Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My thoughts on NEW Ancestry August 14th Feature Update!

Dear Ancestry.com: 

First, I want to say, it has been a wonderful journey until now. I have enjoyed the past three plus years I have have been working on my tree on ancestry.com via live online live without having to buy any additional software. I chose ancestry.com because of the simplicity of the overall layout, and ease of use, the floating family tree in both the pedigree and the family view. This was especially helpful when building a tree, and seeing the overall layout online in the family view versus the pedigree view. I chose ancestry.com because of the records available, the layout of the tree, and not having to watch or read a lot of how to's to get something done. Not having to buy any additional books to learn how to use your website was GREAT! Now, that ancestry.com classic is ending, you have taken the joy out of my research. You may still be adding records that are important, but having being FORCED to use a NEW improved product, I find that it is not improved in regards to the tree hosting portion of ancestry.com. 

I find your new product to be slow, sluggish, and uses more steps to complete what was a simple task as 1-2-3 on ancestry.com classic. It is very unappealing, cumbersome, and has become a chore to use. I will only use ancestry to search records that become available of interest. I am sorry ancestry.com does not think keeping ancestry.com~"classic" as an option is a worthwhile venue. It was a very valuable tool for many serious researchers and older users who do not have time to waste watching videos or reading "How To's" just to use your New Improved website. You will lose many once devoted customers as a result of your bad decisions. As for new subscriber's being sold a roof without a house or foundation is ludicrous. I certainly wouldn't be appreciative of the fact your selling folks an inferior product than what was intended. For the remainder of the length of time of time of Ancestry.com Classic, I have changed all my trees to private, and unsearchable. I am trying to finish up as much work as I can before it's untimely death and demise! I will have to go into mourning after you kill it.

The tree hosting portion, and the NEW life story is irrelevant in regards to you including this into anyone's family trees. There are the buttons to hide family events, alternate facts, historical insights. These buttons serve no purpose as they are only an illusion of hiding these events from the Life Story or the Facts page from the tree owner. Trying to recreate the original Timeline into the Facts page has created a lot of chaos! Users like myself have spent a great deal of time, and a lot of hours filling in valuable life stories written by us for our own families only to be reinterpreted by ancestry.com as garbage. The tree owner should have the right and the ability to permanently turn these on off, and not merely hiding them from one's sight. The tree owner should have control of the content inserted into their tree. By the way, your tip about the HIDE buttons, is just a mere game of hide n' seek for the users, and not the visitors to the tree. Anyone who visits, see the info inserted into someones trees.

There should be an additional button added to both the Life Story, and the Facts Page to Permanently turn off these functions and make them unavailable to others viewers who may have access via public trees or invited to private trees. From the massive amounts of complaints here, online via facebook, and other websites. It it apparent ancestry.com has not been listening hard to customers complaints or valid issues of glossing over these facts.

I tried BETA in its initial stages, and thought it was a joke then, and it still is. Then you introduce this as a NEW product which was not even finished, then you expect your customers to do your job to fix your website. That was wrong! To introduce this as a sneak peek has only disgusted and angered your users and subscribers. Then to tease people with just saying "soon" or any other comments on the discontinuation of ancestry.com classic is absurd. Post a definite date. You must truly feel that your NEW product is more valuable in the long run if you lose your more long devoted subscribers versus gaining short term users for game playing modes on phones and tablets. Yes, I am truly disgusted as to all the recent current events happening on your blogs, your customer support forums, and the ancestry.com messages boards. Yes, I have read it all. There are by far more NEGATIVE complaints then you would see on any pay review sites.

As having stated all the above, you had the number#1 website for family history, genealogy, and research. Now, you have turned it into #2 (You know what I mean). It is truly a worthless  website in trying to get anything done on the family tree portion in New Ancestry. All users should not have to change to various browsers or adjust settings on one's own computer to make the current website functions work as they should. They should work and be available on all platforms as is without having to do all this. This is what I originally liked about ancestry.com versus other products such as MyHeritage. Now, with FamilySearch, and others websites trying to trend along with the use if round circles, and, and clunky platforms to develop a tree. You did not have to follow suit to be a follower when you where the leader! You had set the standard, were a leader. Now you joined the list of the top ten worst websites to use. No matter how much you polish it, it is still going to be #2!

Now for the most common complaint. UGLY GRAY BACKGROUND SCREEN. Give up on this idea. You have only disgusted the realm of users trying to read the screen. This is difficult to read or look at this for extended periods of time.You must feel only little kids are going to be using your current product as it looks like a little child's coloring book with the addition of little rectangular boxes with dotted lines. The choice of color of the current color palette does not transfer well when trying to read the forums or message boards on NEW ancestry. The peacock blue on the white background is almost nearly impossible to read. Please do NOT refer me to change the font colors on my computer as I shouldn't have to. These problems should have been thought out clearly a long time ago. I should be able to view your website from any computer or device without altering my settings.

