There's a lot of pertinent information in the above comments, but
1: There is no obvious Help button or hyperlink on the New Search, so it seems that Feedback is the only option.
2: It's not easy for the user-at-large to interpret "Feedback" as a place to request help when they are faced with a mystifying change in the presentation. The common understanding is: "Tell us what you think !" and there has been a lot of that.
3: The animated Feedback object on the RHS of the display is still not visible to some users.
4: The community forum is not a well-structured problem reporting tool for experienced users to report technical issues. Nevertheless, It has one advantage, the concerned user can enquire whether the problem they experience is apparent to others before they try to report it as a fault.
I was a beginning user once and I loved it then. Now I don't, at all. Now it has problems.
I hope you will change your thinking about intentionally making things harder for users in order to prevent outcomes. The learning curve shouldn't be in understanding an interface but in how one's choices make a difference. The choices should be easy.
The whole page is a blur, you can't focus well on on it. It hurts my eyes to use it now. Please simplify it and don't spread choices all over the page. Viewing and attaching should be very close by and easy.
Please make the result more readable. They should be black and closer together, and a font that's more readable.
I used to brag about the "search records" at familysearch. I would often bring it up, to tell people why I loved familysearch so much. The search tools were so powerful for me that it inspired me to tell people about it. I could solve brick walls with them.
I like to use as many tools as possible and I use all the sites. But I could do magic with the tools at familysearch like no other interface.
I have been proving feedback on the changes so far. I am not really a big fan of what has happened so far and I am sure I am not alone. Is it possible to offer both the new search options as a BASIC search and the old process as an ADVANCED search? I really appreciate the collaborative family tree concept and the support resources at FS are outstanding. The way thing are currently going I would continue with my tree record on FS, but do my serious research at Ancestry and other sites.
Bad! This is just so very bad. Trying to search for anything is cumbersome and requires so much unnecessary clicking. Who exactly was this tested out on? It's clear that it's not the people who use this website frequently. If you want to improve the search function change the site back to it's user friendly search format. This is a mess!
From being my go-to search site, you have now become my last resort. This search process is just so unwieldy & counter-intuitive. Please revise this.
My latest experience with the General “Feedback” button
My Entry: We need to have the ability to attach screen shots to Feedback
Feedback Response: Hi! Thank you for your response about FamilySearch Family Tree. We are glad you enjoyed its many features. In the Library, we use IRFANVIEW or the Snipping Tool. Both are free. If you ever feel you need some assistance, we have experienced FamilySearch representatives who can help you in a free Zoom meeting. Please use this link to schedule a time. https://go.oncehub.com/ResearchStrategySession. Or you may contact me at [email protected]. I hope this is helpful. [responder’s name withheld]
My Entry: I know now and what to use to create a screen shot. My issue is that when you use your "Feedback" button, there is no way to attach it. I tried to put it into the " What would you like to share with us" box but that did not work. That was a few weeks ago, so maybe things have changed? Are we able to attach screen shots or not using the Feedback button? [I included two screen shots on my reply email, one of the Feedback button and one of the Feedback entry form]
Feedback Response: Hi! I see your point. Perhaps you should send the message as shown. Then go to communities, Ideas, New Ideas and post your suggestions. You should be able to post ad attachment to your suggestion. Let Me know if this helps. [responder’s name withheld]
My Response: This problem has already been reported in Communities in the past.
Feedback Response: Ok, thanks for letting me know. The IT guys are fully aware of the complaints and suggestions you and others have made. Perhaps there will be some changes made, but I have no way of knowing. Very often, we are just as surprised as the guests when changes are made. [responder’s name withheld]
So, bottom line Feedback refers to Communities and Communities refers to Feedback....?
Seconding @Chas Howell ‘s experience with the feedback button, except mine was for the ‘specific feedback’ option.
In my two most recent interactions I was first directed to the community and the second time I was told “sorry, I’m not an engineer. Maybe try calling us?”.
