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Spring clean

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RolloTheRed Report 8 May 2012 15:47

Now that there are signs that winter may be over, at least here in the south, maybe it is time to have a spring clean.

The current home page of GRU is a terrible rag bag of stuff which badly affects log on times as all the supporting code is run.
For the most part it is of little interest for most members many of whom bookmark the site so as to avoid it. Nevertheless much of the code is invoked anyway.
If it is meant as a way to navigate the site then I can only laugh rofh.

With no current sign in the site loads very fast. It is after the sign in that all the fun starts, maybe they have a dream of running the queues at Terminal 5 and are practicing... Sure it is down from > 1 minute to < 20 secs but that is still pretty poor.

And it looks absolutely awful.

My suggestion is that get in a proper web designer who will clear out all this clutter and drag the site screaming and kicking into NOW htm5 and all.
He should also be allowed to find somebody who can create a new implementation from scratch carrying the best features forwards but "done right".

So who would vote to retain any of this stuff on the home page ?

nnnn individuals in your tree
mini tree
fact of the year (most people know where google and Wiki are to be found)
quick search (find all the towns that have your family name)
current member activity ( quiz or find ancestors all the same)
hot matches (luckily you can turn this off)
genes community (shrinking)
my updates (on the home page ? why?)
historical records (google, wiki thank you again)
genes on twitter (no thank you)
chat to an expert (not very often)(used to be commonplace on the boards, rapidly disappearing)
puff for long lost family (mawkish tv show)
puff for British newspaper archive (see if yr ancestor was a toff or a criminal, expensive)
visit our new blog (last post other than TV puffs etc 15 Feb 2012)

privacy policy last updated 10 May 2010 and at variance with change in the law 26 May 2012



LadyScozz Report 9 May 2012 02:07

I don't need most of the things on the Home Page

I'd use the search sometimes - on the toolbar (quick search is superfluous). I ignore the rest.

It looks like a dog's breakfast :-D

I gave up trying to keep GR as a Favourite, I type the www etc every time, and that takes me to the Home Page.

Last time I looked at GR on Facebook it was full of blurb about TV shows in the UK. Many members don't live in the UK (I don't). I take it that GR is a sponsor?


RolloTheRed Report 9 May 2012 09:07

LLF is an ITV progam sponsored by GR. ITV have sold the program to some non UK networks. The format is a hunt for long lost living relatives. The research is good. The general production though is quite a way short of WDYTYA though if you are happy with the production standards of HH you will not be disappointed. The show is quite popular with some members, not with me though.

Replays are available from the usual culprits.

Discussing watching UK TV catch up from outside the UK is usually a sure way to invoke the order of the big boot. Splat.


LadyScozz Report 9 May 2012 10:38

I don't watch much tv at all.

I know WDYTYA is on here, but I haven't seen it. Not even sure if they do research on Aussies! I'm sure it's interesting, but I'd quickly lose interest if it was week after week about people I'd never heard of.

I'd rather play with the computer or read a book than watch tv. Seems to be all soaps. DIY, selling houses & US shows,.......... and ANNOYING advertisements!

btw Rollo - I'm a lot further south than you lol Autumn here, today was 22C and sunny :-D


RolloTheRed Report 9 May 2012 11:39

WDYTYA usually features somebody quite well known, often popular actors / actresses. The research is excellent and by and large the episodes v interesting though one with some of my uk ancestors got the thumbs down lol.

When you are so far south the only things to talk to are the penguins then you just know its time to think about a flight north. All my many upside down rellies seem to like freezing cold beer bbqs on Christmas Day and the worst telly in the world not to mention BigPond. Home and away is very popular in the UK but I have never got past the first ad break.

I like ...erm ... Green Island, the southern cross, big Holden cars, Sydney Opera House (but not he acoustics even mk2), Australian rules football. This should be screened in the UK as it is utterly entertaining but probably breaks most of the elf n safety rules.

Oz politics must be the most dog eats dog on the planet. No wonder the tv soaps cannot keep up. fwiw one of our lot is even in the legislature and is to say the least no better than the others.

Over the last 30 years the biggest change is that you can now get a decent meal in Sydney. OTOH you also need a babel fish.



