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New Tree Tool ???

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  • To those who consider leaving

    Ladies and gentlemen, please do not leave. Without you, it might be impossible to arrive at the right functionality!

    Thank you from another tester, FTDNA customer, fellow doing genealogical research...
    Last edited by dna; 27 September 2014, 01:03 PM.


    • Originally posted by LynCra View Post
      Are FTDNA senior management aware that people are removing trees and considering whether to remove their kits because concerns about the new tree functionality are not being appropriately addressed ?
      I'm certainly not going to remove my kits! I just removed the trees associated with them.


      • Yes, it's the trees that are the problem, not the genetic data. Still wishing for GEDmatch to return to full functionality, so we can get the tools (both genetic and genealogical) that we need.


        • Originally posted by John McCoy View Post
          Yes, it's the trees that are the problem, not the genetic data. Still wishing for GEDmatch to return to full functionality, so we can get the tools (both genetic and genealogical) that we need.
          It really should not be necessary to resort to 3rd party tools.


          • Well, If they fixed the miserable excuse of a tool,

            Originally posted by LynCra View Post
            It really should not be necessary to resort to 3rd party tools.
            It wouldn't be necessary.

            I'm fed up with trees with 80% of the entries marked private.


            • That'll show 'em... NOT

              Yes, let's everyone cut off our nose(s) to spite our face(s).

              Look, I'm as unhappy as anyone about the new tree tool. However, the current incarnation has made it hard enough to look for patterns among my DNA matches; please folks, don't compound it removing your trees, as I imagine the privacy bug will be fixed soon.

              I think we should keep after FTDNA, but let's not undermine ourselves and our fellow researchers.


              • Can we go back to the old tree?

                I must say that I really loathe the changes made to the tree on the FTDNA site. It is very hard to navigate and not easy to be able to scroll over everything to get a sense of dates and locations. You have to click into each person to be able to see that. I see others are also saying the same things about the issues where large amounts of trees are private too. It would be a shame if people removed their trees from the site. Please do something about this, we need to share surnames, dates and geography easily to be able to scan for matches. The new site has just made an already difficult task, more difficult. There are few enough gedcoms posted already, we don't want the ones that are there to be removed too.


                • Something I noticed when I first went on my brother's tree was that half of his people were marked private, which really puzzled me as I used the same Gedcom for his tree that I used for mine. I signed out and went over to my test and tree. I changed some things that were public that shouldn't have been, and check on some of the people that were private on my brothers tree, but were showing on mine as in GGG grandparents as they should have been. Totally puzzled I went back to my brother's test and tree. His tree was suddenly showing all those previously private GGG's. I still haven't figured out the why and wherefore of that.

                  But I still don't want to deal with these family trees in the format that they are now appearing. Too awkward, too poorly spaced and too many clicks.


                  • I wont take my bat and ball and sulk off

                    Wow...while I may not agree or be happy with some changes.. I'm not inclined to "get the sulks and take my bat and ball and go home" I'll stick around and see what the future brings.


                    • Ha, nobody said they were leaving. Some are choosing to remove their trees for the time being which is their choice. The new format is disappointing to say the least, but I think the real disappointment was how we were told how much we would love the new tree feature before it was launched. There seems to be a real disconnect between what the customers want as far as features at FTDNA (not just the trees) and what FTDNA thinks that we want.


                      • Customer perception

                        This issue goes beyond just the series of events related to the current tree... it goes to the core of customer perception combined with company recognition of needs and prioritization of resources. How much has been invested in this most recent debacle that could have been more wisely put toward actual functioning dna tools?

                        There has been a long wish list of things genealogists have been begging for to make more effective and productive use of the data obtained from testing. This is everything from the basic tree enhancements (I don't remember this being high on the list), to phasing data for better matching and analytical and graphical support for FF projects. This is currently not even a category listed on the project search page, yet there are FTDNA autosomal projects "out there".

                        When people began expressing displeasure with this latest tree after the pre-release build up, the response was to the effect that small fixes will be implemented to get it functioning, but get used to the new interface. There still has been no explanation about why the switch to the new tree, what they hope to accomplish, or even where they are going. It felt paternalistic and condescending even if it was meant to be "responsive". Many of us have been doing this for a long time and are not impressed by pretty graphics and useless bells and whistles when the nuts and bolts are not in place.

                        The frustration comes in because we can see clearly that there are programmers with passion who do understand what genetic genealogists want... because they are creating it on 3rd party sites. Tools are available that are both easy to use and easy to understand by non-technical participants... but not by any of the major testing companies.

                        Maybe there is about to be a mind-shift. Maybe it will become the norm to get test results one place and take them somewhere else more useful to seek and assess match data. Or maybe the big 3 will become more responsive to customer requests/needs/perceptions.


                        • Thanks

                          This is a step in the right direction, was able to upload my tree and assign one of my matches to the correct person. It is very hard to do and I will wait for improvements to try the next one. Drop and drag is too clumsy for any tree of size. The lag time from moving the mouse to movement of the display is way too slow. And so little info is displayed that even with a map ( that is a famous competitor's map ) I still get lost.


                          • The awful new trees are being discussed on a rootsweb list I subscribe to that has nothing to do with DNA at all, completely off-topic. I don't think I've ever seen that happen with any FTDNA feature before.


                            • What does it do?

                              So, profiles can be dragged and dropped into a tree successfully.

                              But, WHAT DOES IT DO? Why was the change to this format made? When you drag and drop into the tree, is there an underlying function that is supposed to help? What real benefit should we see to our research efforts? What is the plan going forward that will reassure us this is a good thing and we should learn to live with it?

                              I can imagine that it could lead to some form of chromosome mapping eventually or a means of suggesting common ancestors, but don't have confidence that the decision makers have that kind of vision in mind.

                              Why would anyone spend time dragging and dropping tested and KNOWN family members into an icon or graphic based tree? Especially given any updates to the FTDNA tree would have to be manually entered rather than simply uploaded so those icon connections can be maintained. Considering there isn't enough information shown and it's a lot more time consuming than the old tree, it really has me puzzled. Why would someone do that rather than spending time developing triangulated clusters and seeking to connect to extend the family tree back in time? It is easier... but, what does it do?

                              There is a lot I don't understand about this whole tree fiasco. I wish there were some answers...


                              • Exactly!

                                Originally posted by LynCra View Post
                                The designers show little understanding of user needs if the icons are central to the concept. Not only are the pictures superfluous, they are a hindrance to working efficiently with the new tree. If you read the comments you will see that they are a major source of irritation. It is disturbing to see that several people are starting to remove their trees and saying that they will be thinking twice before buying new kits for relatives they were previously planning to test.
                                The designers show little understanding of genealogical research, period, if they consider the photos central to the design. The problem is that they are trying to combine two different types of tool into one interface. As others have said, they should leave "family trees" to (which excels at frivolous and dysfunctional user interfaces), and should leave DNA testing to FTDNA. What FTDNA users need is a lean and mean tool for scanning GEDCOMs for names, dates, and places. Period! The only way the new tree feature can fulfill that function is through a complete, ground-up redesign. Since the designers are giving no sign that that will happen, and seem to think that a few minor tweaks will help, they should not be surprised at the responses they continue to get from serious researchers. Users are understandably upset because we HAD a useful tool, and it has been taken away from us for no defensible reason by people who do not appear to know what they are doing.