So, in my experience, specific feedback isn’t necessarily going directly to the engineers either.
As wonderfully helpful and collegial as the FS Community is, if there is a technical issue with the UI no amount of helpful and well meaning suggestions are going to resolve it.
(Over a month in with the new UI and I’m still having issues with it only loading about 40% of the time and continually getting stuck on the buffering circle).
I just edited my Oct 26 experience with the final response on my Feedback experience
Ok, thanks for letting me know. The IT guys are fully aware of the complaints and suggestions you and others have made. Perhaps there will be some changes made, but I have no way of knowing. Very often, we are just as surprised as the guests when changes are made. [responder’s name withheld]
The article at https://www.familysearch.org/en/blog/advanced-strategies-searching-records is intended to be of help, so why no mention of the Filter options (Collection, Sex, Race, Birth, etc.) on the right side of the screen?
I just tried to communicate directly with the author of this article (David Nielsen), but see that @David Nielsen isn't a recognised member of Community.
His article directs users to this thread, created by (ex-employee) Casey Robinson.
David's first article regarding the search feature shows the filter options.
Thanks for pointing that out, Amy. I had read the first article earlier in the month, but failed to look back, as you can see.
Do the LDS ever bother to look at User Groups and Family History Groups on social Media. like Facebook?
The overwhelming consensus on these groups, which have thousands of users is that the new format is
Hard to use, Non intuitive, unnecessary, pointless, flawed, time consuming, frustrating, annoying, and the most common response is that people HATE it!
It appears to have been designed by a computer person who does not actually use the site.
Please change it back to what it was before. The best, quickest and most intuitive search engine of any family history site.
I have had a number of items that have resulted in many hours of correction only to discover in the end, some of the problems continue to exist within Family Search. They all have to do with the lack of security and the resultant compromise of accuracy.
First, after having uploaded my family tree several years ago to Family Search as directed by personnel at my local family history library, I discovered most of the tree has now DISAPPEARED. After uploading it and going through a very time consuming merging process, I then became ill and had to leave the process for a couple of years due to recuperation. Upon recently returning, I have noticed easily two thirds of my tree has disappeared. I have been told by a Family Search Consultant that it may be retrievable but will take a lot of time.
Secondly, recently a cousin got into my file and changed the spelling of my dad's name who is now deceased. This has caused a lot of duplication in my record, which again, has taken a lot of time sorting out as a result of another person getting in, making changes and destroying the accuracy of my record and again, a lot of time is now needed to sort it all out.
Thirdly, recently I received an email indicating duplicate names were a problem for temple ordinance work that has been requested. This request was made by someone unknown to me, including myself. That again, caused me to go in and correct the duplications that have resulted from the efforts of someone else in the file. As I have seldom used the program for the last several years, the password was "put away" which I alone, dug out recently to attempt to identify the problem. As only my wife and I live in our home, she was not the one as even she did not know where the password was kept.
It seems to me that given the importance of the work and the need for accuracy in the work, there would be some security instruments built in, aside from the password which only protects according to law, the privacy of living individuals. I find it ironic that for someone from Family Search to help me identify and correct the recently identified problems she had to have my permission. Yet, anyone can get into the record I have spent untold hours over many years to assemble can be changed by virtually anyone else with ease and immunity.
As a direct result of these recent discoveries I have realized I cannot use Family Search as a working genealogy program as I cannot afford the errors, omissions and resultant corrections that are needed to maintain an accurate record. I will use a consumer driven program as a working program backed up on an exclusive computer for security and accuracy and simply enter names one at a time into Family Search as ordinance work is needed. Unfortunately, given the insecurities of Family Search that I as an alone family church member in my ancestry, when I pass on I am afraid much of the remaining work will be difficult to complete. It may have to be done during the millennium. Just identifying a place to write this comment took a very long time as the labeling was not very intuitive. I wonder if this is not purposeful. Just to get answers to average challenges within the program takes a very long time to search out, review text sheets and implement in the program as no "instruction book" to my knowledge exists and to contact using "chat" as the first option can take forever to solve problems.