LadyScozz Report 10 May 2012 00:30

lol Rollo - you'd fit right in here. But you'd still be called a whinging Pom.

not many penguins where I live in the sub-tropics. Kookaburras, parrots...... and horrible flying foxes

The only time we've had a bbq on Christmas Day was when we cooked seafood.

I've never seen Home & Away. I only know the other soap is at Ramsay Street because a mad Pom kept saying Ramsay Street to (at?) me when I was in Europe.

OH got satellite tv... that means we have a greater choice of rubbish......... which I don't watch. I sometimes watch sport (Rugby, or cricket) and I'll be watching SOME of the Olympics

I have BigBog. Absolute last resort is contacting the help desk!

Last time I was in Sydney (apart from driving north/south through the place) was over 30 years ago, don't remember what I ate.

You like Aerial PingPong? I like Union (the Thugs game played by Gentlemen)

Nah, you don't need a babel fish, get the Strine book!



grannyfranny Report 10 May 2012 09:41

However the 'where to start' section might be helpful to new members who haven't found their way round yet. But some expansion on the basics there, and offering the help on the boards for further advice.


LadyScozz Report 10 May 2012 11:30

somebody's watching............ the dog's breakfast has been rearranged :-D


Cynthia Report 10 May 2012 13:56

It's still a dog's breakfast though Scozz, don't you think? I think it's just been moved around the dish a bit......:-D

Personally, I would do away with a lot of the clutter which distracts eg:

The Fact of the Year - easily googled as said above.

Hot Matches

Current Member Activity - why do we need to know that?

The brown advert for Twitter is ample

The advert for LLF - mawkish is the right word to use as, on FB, the GR team are forever encouraging us to weep and wail over the programme.

Definitely the DISCUSSIONS advert which is neither true nor particularly useful.

I would like to see an ABC Home Page

A - Attractive to look at

B - Bold and basic guidelines

C - Clear to read and understand

It would be good to see much better advertising of the Community Boards in a way which would attract both old and new members to use them.

I stumbled upon them by accident 10 years ago. I had no idea that there were such dedicated members willing to help.

Meanwhile, we live in hope.....



JoyDean Report 10 May 2012 15:00

Under activity alert, I do not need to see "We looked for new Hot Matches but didn't find any. Try adding more relations to your tree." because I had opted out of the matches. Having said that, I just checked in email preferences and found that the matches had been ticked but not by me.


SylviaInCanada Report 10 May 2012 19:28


just been to see the rearranged dog's breakfast.

Looks a bit cleanr, but still a lot of information to take in, most of it useless as it can be found elsewhere.

I got this, for example ................

Activity Alerts

My Updates
We looked for new Hot Matches but didn't find any. Try adding more relations to your tree. 5 May 2012
We found 24 new Trumps for you. 5 May 2012
We found 24 new Trumps for you. 25 Apr 2012
We looked for new Hot Matches but didn't find any. Try adding more relations to your tree. 19 Apr 2012
We found 4 new Trumps for you. 14 Apr 2012

The 24 New Trumps found on 5 May and 25 Apr came in emails to my home address ................ and were for the SAME person, despite the fact that the implication is otherwise :-D :-D



LadyScozz Report 11 May 2012 00:40

On the right side of the dog's dish - Activity Alert. I have five on the list, all about hotmatches, seen & unseen. I clicked on Hotmatches, none there.

I did get hotmatches, have looked at them........ but why is there an alert for some that aren't there?

I look at My Account frequently to see what's ticked and not ticked. Especially the "automatic renewal" box....... magic happens!

Wish they'd take away the Fact of the Year - we know how to use g**gle!



Estelle Advisor Report 14 May 2012 16:01

Hi everyone, it has been interesting reading your feedback about the homepage. I'd be interested to know what you would like to see on your own homepages. I am aware that most, if not all, people on this thread are quite advanced users of the site so anything aimed at beginners wouldn't be helpful. Please do let me know what would be of most use to you though.

Kind regards,



Cynthia Report 14 May 2012 16:43

Hello Estelle.

To be perfectly honest, I very rarely look at my homepage because I know my way round the site - as do most of the others on here. As it stands, absolutely nothing grabs me on there.

