Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ancestry.com Changes Their Record Page Format

Recently, Ancestry.com rolled out their revised Record Transcription Page format - telling users that "We are updating the look of our record transcriptions - Preview the new page."  There is also a "Learn more" page, which looks like this:

The page above describes the changes to the Record Transcription pages, highlighting where items have been placed.

Here is what the "Old Page" looks like (two screens below):

The "New Page" looks like this (three screens below):

As far as I can tell, there are no really new features, and no old features deleted.  They've essentially moved the features around the page, and changed the fonts on the new page.

The Record Image thumbnail is larger, and has been placed on the left-hand side of the page.  The Page Tools, Comments and Make a Connection items have been moved from the left-hand side of the page to the right-hand side.  The Save, Share and Print tools are at the top of the right-hand column.

The Suggested Records remain on the right-hand side of the page, although they show only seven of them and have a "Show More" link for any others.  The record database name is now larger than the person's name.

The transcribed items in the middle of the page, the persons in the household, and the Source Citation information, have a different font and more white space around them.

The only drawbacks I see are that they don't show all of the Suggested Records (which means another click) and more scrolling (since the transcription information is in a larger font).   One of the benefits are that the fonts are larger for those of us who struggle to read the old font size.  Oh, there will probably be a learning curve and many user complaints as a consequence.  I'm underwhelmed.  I hope they didn't spend a lot of money on this change.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/11/ancestrycom-changes-their-record-page.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Diane Gould Hall said...

Well, Randy, I like the old view better. Not because I'm used to it, but because I see the same thing happening here that has happened in apps and on devices. It's almost a dumbing down of the images we look at. I prefer the grey background in the titles and the boxes around different items on a page. Having done a bit of publishing I was always taught that you need to make things easier for people to read by dividing items and defining them. That's not what I see here. Will I get used to it .. sure. If we make negative comments will they change it back..no. So, we just move on.

Geolover said...

One drawback is hiding the "save" options (to tree person; to another person in tree; to shoebox), which used to be in a handy list to left of the extract. They are now viewable options only once one clicks "save." A new researcher would have no idea what the options were unless they clicked on the button.

There is also a change in tree-list formatting once one clicks to save to another person in the tree. There really was no need to change this either.

BarbJ said...

I like the change for the most part. I like the white space and the larger fonts. I think it needs some tweeks and I have made and will make suggestions as I use it. One suggestion is a 'copy' option so the transcription can be copied to my software notes without having to highlight it.

Jan Murphy said...

I suspect some of these changes are designed to make things easier to view on a tablet or mobile device.

Schalene Dagutis said...

I like the new page much better. Face it, we're n the web era and the old page was very 1990-2000 looking. This page is fresher, easier to read and mostly more convenient to use. White space is important in the design world and to those who have vision issues.

I don't think Ancestry promised new features...just an easier to read and use page. And that's exactly what we got.