Certainly in an organization this large with a lot of resources available with the importance of the work not to be under estimated, the one and only tool needed to complete the work (Family Search) would be more accurate, secure and reliable. [email protected]
It's been a very unhappy month since the new search page went into effect. I have found the changes to be absolutely horrendous. You claim that ALL features from before still exist, and for the most part, that is true (albeit the functionality has been destroyed).
The ONE thing I can not find is the ability sort Collections in alphabetical order. Honestly, it's quality over quantity - I've never understood the default of filtering the collections by number of results.
There are many little things that I see no benefit for the change and I must admit I do not care for. The "MORE OPTIONS" data entry search boxes have shifted from the left hand side to the right side. WHY? Please explain what has been gained by this shift.
On a typical search page I now have AT LEAST (3) different areas with a vertical scroll bar - the "results" section, the "More Options" section and the MAIN/Entire page. WHY is there a scroll bar for the main/entire page???
The "MORE OPTIONS" search boxes used to be concise and relatively easy to see what data had been entered. Now there is a lot more white space PLUS first and last names are on different lines, all of which means I cannot see the search criteria that has been included unless I SCROLL.
The filter results is a useful thing. It would be FAR more useful if it stayed visible at the top. Instead, I have to scroooooll back up to find it back.
I just re-read your statement regarding "#3. Exact Searching". You've basically forced me to add excessive scrolling and clicking to access a previously simple feature because making it easy to use "greatly reduce[s] the number of results our user gets" (isn't that the point??) and therefore "commonly creates a bad experience". So... the solution here is to make sure a new user couldn't possibly find the feature? How is that a better option?
Data Sheet view (under preferences) sounds like it has the possibility of being an amazing feature... But it's definitely not there, yet. And, in fact, in comparing the 25 October 2021 entry (www.familysearch.org/en/blog/advanced-strategies-searching-records) to my current 5 November 2021 searches, it's headed in the WRONG direction. You've added the Collection as a COLUMN (which cannot be removed or shifted) where previously it was neatly listed, in a SMALL FONT under their name. The fact that you must SCROLL horizontally to be able to view the columns (which would be the entire reason for using this view) makes this feature highly unfriendly. The fact you must use the vertical PAGE scroll bar to scroll down to FIND the horizontal page scroll bar makes this feature unusable. (Remember me whining about there being a scroll bar for the main/entire page previously?? This is where it goes from annoying to obstructive.)
You claim that you will not return to the previous search as you've done "extensive" user testing. In the future, may I suggest just a bit more testing? Perhaps with people that are actually users of the site?
FamilySearch is my favorite genealogy site. Please, do better.
Julian, This is PERFECT.
On the old search results page, everything was gathered together in a logical location: the search parameters were at the top, all inputs were on the left, and everything on the right was data.
On the new page, everything is scattered and hidden, changing visibility and location depending on what you've clicked, and there are (or can be) inputs on just about any part of the page.
Missing features in the new interface:
-Sorting filtering collections alphabetically
-Turning off filters if a revision of parameters gives "no results"
-A working "Reset All" (the current one doesn't affect filters, and doesn't close/remove parameter fields).
-Results per page keeps going back to 20.
-The "Feedback" doohickey now covers up the first several letters of the topmost search result. This reduces the results page to one and a half results visible at a time. ONE AND A HALF. Sheesh.
Bring back the old format this one is terrible. At the moment you are the very last data base I will use now. And I am a very experienced user!!! I will use the Catelogu but the general search is horrible. Can't find anything very unfriendly.
Still getting the "Something Went Wrong" page appear if I haven't entered things "correctly". Please withdraw this misleading message, which should surely only appear if there is a temporary glitch preventing display of results. If, for example, (in an "Exact" search) I enter a date range without a place name, I am never going to get any results, however many times I reload the page, or return to try again later.