I think any homepage should be aimed at beginners/new users to help them navigate their way through the various aspects of the site. That is why I stated that I would like the homepage to be ABC as above, not for my sake, but for new people.

It will be interesting to see what the others think.



SylviaInCanada Report 14 May 2012 20:20

Hello Estelle

Like Cynthia, I almost never go onto my Home page ............. I have the Boards Summary page Bookmarked, and go directly there.

I only go to Home page when I have to sign in (even though I never deliberately log out :-) ), or when something is said about it ..................... as in these new changes.

So there really is nothing that would interest me that you could put on there!

It is now far too busy, and difficult to understand, so it needs a complete re-think.

I agree with Cynthia that it IS of use to newbies ............. and therefore it should be clear and easy to read. Cynthia's suggestions are an example of what you should be looking at ...................

"A - Attractive to look at

B - Bold and basic guidelines

C - Clear to read and understand

It would be good to see much better advertising of the Community Boards in a way which would attract both old and new members to use them."

Would it be possible for you to add "opt outs" for items on the Home page ................ so that those who do not want to see any of them can just click N? Maybe on the My Accounts page where we can opt out of other things??



LadyScozz Report 15 May 2012 00:30

Hi Estelle

I do look at the Home Page, because I haven't had much luck with GR on Favourites. Some of the bugs seem to have gone, so I'll try marking it again.

I agree about having something on the Home Page to lead members to the community. I looked years ago, I think there were only a couple of boards then, about finding people; I only recently found the other boards.

There's too much clutter on the Home Page, with some things doubled up (Search on the tool bar & quick search). We don't need some of it (like Fact of the Year).

The Activity Alert - I find that annoying! My alert tells me I have unseen hotmatches, if I go to hotmatches I don't have any.

I haven't seen one of those awful purple Error Messages for days.......... have the bug catchers been in?


JoyDean Report 15 May 2012 08:16

"Hi everyone, it has been interesting reading your feedback about the homepage. I'd be interested to know what you would like to see on your own homepages. I am aware that most, if not all, people on this thread are quite advanced users of the site so anything aimed at beginners wouldn't be helpful. Please do let me know what would be of most use to you though.

Kind regards,


- I would suggest that the team looks at these::


RolloTheRed Report 15 May 2012 09:27

Surely not to any of these ? Big raspberry from me anyway from a design point of view - not even yesterday's web more like back in modem days. If you like that sort of thing suppose we could go all the way back to the text web running on unix of the 1980s but I feel that a more modern look n feel is a better way.

This is a COMMERCIAL site not the whisteblowers and shunters social club at least not yet... The home page needs to be relevant, not full of junk eg today in history and it need some energy which it sure does not have right now.

All of the FH sites are pretty awful when it comes to site design but this one is better than many, especially from the point of view of people getting into the hobby.

In any case Estelle is just talking about moving the deckchairs around not redesigning the site and get it working properly. If she looked out the window she would be able to see a large iceberg.



Estelle Advisor Report 15 May 2012 10:18

Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback so far. All I wanted to know was what you'd like to see on the homepage. It is interesting to read that many of you go directly to the message boards. Is there anything you find useful, such as My Updates or a link to your Hot Matches, for example?
What we have done so far the homepage is stop loading some content directly from the database. We have seen that this has vastly imrpoved performance, as Scozz has noticed. Hopefully the rest of you have seen it too.
I am collating your feedback and passing it on, which is why I have asked the question. And I am grateful for the constructive feedback and comments so far.
On a different note, many of you talk about fixing the bugs. Our technical team do try and keep on top of these. We are aware of different problems with the tree at the moment. These are being looked at by our tree team who are continually working through the list. If you do come cross bugs please report them to the support team who can then test them and add them to our system.
Kind regards,


LadyScozz Report 15 May 2012 10:45

I noticed the lack of the dreaded purple error message.

No idea if other things have been fixed. I keep seeing threads about problems other people are having with adding photographs and documents, printing trees etc (I don't do any of that).

I tried the new tree yesterday, added two names without any problems.

But I still don't like it!

It's too slow! Can't view all the children at once (of a couple) if there are more than six........ and that navigation arrow thing is in the way. There's no "slider" on the screen - have to use the arrows to go left and right.