The enhanced FamilySearch website has been up and running for nearly a month now. What are users saying?
I love the colorful fan charts! Nice that they expand out as well.
I think this is so wonderful. I teach people how to write their family stories and their own autobiography. I know that having pictures included helps you to know your ancestors so much better. After writing the stories of my parents and my ancestors, I felt as if I knew them on a completely different level and I’m so grateful that I did it.
Thank you for putting the Wiki on the Search bar!
Our Youth in the Philippines are having more fun now as they become familiar with the Church enhancement website.
How exciting. I found a picture I’ve never seen of my great great great grandfather!
What’s amazing is website usage is way up since the release. Traffic on FamilySearch.org was up 17% the week the enhanced site released. Additionally, over 62,000 photos were uploaded that week, with over 60,000 photos tagged.
In addition to the new look and feel, we have also made updates to improve our search and research tools. As part of these updates, we:
- Have made the FamilySearch website available in 10 languages.
- Created new systems to allow us to efficiently add several million new searchable records each week.
- Launched a fan chart pedigree view to make it easier to see the ends of ancestral lines.
- Added new, easier ways to access live research or product help from anywhere on the site.
- Made it easy to return to the last five ancestors worked on in Family Tree when you’re logged-in to our home page.
- Added photos and stories to bring family history to life.
- Opened the Family Tree to the general public, which increases the number of people contributing, collaborating and sharing family history information.
We have seen a lot of excitement about these new features and updates; however, there has also been some concern about things such as the new location of some of our research tools, text legibility, and the process for attaching sources to ancestors. We want you to know that we are committed to addressing the feedback we receive from our users and making FamilySearch.org the best place for you to experience research success.
While continuing to develop and improve new site features, we have also addressed some of the concerns our users have raised about existing features. For example, we have added a link to the Research Wiki on the Help main page and in the search menu. We darkened our fonts and made them larger to aid readability. We have also made it easier to add and edit sources with a single click. This last enhancement has led to a record number of sources being added to the Family Tree—74 percent growth in the last three weeks!
To aid in the transition to the new look, feel, and functionality, we have arranged with FamilySearch community advocate Devin Ashby to provide a detailed review of new site changes, including the updates mentioned above. You can view Devin’s presentation here.
Some family history professionals have expressed that the enhancements made to the site have made serious research more difficult. We hope that they can get past the new exterior and recognize some real improvements, many of which have been requested for years. In addition to the items listed above, researchers nowhave the ability to:
- Link sources to the Family Tree
- Set alerts
- Share conclusions on social media
- Take advantage of enhanced search features
- View documents in a new image viewer
We want to keep the conversation going. Please visit our feedback page to share your ideas on how we can continue to make our tools easier and more useful—for the first time user, and the seasoned professional.