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How to Report a Problem with FamilySearch in this Forum

How to Report a Problem with FamilySearch in this Forum

Things to Know:
1) We Read Your Posts
Product mangers and quality assurance engineers read the posts on this forum daily. our main goals are to answer questions as authoritatively and completely as possible and to identify problems with the site early.

2) Site Outages
The FamilySearch website is fully monitored for performance. Planned outages of the entire website or product areas (Search, Memories, Family Tree, Indexing, etc) are messaged to users with banners preceding the outage. When unplanned outages, or even degraded service, occur engineers are almost instantly notified by the software via multiple methods and will almost certainly be working on resolving the problem within minutes. Sometimes actually resolving the issue may take more than minutes depending on it's cause.

3) Broken Features
In spite of all the safeguards, automated tests and code rollback mechanisms, occasionally a bug fix or code release will compromise an existing feature. Our goal is to identify and resolve such issues as quickly as possible. With your help, there have been many instances where such problems were also resolved in minutes.

4) Report A Problem
When you see a problem with the designed function of an existing feature on the website reporting it with the following information will maximize the ability of FamilySearch staff to quickly replicate, diagnose and resolve the issue.

a) Page URL:
It is essential that we know very specifically what part of the website (Search, Indexing, Memories, Family Tree, etc) and what data you are looking at. Please go to the page where the problem is manifest, copy the URL from the top of your browser window (usually started with http:// or something similar) and paste it in your post here in the forum. Ex.

b) The Step by Step:
Describe what you did in a step by step flow, specifying the page elements you used, so we can replicate your actions and make the problem happen in our labs. Where did you click? What data did you enter? What were specifically trying to make happen? Ex. 1) I conducted a search for Howard Allor from the main search form entering just his name in the first and last name fields. 2) On the resulting search results page I desired to filter the 2,598 search results to just those from Michigan so I clicked on the "Restrict records by: Location" link. 3) I entered United States into the country field and Michigan into the State or Province field.

c) Expected Vs Actual:
Describe what you expected to happen compared to what you actually saw happen. Be very specific and provide URLs where necessary to eliminate ambiguity. Ex. I expected all the results would be from Michigan but several of the results, including the following URL ( appear to be from places other than Michigan and should not have been shown.

d) Time:
Knowing when a feature was last working properly and, as specifically as possible, the time it began behaving badly is often key to diagnosing the cause of the problem. If, as an active user of the site, you can provide any info about the timing of the problem it will be helpful. Ex. "When I did the searches at 9am PST this morning all the results were from Michigan, but when I returned and did similar searches at 3pm PST the same day it appears the Restrict records by location feature is not working.

When users provide specific detailed and clear feedback in this manner is greatly empowers FamilySearch teams to replicate the problem, diagnose and resolve the cause...and to maintain a great website

As a product manager at FamilySearch I am very grateful to the many users on this forum who help us quickly identify when problems occur and who support new users with excellent guidance and tutorials when they have questions.
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