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New Search Forms 07 Dec 2010

With the latest release FamilySearch.org takes a step forward in implementing additional key learnings from the RecordSearch Pilot in the FamilySearch beta.

Pilot validated the model of doing an "any event" or single event search and then filtering the results by a secondary event or other criteria. The new search forms should feel much more at home for users of the older product and they play a role in delivering better results.

Restricting results by filters is a core part of the target search experience and we expect to deliver these after the holidays. Once delivered, a user will be presented with filters for event (birth, marriage, residence, death) dates and places, record type and gender. Each filter will show the count of records that will be presented if the filter is applied. Filters will be collapsed initially but can be expanded to see sub-categories if present. The filters and their sub-categories will present a panel similar to RecordSearch allowing a user to apply selections.

There will be a short interim period between releases where searching on multiple events will be limited, but we've decided to move forward with the new forms now because testing indicates that they play a role in delivering more accurate results and this represents the shortest development path to the target search experience. To those who need to restrict results based on multiple events or relationships, we understand your need, please be patient over the next weeks as we put in place the tools you require.

-Robert
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  • I’m frustrated
    Since the new search was implemented this morning, I cannot get it to work in Firefox. I'm using 3.6.12, and the search just hangs. It pulls up search results in IE6, which is also on this computer. Since I cannot upgrade to IE8, I rely heavily upon the beta site working with Firefox. Please fix! :(
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  • I’m disappointed and waiting
    Robert,

    I feel it was a poor decision to activate a partially developed search page now and decrease the functionality of the site. Am I to understand that we have to wait weeks to get the total package and MAYBE better search results than what we were getting?

    You feel the new users need a one page simplified search and that's fine with me, but the advanced search page needs to be functional and include all the search options that it did yesterday.
    • S.K.Soden,
      I appreciate your disappointment. This was a very difficult decision. I'll share some of the logic that went into it. Unfortunately, while it may increase understanding, it won't remove the pain caused by the temporary loss of functionality.

      1) The new search forms deliver the "Any Event" search, which is key to many search intents. This was not possible on the old forms and is a benefit to many users.

      2) The new search forms play a role in delivering improved results for most searches.

      3) The new forms are a key element of getting our search experience closer to what users were used to on RecordSearch pilot (a strong user request)

      4) The new search forms tighten up the search experience. Users have been very vocal against having long search forms that span multiple pages and have key fields and buttons off screen.

      5) Historically the portion of advanced users that do multi-event searching is relatively small. Non-trival, but much smaller than the number of users who would be benefitted by the new forms. With that said, we do fully understand the critical nature of applying multiple event parameters to results.

      RecordSearch pilot validated the search model of doing an initial search with either "Any Event" or with a single event and then filtering the results by secondary events and parameters. This model requires the new forms and also filters. Filters are now our highest feature priority and we intend to deliver this key function after the holidays.
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