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Please keep the Life Sketch with the main details page (it's not that way on the new Beta site)

If the programmers will look at how the Life Sketch is being used, in many, many, cases I'm seeing, it's being used an alert rather than for a life sketch. The reason for this is that people don't read and they make the same bad changes over and over. It takes time to do through all of the source and notes, and people don't do it.
However, if you put an alert of some sort in the Life Sketch, the bad changes usually stop. I have seen the Life Sketch (and used it myself) for alerts like this person is commonly confused with X person, despite thousands of online trees this person doesn't not have x parents for the following reasons, this person lived in the following places, the Y-DNA for this person show they belong in x family, etc.
It is absolutely vital to have the Life Sketch together with the Details, otherwise, countless hours of redoing the same changes over and over will occur.
If you do insist on putting the Life Sketch on a screen separate from the Details screen, please consider making an Alert box or Summary box, some place to put important information that should not be overlooked to people looking at that person. Otherwise, it will become very difficult to maintain the integrity of the information in the tree.
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  • 1
    The same should apply to Notes and Discussions - it is essential these items are not "hidden away" on another page.
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  • One of things that struck me is the idea of being able to add test to the Timeline, that would provide anecdotal unsourced narrative to that display.

    Right now, the timeline is bare-bones, that is, "just the [selected] facts" and nothing else.

    If we could add (and be able to selectively display or not display) the anecdotal narrative, it could serve to replace the life sketch.

    For instance, if I am displaying relatives' information in the timeline (birth, marriage, death, burials), it would be neat if I could add "Joe (the person whose record is open) attended Bob's funeral and was one of the Paul bearers." as anecdotal text. These tidbits of information are often over looked in any sketch of a person's life, but paint a much clearer picture of the personality of the person.

    Another example: "Joe served as Bob's 'best man' at his brother's marriage and reception."

    That is also the reason why I suggested the the timeline include marriages and burials for the relatives of the deceased person.

    Thoughts?
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  • I'm one of those that you're wasting your time on if you put warnings and instructions into the Life Sketch. I've shunted the Life Sketch in production right down to the bottom - only Labels get any lower.... On the Beta site, it's actually faster for me to reach the Life Sketch - one click to get to the "Talk" tab(?) and often as not, no scrolling needed.

    Rather than mis-use Life Sketch, maybe have a Warnings tab as well as the Talk tab? (nope, I don't like Talk as a name either). And have it go red if there are any warnings?

    With having the Hints in the Timeline (which I think is valuable) we really need to cut down on the vertical scrolling and keeping Life Sketch in the current place doesn't do that.
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  • 2
    Please don't put the Life Sketch on the main page. It will clutter up the layout, reduce the effectiveness of the presentation of the information on the main page UI and just be a plain nuisance. The Life Sketch is for a biography of the individual. If it is being fairly consistently mis-used (and comments suggest that it is) for trying to slow down novice users bulldozing through properly sourced entries and wrecking them, then that does suggest the need for some kind of functionality to achieve that slowing down without bring the Life Sketch in.

    The tricky thing is how to achieve that slowing down without seriously aggravating experienced users of the site who know what they are doing. It is not an easy problem to tackle. Nevertheless it does need tackling effectively.
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    The tricky thing is how to achieve that slowing down without seriously aggravating experienced users of the site who know what they are doing. It is not an easy problem to tackle. Nevertheless it does need tackling effectively.

    My solution, David, would be to have a patron generated banner that the patron could switch on and off, be displayed on the details page for a deceased relative. The reason for a patron generating the banner is because sometimes, the real evidence is in a recently published (and protected by copyright) book or booklet. By allowing a patron to generate the information, that kind of information could point to the publication itself, which supports the current data for the deceased person. I have cited Pieter Claesen (9312-XFX) a number of times, but the Life Sketch "Notice!" is a well-written example of a good message that could be made into a banner. Read the last paragraph, which could, in and of itself, serve as the banner for this person in the new system.
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  • This reply was removed on 2018-07-05.
    see the change log
  • A request from a FamilySearch employee to comment about the Life Sketch is also here: https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...
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  • 4
    Jacob, correct me if I'm wrong: what you want to keep in the new user interface is the actual use that people have been making of the Life Sketch (as an alert), not its intended use (as a narrative biography), right?

    I think the reason people have found it useful to re-purpose the Life Sketch is that in the current UI, it defaults to front and center. (Yes, users can change the defaults, but a user who figures out how to do that -- or considers it desirable or necessary -- is unlikely to be new to FS FT and unaware of its collaborative open-edit model.) My conclusion from this is that it would be good to have a text field that defaults to front-and-center, where alerts could be entered.

    It would perhaps serve the purpose even better if an empty Alert field collapsed down to something like a button ("Add Alert"?); this way, the difference between a "plain" profile and a "be careful!" profile would be more apparent. A more noticeable warning is likely to be more effective.

    Transitioning to such an interface would inevitably involve some work: users would need to individually transfer non-biographical parts of a Life Sketch to the new Alert field. Ditto for any warnings currently entered as Notes or Discussions. I can't think of a way around this; the current contents of the Life Sketch can't just wholesale go into an Alert, because that's not the stated purpose of the current field. The Life Sketch has to be filed according to its label, as a narrative biography, probably under Memories.
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    Jacob: I agree with keeping Life Sketch with the main Details above the Timeline. I'm glad someone agrees 's with me on this!
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    From what I read in other threads (and found on FT person pages), Life Sketch seems not to have widespread use amongst users, so is probably best placed in the Memories section.

    If used as it was (probably) designed to be, there should not be much harm in "hiding it away" - providing there is a prominently positioned ALERTS section, where all those warnings can be put that patrons are currently adding as Life Sketch, Discussions or Notes items.

    See https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...
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