Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FamilySearch Home Page and Search Forms Revisited

I posted Checking Out the New FamilySearch Home Page and Search Forms yesterday, thinknig that everyone could see the same web page that I could see.  Um, that was not the case, as several readers commented on the post.

I received this information from Robert Kehrer at FamilySearch today, and he said I could pass it along to my readers:

"1) The New Home Page

"The new home page that you saw is a test design that is being fed randomly to 5% of our users together with a survey. We intend to iterate on this design rapidly and over the next few months, if we get it right, replace the main page with one that helps users access all the resources of FamilySearch. If you want to force viewing of this test page you can go to If you want to avoid viewing of this page, you can go to

"One of the refinements I expect we will put on the page is the ability to expand out the full search form from the place that today has only the first and last names.

"2) Search Form Refinements

"The new search form was designed to do the following things: 

• Allow multiple event and multiple relationship searching

• Replace the basic and advanced forms with one form that was simpler yet more powerful

• Insure that key user options are visible and not hidden on separate pages (advanced form) or under drop down menus. 

• Reduce the # of clicks it takes to enter data. One click on any event of relationship lets you begin typing

• Assist visually impaired users: The active row is highlighted. The active field background is blue, and on Safari it is highlighted

• All essential user controls are initially above the fold on supported browser resolutions

• The refine form stays open once a user opens it for iterative searching

• Batch searching is on the same page as the form"
Thank you to Robert Kehrer for explaining this.  I couldn't understand why readers were saying that they were not seeing what I was showing. 


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thanks, Randy. I guess I'm one of the lucky 5%.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post. I love the new home page and search. I am disappointed that several people have been complaining about the search changes on the FamilySearch blog. I think it works great! There is a visible battle between simplicity and functionality that FamilySearch is working hard to win.