queues? I would suspect so ...
I can also understand how a volunteer receiving general feedback might not understand the nature of the feedback (too much scrolling/whitespace - well there is a lot of white on the page ...)
Just a guess as to why you may have received volunteer response. If FamilySearch is going to queue the 'site specific feedback' to volunteers and not the engineers then they should educate us - and the volunteers - how to read the Feedback reports (they include specific indications to locations/features in the interface for the comments for 'site/page specific feedback').
Notice in the video link referenced: she avoids doing an 'Any' place search - she specifies Birth - neatly avoiding all the 'problem' of multiple Life Event results returned by 'Any'. Also note: choosing Birth did not remove 'Any' available field parameters. The Search has changed from when it was released but still defaults to 'Any' - try removing 'Any' and select another Life Event - 'Any' auto-populates... a bug? FamilySearch apparently really wants that 'Any' default to show... The video does demonstrate the different filtering options of the new Search well. They (filters) are now in a couple of different places - top of the Results and in the More Options area - if you choose Collections, etc. So it's different than the old Search which had the filter options - inline/scrollable (continuous on the left). Same filter options plus a couple more, different default search parameters - so Searchers just need to carefully select what they search.
So it's best to input a specific Life Event rather than 'Any' because 'Any' will return any (multiple) Life Event(s) thereby including a wider net of results for your Search parameters (this introduces the seemingly inexplicable results that I think users are struggling with - I think most are not inexplicable but would require some analysis to figure out - they are really just the result of your search parameters and the search algorithm finding that they apply to them). I hope this helps people understand the default options and what they may want to change to get different results...
For those interesting in analyzing why they receive the search results they do - you may find it interesting to export the results to a spreadsheet (More Options> Preferences tab - at bottom). Once exported you can see a Search ranking score list for your search (at least that was the first column yesterday).
Change in Search Result behavior: Anyone else seeing how the selected Results items (Tree, image, index) are not turning red to indicate the have been viewed - as it was last week? The person's name is still 'selected color' but these icons are not turning as before.
@RichardBarton84 I am not sure what you mean by 'Facebook container' - i do not use Facebook. If you mean that you are browsing/using FamilySearch within some Facebook interface - may I suggest that you not do that. Just point your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc) to www.familysearch.org directly - you don't need - nor would I recommend using a 'Facebook container' to browse FamilySearch. If you have specific search queries that are not returning helpful results please post the familysearch search parameters and others can take a look to give you helpful hints to narrow/filter your Search.
No, afraid not - it was definitely specific feedback. If it had been general, I would have just posted here.
When moderators and/or employees advise us to take this option, I wonder who has told them the feedback goes straight through to the engineers, rather than being picked up by a volunteer who has the discretion of either passing it on to the engineers or taking it on themselves to deal with the comments.
Yes, I don't know if the Feedback: 'page specific feedback' goes directly to the engineers or not - someone somewhere said it did - so I just followed their lead...it appeared they were a FamilySearch representative...
Another instance where FamilySearch Community could use some specific education from FamilySearch about what Feedback feature really does ... maybe the volunteer peeked into the queue unknowingly? You would think if it were routing to FamilySearch engineers it would be a separate queue...
@genthusiast and @Paul W I for one would have made good use of a decent 'Report a problem' feature if one existed. In the years past I was able to pass feedback to FS staff through links on web pages. I have a few remaining emails in my archive to prove it (all others are now as dust in the wind). This capability no longer exists, and I would not even consider using those past contacts to try and open a direct line. So I am left, like the rest, with a mechanism more suited to venting spleen than providing technical feedback.
Hi Amy. I was just looking at past Blog articles and saw you stated the below in response to a question:
"Thank you for your feedback. Please share this feedback from the search page. On the right side of the search page is a Feedback button. Click the button and select “Specific Feedback”. Then it will allow you to click on the area of the search page you wish to report. You will be able to click an emoji about about feelings, and then a box will open for your to share exactly what you’d like the software to do instead of what it is doing. The feedback from the search page will go to the engineering team."
As shown above, this is contrary to my experience, when in response to my specific feedback I received an email (with a YouTube link) from a FamilySearch volunteer. Would you please advise how the system is supposed to work - for example, are these Feedback items supposed to go directly to the engineers responsible for these specific pages, or do they first pass through a general Support team, who then pass on to the engineers? My experience suggests the latter, or maybe things just went amiss in this particular case.
