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Was This Really An Improvement?

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  • Was This Really An Improvement?

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, I could go to my Y-DNA - Standard Y-STR Values just as I can today. Back then there was a small information icon that I could click on and see what the *, ** and *** meant. Now there is nothing on that page to provide that information so I have to go search for it. I ask, is that an improvement? If so how! If not why was it done.

    Back then I could go the the FAQ section an put in DYS19 and I'd get a page with information about DYS19 and what the ** meant. Today I have to go to the "The Family Tree DNA Learning Center BETA". I put in DYS19 and I was taken to a page about "If DNA Heritage offered a Y-DNA STR test that Family Tree DNA does not, what will happen to those results?" Of course there was no mention of **. Please see my question above.

    After an extended search I finally found.
    * A value of “0” for any marker indicates that the lab reported a null value for this marker. Our labs retest all cases of null values multiple times to confirm their accuracy. Mutations causing null values are infrequent, but fathers pass on null values to their sons just like other Y-DNA mutations. Therefore, related male lineages such as a father and a son are likely to share null values.
    ** DYS19 is also known as DYS394.
    *** The Family Tree DNA and the Genographic Project report DYS389II differently. found a page with this information."

    I must ask, if DYS19 is mentioned anywhere in the "The Family Tree DNA Learning Center BETA" why doesn't a search from from anywhere in the "The Family Tree DNA Learning Center BETA" find it? Please see my question in the first paragraph.

    I've only been dealing with FTDNA since 2002. In my opinion we is #2 on their list bad changes. #1 was their first attempt at a "Dashboard". It didn't last very long. I hope it isn't long before FTDNA wakes up again and goes back to a user friendly website. I think a website that provides the user with the information they need in a user friendly matter is much better that what we have today. I can not believe the Bennett I use to know is happy with today's website.

  • #2
    Yes it seems the recent "improvements" have made things more difficult especially the FAQ to "Learning Center" transition and the pedigree debacles. Both these features are difficult to navigate, I do wonder if any of the management of FTDNA tries out these new features. I would especially like them to look at someone's pedigree and try to figure out if that person is a 4th or 5th etc. cousin to them.

    How do they expect new people to understand what is going on when long time users can't figure it out? It seems many times they make changes for the sake of making changes without a clear improvement being made. To an outsider many of these changes seem more like busy work given to new employees. What was wrong with a basic FAQ list for each test? It's simple and most people understand it. For a pedigree keep it simple and compact, FTDNA does the opposite.


    • #3
      No, it wasn't an improvement. But look on the bright side. At some future date, FTDNA will be able to trot out a NEW, IMPROVED interface that corrects these and other problems, such as the lack of a condensed, horizontal pedigree view that is easy to read and easy to print. In other words, the defects that have been introduced are opportunities for future improvements that have marketing value. Or am I too cynical? But, for now, the interface is just about useless for me.


      • #4

        I have only been here about 3 months. I have never seen a site more difficult to mine for information, and I mean BASIC information about the test, results, how to use the site, everything!!
        So, I agree with your sentiments. Things seem to be far more difficult than necessary.
        To tell you the truth, it kind of makes me wonder about the results...


        • #5
          I don't do a search in Family Tree DNA, I do my search in google, there is a lot of information out there that is easier to find.


          • #6
            Originally posted by deniseneufeld View Post
            I don't do a search in Family Tree DNA, I do my search in google, there is a lot of information out there that is easier to find.
            You can do that, if you know your ways around DNA testing...

            Otherwise, I would recommend starting at either or and selecting For Newbies from the menu.

            W. (Mr.)

            I agree that the Family Tree DNA Learning Center is not like a tutorial, but the FTDNA webinars are