Family Search HELP Needs Help
Excellent HELP answers are already in Family Search. However, they are not always easy to find. A sometimes work-around is to use a web browser to search HELP.
Millions of members and non-members use Family Search to find their family history. Those newer to Family Search generally turn to HELP for guidance. They may, or may not, find their answer. Finding themselves alone, they often have no idea where to go next.
It is surprising how many members of the Church are uncertain about using Family Search because of its apparent mysteries. As a result, they tend to avoid it. This is from my experience as a Ward Temple and Family History Consultant, and from helping relatives and others.
On the other hand, much more work in the gathering of Israel could be accomplished with a few simple modifications.
1. Create a new landing page that opens when HELP is clicked. All HELP subjects are listed in order from basic to more complex. Categories are grouped.
2. Include a section on how to more easily move between functions.
3. Each item listed is linked and can be clicked for a particular answer of interest.
4. Make the landing page simple, friendly, and super easy to use and understand. 1+1=2 simple. Utilize the Occam’s Razor concept, “The simplest solution is usually the correct solution.”
5. When an item of interest on the landing page is clicked, the answer opens in a window.
6. Include simple and helpful TIPS on each HELP page. Avoid clutter.
7. Images with colorful arrows and brief notes can be very helpful.
8. Link items of similar interest when an answer page is open with < > for easy and simple, adjacent, in the category, discovery.
9. Emphasize the importance of accurate data entry and Sources on every HELP page.
10. Most webpages use the term “HELP.” After a while it tends to be ignored because of over-familiarity. In order to make Family Search HELP stand out more, consider changing HELP to ROAD ATLAS. The ROAD ATLAS landing page could be titled, Quick Map Reference. (Borrowed from Rand McNally Road Atlas.) Use something that is different and stands out enough to be subtly eye-catching so that it will be used for HELP purposes. Road Atlas is familiar because it is used for directions.
11. A convoy of ships moves at the speed of the slowest vessel in order to protect that ship.
By making Family Search easier, friendlier, and simpler to use for interested members and non-members, our convoy of Saviors on Mount Zion can be HELPed.