Ancestry Responds to Concerns of Users of New Ancestry with Updates

by , under, Online Research

Hard on the heels of the reminder notificati0n that was moving completely to the “new” Ancestry website on 15 Dec 2015, and the announcement that it was ending sales of the personal genealogical database program Family Tree Maker, the genealogical database provider put out a new list of updates and changes to the “new” Ancestry with the 11 Dec 2015  Feature Update posted to the Ancestry Blog. (Posted by Ancestry Team on December 11, 2015 in Site, Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom)

I personally was happy to see this posting as I was unaware of some of the changes (improvements?) even as I used my subscription during the day of the 11th. Here is the text for that posting (to see the announcement in its entirety complete with helpful images, go to

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that covered the upcoming features and this week we introduced several important enhancements to the Person Page, Facts view and media experience in the new Ancestry.

As always, we have also included links to articles and videos at the end of this post that will help answer your questions and provide more tips on the new site. We appreciate your feedback, please submit it via this form.

Features we introduced:
Navigational changes on Person Page, Tree Viewer and Media – We introduced some additional navigation options. With these shortcuts, you can get to your endpoint more easily and quickly.

List of All People – This previously was only available from the Tree Viewer. Members suggested it would save time to have this available on the Person Page, so we added it there too. In addition to easier access to the List of All People, we added the option to navigate directly to the home person of the tree. Click on the icon to access “Home Person” or “List of All People.”

Trees Pages return to the Person Page – The Tree Pages menu options are now available on the person page. To access this, select the name of your tree. To view your tree you can either select the first option in the tree pages menu or the tree icon to the left of the tree name.

Tree Header Updates – In the Tree Viewer, the tree pages menu has been moved and is accessible by selecting the tree name. For visual consistency, we’ve updated the look of the Find Person tool in the Tree Viewer. Other pages from the tree pages menu, such as the Tree Media Gallery, Tree Settings and Tree Overview will get the same update as the Tree Viewer.

Media Viewer “Delete or Save” to Desktop Menu – You can now quickly access options for downloading to your desktop or delete from Tree with this menu.

Tree Owner Information – We added the tree owner information to the person pages. When you are viewing a tree that you’re not invited to, the “guest” badge will no longer show – some of our members expressed confusion about this, and we agree that it’s important to know the owner of the tree in addition to your role.
Hide/Show Family Events to Customize LifeStory and Facts View –The configure icon for hiding and showing the Family Events and Historical Insights has been changed to “Show” and is consistent with filtering for the media gallery. Checkmarks indicate what content will be shown on the page.

Media Enhancements

All Media Types Available on Facts view – If you have previously attached stories, audio, or video recordings to a fact, these will now show as attached to that fact. In addition, any media that you have attached to the person is now available to add to all the existing and new facts you create.

Link Story
Undo “Crop” on Profile Image – You can now undo the crop by selecting “Use Full Image” to use the full picture as the Profile Image.

Mobile-Friendly Media – Now you can see the pictures or their details easily on your mobile devices.

Enhanced Designs – We’ve streamlined the person page with a few minor visual design updates. Text size has been increased, and contrast has been improved. There is also more visual separation between navigation elements and the vital information about your ancestor.

Person Header Updates – We’ve removed the background texture from the header of the Person Page to increase readability. The tab background has also been lightened.

Less scrolling on the Facts View – Name & Gender are collapsed by default. This way, more of your ancestor’s timeline is visible on the screen. You can expand the name and gender to edit them individually. The display of family events on the Facts view of in your ancestor’s timeline is now more condensed. This allows you to see more information on your screen, with less scrolling.
Features we will retire:

Features we will retire:

It’s difficult to lose any features on our site, however, after exploring a myriad of use cases and analyzing how our members conduct genealogical research on the site, we made the decision to retire Story View:

Story View – On the Person Page from the old Ancestry, we had a feature called Story View. This view helped us continue to refine how stories could be generated based on information about an ancestor and how users could refine those stories. Those learnings have been applied into LifeStory in the new Ancestry and as we move forward with all users in the new Ancestry by December 15th we will be retiring these pages. Stories, photos and records created in your Story View have already been migrated to the LifeStory view in the new Ancestry. Links to the old Ancestry Story View of an ancestor will not be available in the new Ancestry but you will be able to continue to access that view via the links that were created and shared until March 15, 2016. After that time, Story View will be officially decommissioned.

Features we are still working on:

Continue Search – Option to keep searching from within your tree versus right clicking to open new records.

Family Group Sheet – The functionality of the current Family Group Sheet is duplicated with that of the Facts view, so we do not plan to carry forward the current Family Group Sheet. We will however, introduce a new Family Group Sheet report that offers more information about a family in one glance, and it will be similar to a traditional family group sheet report.

We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to keep submitting it. What do you love about the new website? Did you find a bug? Something doesn’t quite work like you think it should? Please submit it via this form. Thank you. We will be providing more updates over the next couple of weeks.

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