ON THE RECORD

An en­hanced ver­sion of the ge­neal­ogy sub­scrip­tion site has been made avail­able to mem­bers, of­fer­ing a new-look in­ter­face and sev­eral ad­di­tional fea­tures

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The lat­est news and data re­leases

An up­dated ver­sion of ances­try.co.uk has been un­veiled to fam­ily his­to­ri­ans on the web.

The re­vamped ge­neal­ogy site, launched on Fri­day 7 Au­gust, of­fers a new-look user in­ter­face and a num­ber of ex­tra tools and fea­tures.

Among the ma­jor changes is the ad­di­tion of a ‘LifeStory’ to each an­ces­tor’s pro­file, which col­lates all in­for­ma­tion about an in­di­vid­ual into a sin­gle, chrono­log­i­cal time­line. As well as maps, doc­u­ments and pho­to­graphs, the fea­ture is en­hanced by au­to­mat­i­cally-gen­er­ated ‘His­tor­i­cal In­sights’ – key events from his­tory in­tended to pro­vide wider con­text to a per­son’s life.

To make source ci­ta­tions quicker to view, each pro­file also in­cludes an up­dated ‘Facts’ sec­tion, which visu­ally con­nects each snip­pet of in­for­ma­tion – such as a place of res­i­dence – to the orig­i­nal source it came from in an ad­ja­cent col­umn.

Al­though the web­site had only just launched at the time of go­ing to press, some Ances­try users were able to share their views on­line.

In one com­ment on the Who Do You Think You Are? Mag­a­zine Face­book page, Me­lanie Caldicott said that she liked what she had seen of the “far more up-to-date” in­ter­face so far.

How­ever, other early feed­back was more mixed, with some users stat­ing that they pre­ferred the old ver­sion of the web­site. An­other Ances­try mem­ber posted to say that he had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems with the pho­to­graphs he had at­tached to peo­ple in his fam­ily tree, while oth­ers found that the web­site in­terepreted place names in­cor­rectly, with cer­tain towns and cities be­ing con­fused with sim­i­larly-named lo­ca­tions over­seas. Speak­ing to Who Do You Think You Are?

Mag­a­zine from the US, Ances­try’s prod­uct di­rec­tor Dan Lawyer said he was aware of the teething prob­lems and that de­vel­op­ers were look­ing to rec­tify the is­sues as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We’re in­vest­ing a lot of ef­fort and en­ergy into try­ing to fix prob­lems and make things bet­ter, be­cause it re­ally both­ers our users and it both­ers us too,” he said. “[ The place names is­sue] is just one ex­am­ple of early feed­back we have re­ceived, mainly unique to the UK au­di­ence.

“We are con­stantly look­ing at the com­ments in an ef­fort to un­der­stand peo­ple’s needs and be able to add that fi­nal pol­ish.”

Al­though newly-reg­is­tered users only have ac­cess to the re­vamped site, ex­ist­ing Ances­try mem­bers cur­rently have the op­tion of switch­ing back to the old ver­sion. How­ever, the new site will even­tu­ally be­come the only op­tion, a move which Mr Lawyer be­lieves will take place “be­fore the end of the year”.

We are con­stantly look­ing at the com­ments in an ef­fort to un­der­stand peo­ple’s needs

The new-look ver­sion of Ances­try’s site went live to all mem­bers on Fri­day 7 Au­gust af­ter sev­eral months of beta test­ing

The web­site gen­er­ates a ‘LifeStory’ for each an­ces­tor

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