When you select "specific feedback" it is supposed to go to the engineering team. I also find it strange that the volunteer gave you a YouTube link to something that isn't FamilySearch created.
I've also reported feedback on another part of FamilySearch recently and immediately heard from the engineering team over the project and then about 5 days later I also got a message from a volunteer - whom I kindly informed that I'd already been taken care of with the team over the project. So, I'm wondering with your experience if the feedback is going to two places - as my experience with another part of the software - not search related.
Thank you for your response and thoughts.
I have never received any response to any of the probably hundreds of uses of that right edge Feedback button. But many of my submissions have been implemented, so I do believe at least some feedback reaches the engineers.
The problem is, as any customer support person knows from experience, most feedback from the public at large is useless, if not worse than useless.
Many may not list a specific issue, but by sighting the former UI as better they are giving an example of what they want.
If that's true - then the Feedback button is 'mere window dressing'. FamilySearch has presented the expectation that Feedback is monitored and reviewed by its team - including engineering - so I have every expectation that this is the case. More likely - from experience with customer support - the deluge of Feedback is so large that it may take some time for any FamilySearch response. Or as you indicate - if understood/effective - may drive the needed change without response/interaction.
Thus the need for FamilySearch guests to become educated on how to give effective Feedback. The tool is there - we just need to learn how to provide FamilySearch with the best feedback. From observation - General feedback option should be used for most of the UI complaints in this thread. However for Search Result complaints - Specific page feedback - should be the option selected. @LDS Search Test Did you get the Feedback button working in FIrefox or abandon in favor of Chrome?
As @Paul W indicates above - a FamilySearch representative well-meaning but stumbling into 'specific page feedback' queue may have no clue about to what the feedback refers - whereas an engineer may also have the same difficulty deciphering because their knowledge uses more 'technical jargon'. Either way the feedback could remain not responded to for any number of reasons.
Unlike the former site Feedback (before implementing this Community) - the current site Feedback does not open a visible 'support ticket' for the guest. I am generally not looking for a message response to Feedback - it is just feedback that I hope details a 'problem' experienced and will be addressed at some point.
By the way - You can submit multiple Feedback on the same 'session' (Search Results page). I think this would group your Feedback in one container/message - to be viewed as 1 Feedback with multiple parts. This could be helpful when presenting to FamilySearch - rather than posting screenshots in a long Q&A/Idea here in Community. I don't know what is included in the report but suspect the Search Parameters and filters used are passed along for 'specific page feedback'.
Idea fork: The FamilySearch wiki could use this type of Feedback - if there were enough page Admins to take Feedback. Many wiki pages are 'abandoned' and contain broken links or need significant updating.
If that's true - then the Feedback button is 'mere window dressing'.
Not at all. It just means that filtering is needed to remove non-useful verbiage from the feedback stream. This is normal. Correct identification of a problem is always hard for frontline customer support. Those who find the task easy don't stay in the frontline for long; they are too valuable elsewhere.
In the old case system if you had reviewed my cases you would have seen me struggling to convey to the frontline that I was making a bug report or feature request and did not need to be pointed to Help Center articles or delete all cookies / restart my computer / etc. It is the same challenge we see here, but at least here contributors can support one another. Use the Like and Upvote buttons freely, everyone; they cost you nothing.
Correct. It's the interpretation of the feedback that matters. Hopefully they have a great filter system to route the feedbacks appropriately/efficiently and toss junk where junk belongs.
I am not saying requests to return Search to former interface are junk - but anyone 'familiar with webapp interfaces' knows this will not occur after such a significant change/investment. The resources of both FamilySearch guests and FamilySearch are best put in educating guests to use the new interface. So the tally of users requesting an 'old Search' interface while meaningful probably won't achieve the desired result.
By the way I advocate an optional - 'minimal functional interface' - in Ideas> Suggest an Idea (changed today!) - as a constructive alternative to the MANY 'return to 'old Search'' Ideas.
Which also brings up the Idea (also already been contributed) - group Ideas (and Q&A for that matter) appropriately - how many separate individual Ideas/questions do we need for the same Idea/question - when the person COULD just upvote an already existing Idea or attach/refer to an existing question/thread? I understand tagging but this is not exactly the same ...
oh well, user-friendly - pick the way you want to operate and do it...