Over four years ago, FamilySearch started asking for volunteers to help evaluate new ideas and concepts for our websites. In that time we have conducted nearly 70 studies and interviewed hundreds of individuals around the world. Our designers and engineers do their best to craft an experience free from fault, but can commonly miss key issues. We usually do not see all the problems until we immerse ourselves in the experience with our volunteers. Here are some examples of what we learned from those whose gift of insight has guided our work:
- Displaying sources. In one study, we learned that many people expect to see the sources for an individual ancestor as well as a complete list of sources for all ancestors. This gave us a new perspective on how to display sources for individuals.
- Search filters. In a more recent study, we studied the new filtering feature for our search page. We found out that people do not understand how to narrow a filter down beyond its first level. Our design team is now trying to improve the filtering experience.
I heard an author once say, “You never finish writing a book.” The same can be said of our work at FamilySearch. Our website is never really finished. Technology evolves, and new opportunities arise to make family history work more effective. Whether you are a beginner, an expert, or somewhere in between, your gift of insight can help us design the easiest, best experience possible.
Many of you have contributed to our studies so far, but we are constantly in need of more volunteers who can give an hour of time. The studies are conducted from the comfort of your home at a time convenient to you. You may opt out at any time after signing up to be a volunteer.
To learn more and to sign up to be an evaluation volunteer, please visit https://labs.familysearch.org/evaluation/screener/survey.html.