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# Friday, July 18, 2008
Ancestry.com Plans Free Public Webinar on New Search
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com is holding a giant public Webinar for anyone who wants to learn more about its new search experience. (A webinar is a real-time online class.) The session is July 30 at 8:30 pm EDT.

Since it was unveiled a few months ago, Ancestry.com’s new search experience has generated plenty of online commentary, much of it from people who had problems using it. At the beginning of July, director of product management Kendall Hulet told me 90 percent of people were still using the old search.

Looks like Ancestry.com is focusing on getting people comfortable with the new search interface. Geared toward intermediate and advanced researchers, the webinar will focus on how to use these tools:
  • record previews
  • image snapshots
  • refined searches
  • type-ahead features
  • global searches
  • advanced searches
  • filters
  • keyword searches
Hulet will do the instructing.

You don’t have to be a member of Ancestry.com to attend, but you do need to preregister at event.on24.com/r.htm?e=
112633&s=1&k=F61A5B2CBEC642037CADDF67687EA541. You’ll receive instructions about how to access the webinar and you’ll get reminder e-mails before the event.


Ancestry.com
Friday, July 18, 2008 9:36:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Saturday, July 19, 2008 1:20:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I posted this earlier on the Ancestry blog, in the quaint expectation that the powers that be at Ancestry might get a clue. I’m copying it here in hopes of eliciting additional comments and suggestions from fellow Ancestry users/subscribers:

So here’s the situation: Ancestry has a New Search that is so poorly designed that, months after Beta-testing and full rollout, 90% of users prefer the old search. The vast majority of blog readers deeply dislike it, and have taken the time to post detailed explanations—here and elsewhere—of why New Search does not work well and is, in fact, even more inadequate and less efficient and less ergonomic than the Old Search.

Ancestry’s response? A Webinar, hosted by the Director of Product Management, accompanied by a Senior PR manager and a PR manager. They intend to acquaint us with all the spiffy new features of New Search.

Ancestry seems to think the problem is that users don’t like *change* and don’t adapt to cool new software with lots of pop-ups, click-to-open data fields and snazzy graphics. Hey, Ancestry! Guess what? We’re not a bunch of head-in-the-sand Luddites. We LIKE technology. We LIKE new software, but only as long as it WORKS BETTER than the old stuff. We adapt EASILY to WELL-DESIGNED products! This Webinar sounds like more sizzle and still no steak from the folks at Ancestry.

Skip the spin! Here’s the Webinar I WOULD attend: Get a panel of experienced amateur and professional genealogists, of varying ages, geographical locations, and areas of research interest, all of whom have used Ancestry for their regular research for at least two years (and make sure to include a few CGs, FASGs and the like while you’re at it), and begin the Webinar with the researchers affirming that:

(1) They now use New Search regularly, and
(2) They get more (and better quality) hits, and
(3) They get fewer meaningless hits, and
(4) They find New Search’s interface more logical, ergonomic, faster, and easier to use, and
(5) They find it easier to sort and resort search results, and
(6) The wildcard (*) function finally works with less than three initial characters, and
(7) Exact searches really give exact answers with easily set (and altered) parameters, and
(8) In general, the time they spend on Ancestry is more productive and more user-friendly than before, and then:
(9) They show us how it works (which, when you think about it is STILL pretty pitiful, because if the New Search was actually WELL-DESIGNED, we wouldn’t need a panel of experts to figure it out!).

Now THAT’S a Webinar I’d like to see.
Reed
Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:11:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I could not get the email to respond to register me. Hope you can accept this.
fern christensen
Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:30:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hi, Fern,
Family Tree Magazine (whose editors are authors of the blog you're viewing) isn't affiliated with Ancestry.com, so we can't register you for Ancestry.com's Webinar. You might try the registration link again; it's likely the site was busy due to many people trying to sign up at the same time.
Diane
Comments are closed.