Monday, May 20, 2013

"New" Family Search Disscussion on Dear Myrtle's "Hangout"

I decided to use the notes from last Saturday's San Diego Computer Genealogy Society presentation to explore the Family Search Research Wiki.  Somehow, as I was playing video's explaining how to use the Wiki, I was watching Dear Myrtle's weekly "Hangout".  Not sure what wrong button I pushed; but it turned out to be very beneficial mistake.  It may have been today's broadcast.  For those of you not familiar with the event, it is held each Monday at noon PDT.  It is similar to a Webinar; but all the viewers are connected via Google+ and can submit questions and comments, which are monitored and filtered by Myrtle's cousin, Russ.  I believe the video is actually through a tie-in with U Tube.  Additionally, as in today's session, Myrt usually includes other panelists who can comment and provide supplemental short presentations.  For instance, Randy Seaver, was a panelist today and discussed adding pictures and stories to select individuals on the Family Search Family Tree. 

It is obvious from today's session that Myrt is not happy with all the changes that have been made to Family Search.  She pointed out several instances where several mouse "clicks" are required to perform a function that should be achievable with only one or two clicks. 

She also took exception with the fact that the preset records search is oriented toward a name search, even though some research she quoted shows that less than 12% of name data bases are indexed.  If I had been on line I would have commented that I am sure that is because the Family Search designers are hoping users, especially newer ones, will experience that joy of an instant discovery.  More experienced genealogists will be more content to methodically plod through a more structured search; but the great majority of people today are of the "instant gratification" generation. 

I thought perhaps my first frustrations with the "New" Family Search might have been the exception compared to experiences users; but I would conclude following the session I saw today that I might have a lot of company.  To Family Search's credit, however, they are constantly trying to provide a better product and I am sure that six months from now the "new" Family Search will have morphed into a much more user friendly and efficient system, both through changes and we users becoming more familiar with the interface. 

I plan to check in more regularly on Dear Myrtle's Monday "Hangouts" and I encourage readers to do the same.  You can join by clicking the following hyperlink: http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE.  Remember to click on "Feed" once you are logged on.