This topic was merged into another on Fri, 08 Oct 2010 22:33:18 +0000 Click here to see the authoritative topic.
I’m Sad but hopeful.

Please keep the Record Search Pilot!

I know I am campaigning but I have grown to love Record Search and do not want to see it go away. The FSBeta is not a good replacement for Record Search. Record Search is easier to use and it provides much better results. Its search criteria works much better for the way I and I assume most people research their ancestors. FSBeta seems for focus on finding a specific individual while Record Search finds families and makes it easier to move from generation to generation.
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  • I’m sad, very concerned and frustrated, but hopeful
    I am campaigning w/you. When I look in labs.familysearch, we are told that Record Search is retired in Sept 2010. We can still get in there, but it looks like it won't be for long. We are also told that all of the information that is in Records has been transferred to Beta & more. But it does not seem that way because of the difficulty in getting at it. When I am trying to teach new people about doing their family history research, it is so much more difficult using Beta. They are easily confused. I really hope that Records is not taken away until Beta has been upgraded to have the ease of finding people as Records has. Is there a reason to move so quickly to eliminate Records before Beta has the ease of operating that Records has?
    • We have been told that ALL records have been transferred from Records to Beta. FS has asked for specifics w/problems. This is a very specific example where I don't think they are all there. On Records I can find a Hartman Gaus, Daisy Mae Gaus, & 2 named children & father listed in the 1910 Census from Michigan (White Oak, Ingham Co.). Looking up under each name in Beta through a full search & a census search there is no 1910 census for any of them. On another note, I am very appreciative that you have added the whole household record for each census. Also, I concur w/other people suggestions that we just be able to touch the name & see a synopsis of what the record says (as we can in Records) & not have to click over to see each whole record (the case w/Beta).
    • Thank you for taking the time to provide a specific example. I have logged this as a product issue and we will investigate the discrepancy.
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  • 1
    There is little triangle arrow button in each result row on the right side that will open detailed preview
    • I have also found that the best way to copy the data for an individual in FSBeta to paste into your sources is to do it by clicking on the triangle arrow. Using your mouse to copy the data is easier here than on the full page view. You are less like to get extraneous things from the page, and you don't get all the blank lines.
    • I think the arrow to see a detailed entry just makes this site even WORSE. The search results are laid out in an awkward format, and it's already a pain to scroll through long, long lists of poorly sorted data. Now you have to stop at every one and hit the arrow to make sense out the entry. It's more frustrating than helpful.
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  • I've found it is also better to copy and paste to notepad, first, and then into the eventual location. Notepad keeps the format (tabs and returns). Without it, the info is just a text string.
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  • I’m thankful
    Record Search will not be turned off until FamilySearch Beta is complete. I like for example when looking at a 1920 census of my great grandfather and found that his 3rd wife is in blue ink and I clicked on it and the census record was on her.
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  • Jim: As a FamilySearch employee who has worked on both products, I am pleased that you appreciate functionality of Record Search. We are also grateful for the feedback that we are receiving on the beta. Our team is reading the comments daily and your opinions are not being ignored. We are prioritizing each issue and addressing the highest priority items first. Thanks for the feedback.
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  • This reply was removed on 2010-09-18.
    see the change log
  • I’m FRUSTRATED
    There are so many reasons why FamilySearch Beta is a cumbersome, difficult search site to use. That would be just a forgivable frustration if this were a brand-new concept, but it is not. I am not entirely sure why the excellent search capacities of Record Search were abandoned.

    As a comparison of the two, if I am looking for Joseph Wolgamot, and all I know is that he lived in Holmes County, Ohio, in Record Search you had the added perk of auto-completion for place names. Perhaps family lore said he was from Millersburg. Start typing that and you get Milersburg, Holmes, Ohio, United States - but you also get all the other Millersburgs in the United States. Not only did that function disappear, apparently places are largely disregarded whether they are entered or not. In FSBeta, hundreds of results are given, and there appears to be no sense as to what results comes back when a place is entered. Trust me, I've tried dozens of times.

    Back to Joseph Wolgamot of Holmes County, Ohio. Enter those two pieces of data, and you get 14 very clear responses on Record Search. On Family Search Beta you get 781. On Record Search they are neatly tabulated with columns that delineate event, spouse/children and parents. Also, in Record Search, even if I got pages of results, they could be scanned quite easily in their columnar format.

    Contrarily, in FamilySearch Beta, there is no rhyme nor reason as to information placement. A census may have a birth and a residence or a birth, residence and spouse. The next entry may have a birth and death. The next entry may have a marriage date and a place of residence. And then the next entry may have a spouse and marriage. There is no continuity to it, no easy visual layout, no clear delineation as to what can be found where. So for Joseph Wolgamot, I have to look at every 781 entries very carefully to see what each one is telling me.

