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Feedback on latest software updates

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


BeauBear Report 24 Jun 2013 15:53

I sent this feedback to the Support Team, and I am posting it here for any further comments or feedback:

Dear GR,

I have a number of concerns about the latest software updates, and I raised some of them immediately after the updates, but I have received no response.

Having used the new release for a while I am concerned that the capabilities of GR searches have taken a backwards step, rather than a forwards one.

My main concerns are:

1) search results used to be in columns allowing the results to be sorted on column name, this functionality does not exist with the new layout. It was a convenient way to sort the data on date, or first name, or last name, etc. to find the specific result quicker. Results from searching member trees are still displayed in this manner, but not searching records.

2) birth searches used to have a search field for the mother's maiden name, which is not present with the new format. This results in many more search results, as one cannot filter by MMN. The advanced search does not include MMN either.

3) there are less search results per page, requiring more paging and scrolling to view the same amount of data.

4) the default search panel is not tailored to the type of search one is attempting - e.g. an event type of death is included on Census records; an event type of of marriage is not included on marriage searches; a default event type of Births is still the default for death searches. This can be very confusing for newcomers, and frustrating for existing users, partciularly when a date or range of dates is used to narrow the search.

5) the results of a search are not consistently in the same order; there does not appear to be a sequencing attribute/field, and there is no option to specify the sequence of the results table.

6) the results of a census search are not in a standard format across census years, so it is not easy to scan with the eyes under a particular column as it used to be. Each search result takes longer to review than it used to.

I would appreciate some feedback on these issues please.

I also posted my previous comments to the forum, but nobody from GR has commented on them, apart from InspectorGreenPen commenting on a constructive and well written report.

I can understand if you are busy working on improvements and fixes to the latest release, but an acknowledgement of my feedback would be polite.


Porkie_Pie Report 24 Jun 2013 19:51

BeauBear, GR don't generaly post acknowledgements on the suggestions board.

Natasha may include what is suggested on her thread "Suggestions Board Roundup" and is supposed to give an update every other week so keep and eye on that thread to see if your comments have been included.

failing that use the "contact us" under the help section and continue to inundate them until you get a reasonable response

Also use the feedback facility within the tree itself, as I believe that all feedback through that channel is monitored by the development team



SylviaInCanada Report 25 Jun 2013 04:15


as PP says, GR do NOT reply or respond to postings on here.

They did say when they set up this Board that there would be responses ................ that lasted only a matter of weeks. They also said at that point that they would remove any threads that were not "Suggestions".

The closest you will get is Natasha's "Suggestions Board Round-up" ......

................ and even that may be doubtful as your post is not providing Suggestions for GR, you are giving feedback on problems.

The only people who will respond on here are other members ........ and then only if they are interested or affected by whatever the "suggestion" is.

IGP happens to be interested.

I do not use the tree facility now ................ I have part of my tree (about 130 people) on here, but maintain a much larger one elsewhere.

I am on GR solely because I love to help people searching for information (ancestors only, not Living Relations), and for no other reason.

So I had no reason to comment on your previous post.

Many other GR members seemingly pay no attention to this Board at all ................. they stick to General Chat, or other Boards.


BeauBear Report 25 Jun 2013 08:09

Thanks Roy & Sylvia,

I always send feedback from the Tree page and / or direct to the Support Team, but my feedback regarding the latest updates seems to fall on deaf ears, so I have posted different feedback to three different boards, but still no acknowledgement!

It's a shame because GR have spent a lot of time on developing the upgrades (with insufficient time testing tthem from the members perspective) and do not appear to be acknowledging feedback from users in order to improve the changes.

I am still very much actively researching my, and my families ancestors, and researching for friends, but the changes implemented recently are a step backwards - and not an improvement in my opinion. I am disheartened by the negativity, and the reduced functionality of the latest changes!

My primary suggestions are to return the search results to a tabular format - which had more functionality, provided more data to a page, requiring less scrolling/paging and provided the ability to sort data in ascending or descending order of the column data. This concept was very useful, but has now been replaced by a much more basic search results listing that is difficult to review quickly by scanning (with the eyes), and includes the field names on every single line of results - taking up valuable space and to no advantage.

