Friday, April 19, 2013

FamilySearch Research Wiki, Videos, Getting Started Just Two Clicks Away Now

After raising the issue of the difficulty in finding and accessing some of the really useful features of FamilySearch in my post yesterday (Is FamilySearch De-emphasizing Genealogical Research?), I received an email today from a FamilySearch manager who said that:

"...we made a change to the home page of FamilySearch that addresses some of the items you mentioned in your last two posts. 

"When you click on the Live Help icon you will now see links to the Wiki, Course videos and Getting Started."

I really appreciate that FamilySearch is listening and is open to constructive suggestions and is responsive to the comments and needs of the genealogical community.

Here is the "Live Help" image on the FamilySearch home page (which takes one click to reach):

As you can see in the red box highlighted area, they have added links to the wiki (Research Wiki), the videos (Research Courses) and getting started (Beginners).

So a user can get to the Research Wiki, Research Course and Getting Started page with two clicks.  That's a significant improvement.  

However, it is not "easy to see" how to get there - you really have to know where to look to find it, and it's not clear that the words are links to pages rather than just information.

I still recommend, for the time being, that users add links to the important FamilySearch pages to my browser bookmarks, and train themselves to click on them in Bookmarks rather than try to sort through all the web pages and links on the FamilySearch site.  The important links for FamilySearch, in my humble opinion, are:

*  Global Search page (searches all indexed collections):

*  Historical Record Collections:

*  FamilySearch Research Wiki: 

*  FamilySearch Research Courses (videos):

*  Getting Started (Beginners):

*  Family History Library Catalog:

*  FamilySearch Books:

*  FamilySearch Family Tree:

*  FamilySearch Genealogies (Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File):

*  FamilySearch Labs:

*  Standard Finder (location names):

*  Community Trees:

*  English Jurisdictions, 1851:

*  FamilySearch Blog:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


ponyswimgal said...

Thanks, Randy, for passing along your bookmarks. But, how in the world is a moderately new-to-genealogy person who has some experience in maybe RootsMagic or Legacy, FTM, etc. but still new to FamilySearch FIND the darn Wiki, etc? It still takes FOUR clicks to get to Wiki and that's IF I know it's there, know which button to click, and not be sidelined by clicking the wrong button. So, it isn't 2 clicks away, it's a good 4 clicks. It should be only ONE click.

Four clicks -- two clicks, it still isn't good enough. They still need to make major tweeks. And your idea of putting buttons ON THE FIRST PAGE CLEARLY LABELED WITH WIKI, VIDEOS, ETC. would be a major, MAJOR help.

Keep plugging away!!

Celia Lewis said...

Your bookmarks are very helpful, Randy... but my goodness, how unnecessary in this day and age to have to bookmark basic pages and sections simply because the website designer didn't do a better job! I rarely use bookmarks these days since it is usually simpler to do a click or two to get to where I want to be on a site from the home page. My students (beginners) get very frustrated with searching on FamilySearch and I have to patiently walk them through various ways to search, how to find specific as well as general areas, on a most un-intuitive web site!