    Oh wait, if that weren't bad enough, most entries don't tell you much anyway! That's why we now have that fun little arrow on the right-hand side of each entry, so we can pull it down for MORE information! YAY! Now I can go through all 781 entries one at a time AND pull them down to find what I am looking for, so now this has turned into a several hour task. Not the 2 minutes it took in Record Search.

    So did getting an additional 767 entries help me find more about Joseph Wolgamot in Holmes County, Ohio? No. But it did tell me Alonzo Wolgamott got married in Wisconsin and that an unnamed female Wohlgemuth can be found in the 1841 census of England and Wales. So? And more pressing - WHY? Trust me, there are a lot of things in life where more is NOT better. This is one of them.

    Okay, so let me make "Holmes County, Ohio" an EXACT parameter in FSBeta. Granted, it does cut it down to 33 entries, but even with that manageable number, there are still entries that really do not pertain to our search. To make the results fit with what we are looking for, we now have to finagle dozens of different combinations of "exacts" or not. Let's say I make all three parameters EXACT: first name Joseph, last name Wolgamot, residence Holmes County, Ohio. I get 5 results. But I have now missed the Ohio Death Record of Mrs. Sarah Uhl who was the daughter of Joseph Wolgamot and Susan Everett. FamilyRecord Search found it in their 14 pertinent results. And this is information that is ESSENTIAL to researchers - daughters marry and lose their surnames! This is good stuff if you know nothing about the family, but it would take dozens of permutations of the search parameters and/or wading through 781 entries and their subsequent pull-down menus to find it in FamilySearch Beta. It's maddening.

    And just the layout is horrible. Everything is primarily arranged on a vertical basis. Which means even the Search window cannot fit on a screen! Scroll up, scroll down, scroll up, scroll down - and that's just to enter information for your search! I regard that feature as sheer stupidity on the part of the web design team. It's awkward and annoying and no graphic designer I have EVER worked with would dream of putting a search window into ANY space that needed to be manipulated to see appropriately. I think you can then surmise what my thoughts are regarding the layout of the search results.

    Because the information provided within the confines of this horribly designed website are vital for my research, I DO wade through it frequently. I used Family Record Search frequently too. And to avoid duplicating previous searches, I could look at newly added databases on their own in Family Record Search. You can't do that in Family Search Beta. Nope. You have to wade through those 781 entries again and again and again. Is that new? Have I seen that before? And if I DO want to search a single database, I can't find it geographically. It's now arranged alphabetically! What if your ancestor was married in Jamaica? Let's see... J for Jamaica. Nope, no marriages. There are only Births and Baptisms and Civil Birth Registrations. There's nothing on here to help me, right? Well, this collection listing would allow you to miss Caribbean Marriages! Yes, I know there is a "Place" breakdown to the left, but we all know as genealogists it's all about location, location, location! Wouldn't it be nice if a database of this magnitude was more geography-based? Oh wait, that's right, it WAS geocentric - in FamilySearch Record Search. We've done away with that. Ummm...why?

    I could go on, but I would gather that my sarcasm would get worse. Browsing and searching and rummaging through FamilySearch Record Search was FUN! And it was efficient. I spent hours on that site - some of it just out of the sheer fun of discovery. FamilySearch Beta is a behemoth of poor design, ineffective search capabilities and hours of frustration. I often go to it now because I HAVE to find something. And I often sign off frustrated. Again, I get it if it were a pilot program. All good things need tweaking. But you scrapped something pretty darn near perfect for THIS. It makes little to no sense to me. Help me understand how this is even remotely better. I fail to see it.
    • Michael, your experience and opinions match almost exactly with mine. You did a great job of detailing the frustrations most of us are having with FSBeta and the sadness that an almost perfect program was scrapped. You said, "Record Search was FUN!" That was my experience as well. And, I had such valuable discoveries and was able to document so much information. I hope the end result will be as fun and exciting as Record Search has been.

      I am puzzled about how FSBeta came about. Usually, a Beta is a tweaking and improvement on a Pilot. But FSBeta seems to have been developed completely independently. If there were two candidates to make into the Beta, they unfortunately chose the wrong horse.
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  • Thank you for the very detailed and honest feedback. This is extremely helpful.
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    The new search experience obviously has a long way to go before anyone is going to like it compared to the old. I never had a single complaint about the old version because it was so easy to zero in on a specific record group and find what I was looking for. I find it is best to use the old site first, and if the image is not available there, then at least I know it exists and can then find it on the new site. I find doing it that way is fairly easy.

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    New search experience needs to be searchable by record group.
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