27 June 2013

Time to Suck It Up and Say 'Goodbye' To Old Search

Old Search
     Today the genealogy community got news that has long been expected: Ancestry.com is getting rid of Old Search.  They sent out an email to those of us who are part of only "2% of our subscribers that use the old search function."  Ancestry will be transitioning into an updated version of New Search, which I guess will soon simply be "Search."

     In an apparent attempt to make the transition easier, as well as to improve the functionality of the lone search function, Ancestry is asking users of Old Search to respond to a survey.

New Search
     I was certainly disappointed to hear this news, but at the same time, I knew that this had been coming for a long time.  Part of the problem is that when New Search first came out it was terrible - I mean terrible!  There have been a lot of improvements over time, and the search has certainly been improved.  But at the same time, I've never really had a need to use New Search, since Old Search does everything that I need it to do.

    Considering things, I use Old Search because it works.  It's not the prettiest, but it simply works.  I tell it to do something, and it does it.  Also, the way I search (start with a broad search and drill down into specific data collections and there add collection specific search criteria) is perfect for the way Old Search is organized.  Also, I'm used to Old Search; it's simple, traditional, comfortable and fits me well.

     New Search... works...  After many updates, the current version of this search does get me the results I want, though I feel like it takes more work and takes up more space.  I feel like New Search is an attempt to make Ancestry.com flashier and help users find records they weren't necessarily looking for.  I do believe that Ancestry.com wants to help their users.  The only thing?  I don't necessarily want their help!  There's a large learning curve to adjust to New Search, and there are a ton of filters, search boxes and preferences (that don't always stay set).  Talk about overwhelming.

     In the end, I need to look at this situation practically.  I knew this was coming, so I'm trying to not dissolve into a fit of whining and complaining.   I will offer Ancestry.com my feedback, but can only hope for the best and make the best of the situation (even though I'm not happy with it).  

1 comment:

Ruby Craft said...

Very well written. Remember New Coke? Too bad only 2% use Old search. But then again how many people does that 2% add up to.


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