🎇New Person Page is Here to Stay🎇
@SMcLearn yes - the old layout is gone. Here is the official thread/announcement.0
To those struggling with the change to the person page.... many have asked WHY the change?
In the blog article : https://www.familysearch.org/en/blog/person-page-redesign-2022
an explanation was given as to why the change was needed:
"The old person page was working well, but it was also growing more and more outdated, and less and less in synch with the rest of the FamilySearch website"
Then in November, another article was released explaining how feedback from users had improved the new page:
Whilst few people like change, I'm sure that we will all quickly get used to the new look. From my own experience, people are more likely to accept change when they understand the need for that change. I'm no techie, but I do understand that there are often very good technical reasons why some changes need to be made.
If it helps, Kathryn Grant did a webinar about the new home page and new person page. It's a little out of date now (for example, users can no longer switch back to the old person page), but I think the highlights are still relevant:
Hope this helps. Keep going!!4
A Sister in our ward who has been a FH director, has taught class's, is about to quit doing family history if she can't use the old version. I also am about to quite. New program is not an improvement, it is going backward. The new program is Too hard to use.1
Please offer any details about how the new version is harder to use.0
I won't pretend to be a mind reader, but the new format, regardless of intent, seems very effective at slowing many veteran users down, making it much more difficult to get into "the groove" or "zone," whereby working with large sets of information just seems to flow, even fly by. However, one of the potential drawbacks of a format that facilitates getting into a "factory" (conveyer belt-like) groove is that it also makes genealogical "warring" between conflicting users seemlessly easy to undertake, at times almost addictively so. So whatever the actual intent of the new format, it just may in the aggregate (at mass scale so to say) have the result of diminishing and discouraging genealogical "edit warring" as a sort of pastime in itself.1
One thing that helped me in the new "details" page was to move the Family Members section up just under the Vitals section. That eliminated a whole lot of scrolling up and down.
I had already changed the layout by moving the Life History up to the top, like it used to be. Also, I had changed the Vitals section to single column, like it used to be. But moving the Family Members section up, and the Other Relationships and Other Information (since I rarely use those) down to the bottom made the page much easier to use.3
I do not like the new look. It is too busy, the font is uncomfortable. I just liked the old look. Much easier to work with.2
You will likely get more attention if you post your comments about the new pages on the New Page Group at1
The 'old look' pages were very user friendly and functional whereas the 'new look' pages seem unfriendly, and a very poor outcome for the work that was put in.
How is it that whenever Big Tech companies like Microsoft, Google, AOL etc etc redesign their App user interfaces the end result is both generally annoying and a retrograde step in user experience.
I know that 'FamilySearch' is free and that this website offers incredible resources to genealogy researchers worldwide but would it be too much to ask for the old pages skin to be kept as an option at least until it expires from natural causes.0
"The font is uncomfortable" -- this is a puzzling reaction, given that neither the typeface nor the weight (regular versus bold) have changed, and that even the sizes are the same for the most part. (Conclusion type labels are bigger and reason statements are smaller than before, but the actual conclusions are exactly the same.)
There are screenshots: https://community.familysearch.org/en/discussion/comment/504962#Comment_504962.1
I hate the New version you have, it is hard to work with and add families and such, if it isn't broken then don't fix it, I want the old version back. It is simply just too hard, and I have been doing Genealogy for over 36 years.1
@Sonia Glines I can appreciate your feelings if you did not take advantage to become familiar with the new person pages over the past year (the beta period started about a year ago). I started using it when it became available and have not felt hampered in my style in the least (after some initial familiarizing) - the new pages are so similar to the old - plus with the advantages of the new features I haven't looked back.
I would recommend giving suggestions for improvement at the new person pages group. We need to have experienced users explain what they would like changed (no reverting to old pages is not an option - but making the new look more like the old might be).6
Does anyone else here loathe the new discovery page format? Among other things, it makes it more time consuming to make necessary merges and other changes.2
I, along with so many others, do not like the new version. With that being said, I really miss having the marriage date and place between the couple. It seems to 'pull' them together with their marriage information between them. My suggestion would be to put that information back between the couple and put a little darker box around them to off set that section from the children. In the new version, the parents, although the margins are set a little different than the children, blends into the children section. I find myself down in the children area and have to scroll back up to 'find' the marriage date and place.1
Sonia Glines. I agree with you whole-heartedly.
When the new version first became available, I recognized that it was only "half baked." I pointed out tons of mistakes, poor formatting, bugs, etc.
I was told that it was still in development and would be fixed. Well, it's been months and the same errors and poor programming still plague it. It's still not ready for release, especially if they aren't going to fix the bugs in it.
I listed tons of suggestions months ago, none have been implemented. I pointed out tons of bugs months ago, none have been fixed.
It takes twice as long or longer, with twice or three times as many steps to do what used to be done in a single step.2
The new person page is horrible and since it has been implemented nothing works; add sources fail, add individuals fail, page not found etc. Please go back to the old page at least it worked.
The new person page is not only horrible, it was forced on us before it was ready. There have been problems every day for at least the last four days. As the family history leader in my ward I am getting calls every day about the problems with FamilySearch. They can't get into FamilySearch and then if they do nothing works. And the latest two calls were how do I print ordnance cards from my temple file that I can no longer access. Please bring back the old FamilySearch program so we have something to work with while you figure out and solve the problems with your new program.2
@Bradford Don It's really concerning if features are not working. Could you please provide me with more details? Are these one-time occurrences that seem to fix themselves or are there activities that continue never work? You can message me directly so the conversation doesn't get Hijacked in this post.
I wonder if this could be related. https://community.familysearch.org/en/discussion/143003/xfinity-familysearch-access-issue1
Agree with many of the concerns regarding the updated FS interface. I too have been a contributor for over a decade adding countless families and helping people over the years. This update is extremely cumbersome to navigate and work making the tedious work of connecting families and sourcing more tedious and frustrating. Also it appears that obituaries that I painstakingly transcribed from news clippings are now not visible or completely lost. There are the usual adjustment to new features, but this is intolerable. The only good byproduct of this update looks to be my final departure from my genealogy addiction.6
@josephvenus, if you've been here for over a decade, then you doubtless remember the outcry and threats to leave when the now-old interface was introduced.
The only thing missing from the new layout is familiarity.
Sourcing has improved its ease of navigation: you can open the source list in a sidebar. It scrolls independently of the details page, so you can easily compare sources to conclusions. Also, you can now tag everything under Other Information with sources, just like Vitals, instead of having to rely on the vague association between the Other box and the profile's Sources tab.
Were obituaries in Memories? It now lists all types of files together, unless you filter them, for which there are handy buttons along the top (in addition to the more detailed filtering that you can do via the filter sidebar).2
New memories page is so confusing. To add photos on old page was easy, now how to add is a good question. Not easy any more. Change is good if it improves the situation, but if not why change? Go back to the previous memories format is my suggestion.1
@Julia Szent-Györgyi I feel your pain.
I was so impressed with the new features of the New Person Page, I quit using the old person page quite a while ago, before Christmas, I think. I made some arguments about formatting during the Beta period, but to consider form more valuable than function was simply a thought that NEVER entered my head. The hatred manifested towards the new person page since the elimination of the old person page has gone way beyond constructive criticism, where it should stop. Rather than ask why such changes are made, and where people can suggest further changes, most people assume FamilySearch is changing something that is not broken. It's really hard to not keep wondering where every one was during the Beta period. It's also amazing to think these harsh comments are coming from people who are given the gift of a free product to use. First say "thank you" to FamilySearch and then either figure out how to use the new product (which isn't that hard) or ask how you can help, or both.2
The main reason I did so many memorials here was, the format here was really really good.
I'd like to continue working here for free, but I don't really like this new format, I'm too used to the old one.
Is there a way we can use the old format?2
It is devastating to have to learn a new system after decades if use. Many friends are also traumatized they can't use old format and have it tie into the new options. Should we just quit?1
I just ignore the newspapers obit's because they are a lot of time just screwed up. I think from what I have seen it is multi-layered interface with over-worked detail that takes the joy out of doing the research. I feel it's going to be the demise of a fun, family oriented project. We are not office workers, we are families that just want to enjoy connecting with our extended families and doing their temple work. I'm going to leave it with Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and let them be the guide. Are we going to be in a formal education format to be able to keep up?0
Since this is the third major update to Family Tree since it opened in 2012, just 11 years ago, and since Family Tree's opening was a dramatic change from New Family Search and you have apparently weathered all those updates just fine, I would encourage you to look past the new coat of paint where you will find the basics of the system have not changed much, check out the great new features of this update, and give yourself time to adjust to it just like you have four times in the past twelves years.5
The now-old format was introduced (to much moaning and groaning) in 2018, so you haven't had even half a decade to use it.
(To be fair, I was among those expressing their displeasure on FS's forums, four and a half years ago. I remember that my biggest complaint was having the sources on a separate tab, and note that the new Sources sidebar tool undoes that change while improving on it at the same time.)4
I find it interesting that there are lots of comments detailing what is wrong about the new format, but no comments about how the new format is better.
A few features have been added, but they have nothing to do with the page format, and could be included in any format. So praise for any new features is NOT praise for the format.
There has yet to be an explanation of what is improved about the new format. One would think that numerous complaints, and no praises would be addressed.1
Why Are Bad Reviews More Likely Online?
In a 2013 study, software company Zendesk found that people are more likely to talk about negative experiences rather than positive ones. From their research:
- 95 percent of users were likely to share bad experiences, while 87 percent would share good experiences.
- 54 percent shared their bad experiences with more than five people, while 33 percent shared their good experiences with more than five people.
- 45 percent shared their bad experiences, while 30 percent shared good experiences on social media.
There have been threads praising various aspects of the new appearance, some of them recurring. One was early on (so I can't find it), about the icons in the "Search Records" box; I recall the new, more-consistent icons being praised as more professional-looking and easier to live with (less glaring). The two-column option for Vitals has also been praised. (It's too bad I can't choose differently for Vitals versus Other.) Oh, and the change (or actually, return) to showing the marriage below the couple has come up more than once as an improvement. (See for example Gordon's comment on Paul's recent post: https://community.familysearch.org/en/discussion/143754/dont-lets-have-inconsistency-between-pages-follow-the-new-pedigree-view-format#latest.)
Other aspects of the appearance haven't gotten praise at least partly because they haven't substantially changed. The page still uses Verdana for the typeface, mostly in the same sizes and weights as before. The top of the page is still a header showing the same summary. The tabs for details, sources, memories, and collaboration are still just below that header. There's still a left-hand column containing a bio, vitals, family, and other. The right-hand column still has helps, search, changes, tools. The appearance is overall so similar, in fact, that I have to look twice at each result when searching for old screenshots: is that the old or the new?
Combine this overall lack of change with the human propensity for focusing on the negative (as Áine pointed out), and the preponderance of criticism versus praise becomes no surprise.2
Cheryl Viering There are so few positive comments because most people who are complaining won't give the new format a chance. Objections about the layout were made during the Beta period, and I was one - were you? Also, there are many facts available in the new person page Group, such as 93% of users were using the New Person Page exclusively when the old person page was turned off. Go to that group and brows all the discussions. But I digress. Here are positives:
The layout is customizable (possibly reacting to people like me), and I have moved my [beloved] Brief Life History to the top after it's default position was moved to the bottom. You can customize your look. OH - you couldn't do this before! Play with all the ways you can customize, including changing the number of columns, closing areas you don't want to see, etc.
I have also set up an alert for one ancestor warning people not to merge certain individuals (as there is not enough info to confirm they are the same person.). It appears as a warning for anyone who visits that ancestor's details page. WOW, you couldn't do that before! Now collaboration will be assisted MUCH more than it was in the past.
I have also added enslaved / enslaver relationships with an ancestor in the early 1700s New Jersey who was documented as owning a slave. BIG NEW FEATURE! I know of no platform that has broken through to assist African American research more than this feature. It is huge. Being able to have a tree that actually ties people together with this relationship is amazing. As someone who does African American lineage research, it will be very, very helpful. I will continue to document the enslaved-enslaver relationships of my own ancestors as thoroughly as I can. This was not available in the past and is HUGE.
I also have inherited business documents owned by an ancestor who had a store from the early 1830s to the Civil War. I have been digitizing and uploading images of his business associates, and can now use this "other relationship" feature to link the people. All this using the new "Other Relationships" feature.
I am also going to make a point (on my to do list, anyway) to carefully date the items in my memories so they can now be viewed in chronological order. In the old person view, you couldn't do this.
I am all about some of the changes that have reasons good for FamilySearch but don't really affect me, such as the increased use of icons instead of words. This eases the burden of translation as the World Tree steadily becomes a real world tree with an increased number of languages. The old pop-up that used to appear when copying an ID didn't work on all browsers. It is now consistent. If you look through the vast number of posts on the New Person Page Group you will see that many new features were fixing old person page problems with display on mobile devices, browser inconsistencies and language issues. AND, they keep a list of known bugs. Go participate!
If people have not experimented with the new look, I find it so amazing that they can criticize JUST at the first look. Granted it's not perfect. I could jump on a band wagon to ask for less white space - but I made my opinions known during the Beta period, and as far as I am concerned, Form is of SUCH less value when there is SO MUCH added function. Quite frankly, I abandoned the old person page months ago - it is just so limited by comparison.4