Friday, May 9, 2008

New Ancestry Search available to everyone

On the 24/7 Family History Circle blog, Juliana Smith announced that the "New Ancestry Search Beta Now Available to Everyone" today.

I'm not sure that it's good news for everyone, but now everyone can try it out. I tried to point out some of the new "features" in my posts back in early April - here and here. Some people said they couldn't access the new Ancestry Search for some reasons - hopefully, they can now.

Frankly, it looks to me that the "new Ancestry Search" just changed the "look and feel" of the web pages and the presentation of the results obtained. Did the actual "Search Engine" change? Did they improve the search algorithms to make them faster or or more accurate? I don't know - it would be interesting to find out.

I've worked for more than two months in both the old and new Ancestry Search versions, and I really prefer the old "look and feel" and presentation of results. My opinion is that it took me fewer mouse clicks to find a record in the old system. It was easier to change an existing search. It was also easier to start a new search since the Search Box was usually at the bottom of each web page. In the new Search, you have to click on a link for each item, then fill in the boxes one at a time. That may be "user-friendly" but it takes a lot longer.

Now I'm wondering just how long the "old Ancestry Search" "look and feel" and results presentation will be around.

The one thing I do like in the new system is the listing of all matches for a given search - the Historical Records, Family Trees, Stories and Newspapers and Photo and Maps are all in one list when you get your matches. In the old system, you had to click on tabs for the four items.

Have you tried the "new Ancestry Search" yet? Do you like it? If not, have you told Ancestry about it - they do encourage feedback (a link is in the upper right-hand corner of the New Search screen).

1 comment:

Craig Manson said...

I'm with you--I prefer the "old" search over the "new" mainly for the same reasons you cite. And I have used the feedback link!