Additionally, the search filters have little correspondence to the search being performed, and options that were previously available on a search have been removed, such as Mothers Maiden Name on Births. I suggest this is re-instated and the search criteria is made specific to the type of search being undertaken. The latest "updates" are extremely detrimental to the site and confusing for users, whilst offering less functionality compared to a month ago.

I appreciate that the majority of active subscribed GR members have completed their own quests and primarily use the boards, but surely the GR product is aimed at helping all levels of family historians - from the total beginner to the professional genealogist, and the latest software release fails to accomplish this, in my honest opinion.

By all means IMPROVE the website, but do not replace adequate functionality with inadequate functionality that results in a step backwards. And acknowledge user feedback - even if no action is going to be taken in the short term - keep your members placated.

These are my suggestions.


DazedConfused Report 25 Jun 2013 14:09

To be honest I have never used any search facility on here.

Far better on other sites........

This post will probably be deleted by GR and I will get an email telling me off....

You gets what you pays for


InspectorGreenPen Report 25 Jun 2013 18:51

If someone has never used the search facility on here, how could they couldn't possibly know it is far better elsewhere?


Community Advisor Report 2 Jul 2013 15:34

Hi BeauBear,

Thanks for your post and feedback. I've passed your feedback onto the product team who will be replying personally to your points.



DazedConfused Report 2 Jul 2013 16:36

IGP - I base my opinion on the fact that so many people complain about them.

And the fact that GR do not own nor transcribe any of their own records as we all know. So as said before I will go to the Organ Grinder and not the Monkey.

And I think the fact that they include searches in their packages which can be found for free elsewhere somewhat disingenuous. IE FreeBMD.

And I know plenty of friends (and I mean people who I actually went to school with, worked with etc.,) who have told me the reason they bought the subs to this site is because it was the cheapest around.

I was brought up by a very astute gran, who always advised never buy the cheapest as you will regret it afterwards, far better to save for a while and then buy the best you can afford. So I have lived by this all my life.

Sorry if my comments offend anyone, but that is my opinion.


jax Report 2 Jul 2013 17:06

You are not allowed to give an opinion DC

I got a warning for saying something similar to that using less words.....Oh and I have been a Gold member when I first became a paying I did know what I was talking about

It wasn't difficult to work out who reported it either :-D


SylviaInCanada Report 2 Jul 2013 19:50

I would also base my opinion on the number of queries posted from members who have been unable to find their information on here ........... but it has been found within seconds on other sites.

Some of that is undoubtedly due to lack of knowledge on how to use the records efficiently, but not all.

and most of them are not due to mis-spellings, or mis-translations.


DazedConfused Report 2 Jul 2013 19:55

Raising head above parapet - post still here!!!


SylviaInCanada Report 2 Jul 2013 20:07

:-D :-D :-D


InspectorGreenPen Report 4 Jul 2013 21:46

Unfortunately, basing opinion on the fact that so many people complain about them is hearsay, and as Judge Judy says, hearsay is inadmissible.

We are back to:-

If someone has never used the search facility on here, how could they couldn't possibly know it is far better elsewhere?

Perhaps someone who has first hand of using the facility could comment objectively?


DazedConfused Report 4 Jul 2013 22:28

And we all know who that will be!!!!


RolloTheRed Report 11 Jul 2013 10:49

The search facility works fine and I prefer the new layout.
It is faster than some other well known products and has less of a tendency to drag in near misses. Inferring something on the basis of other opinions without actual experience is crass.

It does look like they are designing to a screen size of 1280x1024 or better.
Anybody using an older laptop, 1024x768 screen will not get an optimal result. It is pretty well unusable on smartphones.

If you are doing a birth search and want to qualify it with mothers name just enter it into the "optional keywords" box. I agree it would be better to have a dedicated field for mothers name. This only on the GRO Index from 1910.