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
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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