16 June 2010

It is that time again, new FamilySearch receiving an update.

Click this link to see the official statement for what will be new with the June 2010 release.

As usual, each update leaves me hungry for so much more in terms of updates, but I must say I see this as a significant turn for the better.

Making disputes, finding notes and commenting on data on the family tree was seen by many users as overly difficult. Now we are given a very simple way to add our thoughts to a person. One might dispute, ask for help, save stories etc. with this feature. It is very streamlined and user friendly.

The down side, in my opinion, is that it is a little too streamlined. It seems to me that it would help the system greatly if each discussion topic could be identified in some sort of predetermined menu as being of a certain category. Categories might include: disputes, questions, research notes, transcriptions &c. When viewing the discussions in the details box a filter should be added so that those individuals who have many discussion threads attached will be easier to navigate through their discussion threads. The filter might allow a person to view only discussion topics labeled as disputes or perhaps only those labeled as questions etc. A feature to search the discussion threads for a person looking for specific words or a phrase would also help find previously viewed threads that are now overrun by others in a person of high interest. Further data should be gathered. For example, a drop down menu activiated when selecting dispute as the discussion topic type should allow a person to select the fact they dispute (name, gender, birth date, birth place, relationship to [then the person would be selected whose relation to is disputed]).

I don't like the idea of getting rid of the old dispute system entirely. I think by selecting dispute as a category a link should be formed to a familiar dispute symbol next to the disputed fact on other screens. That link should take a person to the relevant discussion topic.