My siblings and I were talking about how it's super frustrating how you can't just search within the tree view. I had a suspicion the "well, this is a shared family tree so you'd be searching everything still" response would come up but I don't think that's an excuse to not improve the user experience.
I'm sure there's tons of people who want to just search for someone that's a direct line ancestor or search for someone within the first 5 generations, etc. Why not add a search bar within the tree viewing experience and allow it to search for near relatives using basic filters like "only search my direct line ancestors" or "only search ancestors within the first 5 generations". That way the user is much more likely to find what they're looking for rather than searching the whole database and having to sift through 50 people with the same name. And it would be a much more intuitive flow rather than having to leave the page you're on and feel completely disconnected from your tree. Plus, the connection could automatically be made (visually) between you and the ancestor you select in the search results without you having to sit there and push the little arrows on the right until you've gone back in time 200 years. Think about it. You only see your parents and grandparents by default. What if I wanted to look at my 6th great grandfather in the context of my tree? What if I could just search his name instead of having to sit there and click on those little arrows again and again?
I'm a UX designer for The Church working on the Gospel Library app. I'd be happy to work together on a proof of concept if you guys (Family Search) are interested. Feel free to reach out to me directly.
Maybe performance is the only thing holding this back. I'm not a back-end developer so I can't speak to the feasibility. But if I can go to the fan chart view and quickly see 7 generations of my direct line ancestors. How hard would it be to run a search for the name "Mary" within those 7 generations? I just did it using CMD+F on the fan chart view and found out I have 9 Marys within my 7 generations of direct ancestors. Why not allow the user to do the same thing (from any view of the tree) and quickly find a person they're looking for?
Even a simple, limited solution to this problem would be better than nothing. Please reconsider. If people have really been asking for this feature for 10 years, I think it's time the users' voice is heard.
Here's a prototype I drew up real quick: