Unhelpful page design changes
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
Haleena Messerschmitt said: I don't like what you've done with hiding the menu bar that used to be across the top. The new drop down menu is obscured by the help tab that annoyingly obscures everything when you touch it anyway.
Tom Huber said: Welcome to the community support forum for FamilySearch. FamilySearch personnel read every discussion thread and may or may not respond as their time permits. We all share an active interest in using the resources of this site and as users, we have various levels of knowledge and experience and do our best to help each other with concerns, issues, and/or questions.
There were a couple of reasons for the latest changes that impact the menu bar. One of them deals with narrower displays, as on a tablet or phone while still using a browser and not a dedicated app. It now also impacts a computer display as the screen size is increased or narrowed. Once you become familiar with the new design, it isn't as much of a problem as it first appeared for me. Changes of this nature just taking getting used to but there is often a very good reason behind the change.
Keep in mind that FamilySearch FamilyTree is still in development. When it was first introduced some ten years ago, there were a number of areas that needed a lot of work. Some of the code was "borrowed" from the previous system (nFS) and had various issues, including being able to handle increased loading. Users in areas with poor internet performance needed to be accommodated, so the details about a person in the massive tree were changed so that load times (and data needed) were vastly reduced. Likewise, changes have been made to the "landing" (or home) page so that we do not have to wait forever for the memory images to load, but can trigger where we want to go while they are still loading.
I'm 75 years old and yes, changes can be frustrating and sometimes seem not helpful at all. There are ongoing discussions about unmovable modal windows that obscure what are behind them (such as the message window that opens when you want to send someone a message). Other elements have also been discussed in this forum. Sometimes good things come of these discussions.0
Jeff Wiseman said: Haleena,
As Tom pointed out, there are reasons for why these things have been done in this area. If you are on a desktop and start dragging you window to be narrower and narrower, as you do so fields in the window are scaled down. However, you reach a point where the window has to start rearranging itself so that is is still useable even in a narrower format.
I don't quite understand what you mean about the "New drop down menu being obscured by the help tab". If the Help menu is dropped down and covering something that you want to get to, you should be able to just click elsewhere on the screen and the Help menu will go away. If this is not what you meant, please explain and if possible attach a screen shot showing the issue. Thanks!0
Haleena Messerschmitt said: Thanks for your reply. After reading your response I realize that my problem isn't with the change to the menu at all, but the blue "can I help you?" box. It was already a point of frustration for me with the page, so when it started interfering with my navigation, I kind of lost it. So the real and helpful feedback would be that I would love an option to make that blue box disappear forever, or at least until I login again. I understand that the webpage is trying to be helpful to a demographic that requires a lot of hand holding, but once you are familiar with the system, all the attempts at hand holding begin to feel oppressive. There are so many help buttons on this site that are done right -- small, unobtrusive, don't do anything until you click and only open a mini-window that doesn't take you away from what you are trying to do. There is also a large, comforting ? button ever present at the top of the page. But the blue box that give off the skivvy popup ad vibe is just too much. Thanks for the quick response, it is nice to know that I'm not just shouting into a void.0
Jeff Wiseman said: Trust me, you will find a lot of empathy on this forum...unfortunately, most of that will be from others (such as me--a non-FS-employee) who can't do much to change things either :-)
This forum is primarily for making suggestions for improvements, and reporting faults in the system where things are broken. And FS spends a lot of time fixing broken items.
One other thing is that because the structure of the interface to the system can imply things that are not actually correct, frequently "bugs" will be reported here that turn out to be designed-in behaviors. This works out well here since there is such a diverse group of members on this forum, usually someone has already come across the behavior and can explain it, or how to get around it.0