If there are "No Results" please give us that message. If there is a flaw in our (inputted) search criteria, surely it can't be too difficult to get the program to display a message to that effect? (e.g. "When making an "Exact" search, you cannot enter a Year Range without entering a Place name, too.")
Family search now seems like a shopping site, instead of giving you the John Smith you asked for they are giving you the most popular John Smith instead. The whole rating system for data returns in this new search just makes it harder to find your ancestors, but heck what does it matter as long as you have one. So amateurish.
I have been able to find help people find their family in a matter of minutes with FamilySearch in the past, the new “improved” search is making it so hard that instead of helping multiple people am hour, I am now spending an hour with each person I help. Please bring back the brilliant coders who could give us relevant results that made searching so easy !
I don’t want substitutes, I want my own ancestors.
When are Family Search going to change it back to the old page??
So web design basics: people read left to right so search filters and boxes should be on the left. There is a reason why every other site on the planet has it on the left, its how the brain reads. Never have multiple scroll bars next to each other. Control white space or give users the option to reduce it. If people have to scroll you have designed the page wrong. Forgettng your lies about it being improved these are basic design elements you have ignored.
I cannot see as many results per page, I have to click more often to get the same data, I have to scroll up and down for all the filters; you have removed the quick click date range. So no you have not improved the interface you have reduced its functionality. Did you test it with actual regular users if so please show the UAT data that shows the majority of users found it better?
I have been using this site continuously since 1998 and I am so disappointed with the changes. I have nothing different to add to this discussion on the problems that hasn't been said already - I just wanted to add my 2c worth that I'm not happy and vote 100% to change it back. It's yet another example of making changes just to make changes. I also use Ancestry (for dna matches & record searches), but familysearch was my favorite by far - now it's just frustrating. I feel like whoever made the changes never asked what real researchers wanted, or how we used it. Searching is now tedious and not nearly as fun, or FAST, as it used to be. Ugh.
An experienced searcher on your site shouldn't have to click "More Options" to do an exacting search. I am on your website every single day, multiple times a day, and it just adds to my research time. Perhaps having an easy search box and an advanced search box on the same page would be more helpful. Also, we were all beginners at some point and we learned by using the site. People who are signing up and then not returning are not serious about researching their family tree. Those who are serious stay at it and they learn as they use the site or watch YouTube videos to educate themselves. You are catering to the wrong people.
Also, not being able to choose "Exact" on the date field is unbelievable. I am having to sort through so many results that do not apply to my search at all, adding hours to my research. Other sites that I use are not this cumbersome. Date fields especially are set up so that you can choose exact, +/- 1 year, +/- 5 years, etc. It makes me not even want to use the site anymore.
Regelmatig zocht ik ook de stamboom om familie relaties te bekijken. (ouders en kinderen). Deze zijn erg MOEILIJK te vinden. Is hier een oplossing voor?
Dutch to English
I also regularly searched the family tree to view family relationships. (parents and children). These are VERY HARD to find. Is there a solution for this?
Vejo muitas reclamações da forma para a qual mudaram e penso: escolhi o family search por causa dos registros históricos que acho e que ele acha para mim. Passei por muitas outras, mas esse foi o fator determinante para estar aqui. Não tem preço ter achado registros que nunca imaginei de antepassados... E de forma gratuita, somente pela intenção de criar uma árvore compartilhada universal, honrando os que vieram antes, os que andaram de carroça e de trem pra chegar aqui... Muito feliz de fazer parte desse projeto, seja como ele esteja! Obrigada, muito obrigada.
Portuguese to English
I see a lot of complaints about the way they've changed and I think: I chose family search because of the historical records I find and what it finds for me. I went through many others, but that was the determining factor for being here. It's priceless to have found records of ancestors that I never imagined... And for free, just for the purpose of creating a universal shared tree, honoring those who came before, those who traveled by wagon and train to get here... Very happy to be part of this project, whatever it is! Thank you. Thank you very much.