Kenny Freestone unveiled the new Family Tree Enhancements on Ancestry.com today with his post New Family Tree Enhancements in “Preview Mode” on the Ancestry.com blog. Users can click on a link to observe the enhancements in his post.
Kenny's blog post explains the enhancements extremely well, so I don't want to duplicate them with my own examples. However, I was curious as to "what was added" to the family tree presentation and "what was taken away."
The short answer, as far as I can tell, is that nothing was taken away, and s list of sources was added. In addition, the pages look different. Kenny's blog post claimed that the new page format is faster for the user and less server intensive for Ancestry.com.
But there are differences in navigation, and there is one navigation problem that I've found so far.
Here is the current Family Tree Person Page for my great-grandfather, Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922):
The Navigation links in the above screen include the menu with Overview, People, Family Tree, Photos, Stories, and Audio. Below the person's name are links for Edit Profile, Search Historical Records and View Note. Below that are links for Ancestry Hints (which lead to records on Ancestry.com that might apply to the person).
The screen shot below is the same Person Page with the new enhancements:
There is a new link right below the person's name for "Show immediate family" which lists parents, spouses and children when clicked.
There are now two menu sets. The one just below the person's name has links for "View Family Tree," "Search historical records," "Print or publish," "View note," and "Options." There are no "Options" at this time.
The second menu set are tabs located just above the Person Page information labeled "Overview," "Facts and Sources," "Gallery," "Comments," "Hints" and "Community." The "Edit this Person" tab is on the right of the menu line.
The major new addition is, I think, the "Sources" page, which looks like this:
The old "People" screen is the new "Overview" screen. The old "Overview" screen (which summarized the database) is now missing, as far as I can tell.
The new "Facts and Sources" has a similar list of Facts to those in the old "Edit Profile" menu that included "Facts and Events" and had links to the Fact Source information. In the new pages, the Sources are much easier to find and are listed together rather than separately as in the old pages.
The new "Gallery" page is similar to the old "Photos" page. The "Comments," "Hints," and "Community" pages are new tabs.
Clicking on the "Family Tree" tab produces essentially the same pedigree chart, family chart and family group sheet content, although the new page looks a bit different.
The only problem I found was that I could not get back to the new Person Page "Overview" (the equivalent of the old "People" page) from the new "Family Tree" page. I had to go back to the old view, click on "People" and then click on the new Enhancement link to get back to it.
There are ways to get back to the "Overview" page by running the mouse over any person's name in the "Family Tree" view - a popup box has links in small print to "View Profile," "Edit" and "Search Records." That's fine, I guess, but it took me awhile to find it.
In my opinion, Ancestry.com should add a noticeable link to go to the "Profile" or "Overview" page for the selected person while on the "Family Tree" page.
Note that these enhancements apply only to the Ancestry Member Trees (Public or Private), and not to the One World tree or Ancestry World Tree databases.
The web page says for the "Pedigree Chart" view that:
"Updates coming soon to Pedigree View
Next up in our preview of tree updates will be a new version of the pedigree view that will let you see more generations at one time, see your tree full screen, drag and grab your tree, and zoom in and out. Improved navigation will make it faster and easier to return to an ancestor profile page."
Oh. They covered my one complaint in the last sentence. Just saw it. Okay. Forget what I said...
Overall, I'm pleased with the enhancements for the Person Pages in the Family Trees. The navigation is very easy to use once you figure out what all of the buttons and tabs mean.
Have you noticed that Ancestry.com always seems to be changing (enhancing? improving?) their web site - whether it is the "look and feel," the search algorithms, etc. I appreciate that - not many genealogy database providers are working as hard to improve their "user interface" and "look and feel" as Ancestry.com does.