Why not give up and admit defeat with the round circles, and the appearance of square photos in a round frame. This is on the top of my complaints when I was seeing headless photos for my grandparents and upwards. Then you only continue to gloss over any update as we are working on it. Can't be working too hard. Now, if you wish to use the colors for hyperlinks for the name of a spouse on the Life Story or the Facts page, use blue hyperlinks for males, and pink hyperlinks for females. Using a blue hyperlink for a female makes it appear as if the the woman was a male in reference to using the colors blue for male, pink for female. I had to change from the New ancestry back to classic so I could read the blogs without eye strain from reading the blue text on the white background. Get it right or don't use those colors at all. 

The Map. This is one of the atrocious problems. Location, Location, Location. It is only truly amazing how you have responded to others complaints on this issue. That's it, blame the user for the mistakes! I have seen it it my own tree, complained, and feel as if it was that important to you to get it right. This is another reason the pages tend to load slow because of the time it takes for the map to load on the page. I would rather have a map I could place pins on if I wish. I know where my relatives live, ancestry.com doesn't. Your GPS is broken and way off the mark. Get it right or don't use it at all. 

Another issue I have seen, and this falls on the ancestry owned product find a grave. I complained then about the inclusion of cities that once were as they existed in the timeline of our ancestors, and was the name of the cities they died in. The reply I got from find a grave is that find a grave only uses current city names. This is absurd. Same with any name or place of location as when it existed in a timeline such as being whether it was then a city, town, or township before it was annexed. Many older parts of towns or cities may have been annexed by larger cities, these places and names once existed, please include those. 

Your NEW improved NEW Ancestry has only made it harder and more difficult if not at all impossible for someone to correctly build a family tree, and develop correct source citations for records outside of ancestry resources. You have already eliminated the thousands of hyperlinks from my other source citations which were originally listed in the the Sources included with ancestry's leaf citations. Now they are listed listed under OTHER SOURCES. I tried once to explain this, and was blasted by others who did not understand this concept  of hyperlinks. What you now refer to as web-links which I use for inclusion of other items to websites as a reference source, but is not a sourced citation.

Photos, the Photo Gallery, and the Thumbnails on the Facts Page. I would love to be able to continue to add the photos to each fact as it appears as a thumbnail on the Timeline/Facts page. I would prefer to have more than one photo or thumbnail appear. I do not need to see all the enlarged photos of documents on the Life Story. One of the reasons I think the Life Story needs an "OFF" button. In the person's profile, when I look at the photos, I would rather see the photos as they appeared as thumbnails, and not just  portions of the photos in the rectangular view or shape. This is unsightly, and not very appealing from a visual standpoint. Why do you have to try to emulate other websites. Just because someone else does it does not mean you have to do it. As the old adage of asking "If he jumped off a bridge, would you?" Yours was perfect. It was fun to use. Now I hate to have to work on NEW ancestry. Seeing that this is your intended goal, I for one will stop work on my trees online. I will only use an offline program. Searching will be not be as fun or easy anymore. Once again; here is where, I have to say if you have subscribed and paid for the record and have attached that image to your tree, you should still be able to go back and view that same record for review at anytime without having to be re-directed to the subscriber page. This is just one of the many of the  problems that does exists. That is why I advocate the downloading of all important records than re-uploading to your ancestors. Save it, or lose it after your subscription runs out. 

I believe you announced the introduction of your new product NEW ANCESTRY on June 1, 2015. Clearly, it was not finished. It was a flawed and failed product from the get go. Fire the person. Get rid of your problem. Hire someone who can do the job, knows what is needed, and will get the job done. It can't be that hard. I think the major majority of hardcore followers who are reading, commenting, and talking about this on various groups are tired of hearing "We're sorry". Sorry just don't cut it anymore when you are messing with our ancestors stories. I truly believe that the way this has also been handled by ancestry was very poorly. Various other pro-New Ancestry users were being hostile towards anyone who was involved in any discussions of Saving "Classic"ancestry.com and making any NEGATIVE comments. Now, you change and say that this was a Sneak Peek, which is more  like a sneak attack. Whether this was considered a sneak peek or not. It still has too many bugs, and why should we fix your problems. Clearly, you don't have the right people working for you.

Now, it appears you have dropped the ball on the Military Tribute pages. You didn't even mention it on this latest update. Geez, how you have honored our veterans by scraping the idea altogether. How appropriate. Our Veterans deserve better than that. 

I am baffled as how you continue to handle this situation with denial, refusal, and lack of any admission of guilt in this whole catastrophe. The apathy that you have shown in your lackluster responses and your comments to users and subscribers has been downright appalling in some respect, and it appears you do not have the respect of some who were involved in discussions about this. Listen to your customers, whether they are good reviews or negative complaints, you just may learn something!

In a perfect world, you wouldn't even mess with someone else's family trees. It is their information to exchange between relatives, and distant cousins. It is not here for you to merely play games, and insert unnecessary photos, and comments regarding Sears Roebuck & Co., or any other comments, this is totally ridiculous in all aspects. I have seen and read enough comments regarding this. When I seen the photo of Hitler inserted into the life story of someone who was of Jewish descent, I felt offended by it for the many men and women who died as a result of his dictatorship. 

Lastly, when are you cancelling the use of ancestry.com "Classic"?


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