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  • Ancestry.com blog

    I was always under the impression that the users of FTDNA were a pretty critical bunch, judging by the nature of many of the posts to this forum. However, people here are real cupcakes compared to a lot of the users posting comments on the Ancestry.com blog. They are making some unpopular changes over there, and the comments are virtually ALL very tough on Ancestry. I am puzzled why these companies seem to totally ignore the preferences of their customers. Seems like a very bad business decision.

  • #2
    I'm sorry. But, that's like asking why Microsoft doesn't continue supporting Windows XP, and earlier versions.

    I have to assume those posts are revolving around the decision to end Family Tree Maker development?

    While I can sympathize with those people who have spent quite a bit of time entering their data, and maintaining it in a proprietary software, it was a business decision. And while I have no access to their business records, I have to presume it was made based upon that, and not some backroom decision to end it on a whim.

    The same could be made for Wholly Genes, who closed their doors a year earlier. That decision hit me particularly hard, and I was caught off guard because I wasn't active for the last few years. But, I understand it, especially in their case, because that was their only product.

    Perhaps the only thing I might have done differently with both those decisions was to support TMG through December 2015, to cover the release of Windows 10, and for FTM support to go through 2017, not 2016. But, that's coming from a user's vision. I have also been on the development side of software, and there comes a time when it doesn't make any financial sense to continue a product. When there's no money coming in from new purchases, it is hard to stomach the bill for support of a dead product.

    In the case of FTM, people can manage their family trees online through Ancestry.com. They don't even have to be paying members. The only loss there is that they can't manage their trees without an internet connection.

    Originally posted by Swennilsson View Post
    I was always under the impression that the users of FTDNA were a pretty critical bunch, judging by the nature of many of the posts to this forum. However, people here are real cupcakes compared to a lot of the users posting comments on the Ancestry.com blog. They are making some unpopular changes over there, and the comments are virtually ALL very tough on Ancestry. I am puzzled why these companies seem to totally ignore the preferences of their customers. Seems like a very bad business decision.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Swennilsson View Post
      I was always under the impression that the users of FTDNA were a pretty critical bunch, judging by the nature of many of the posts to this forum. However, people here are real cupcakes compared to a lot of the users posting comments on the Ancestry.com blog. They are making some unpopular changes over there, and the comments are virtually ALL very tough on Ancestry. I am puzzled why these companies seem to totally ignore the preferences of their customers. Seems like a very bad business decision.
      Actually, Ancestry.com has spent the last 5-6 months making changes and improvements to the new website based on user feedback. Also, in light of the backlash about discontinuing FTM, they have announced they are looking into allowing integration with third party software.

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      • #4
        I think the reason you find users over there much more critical there than here is due to the differences in people interested in genealogy. FTDNA's various tests and results are more technical. So given that, FTDNA users are likely to have more patient users, generally speaking. Over there, they pay subscriptions which may make them feel a bit more entitled.

        I'm surprised some of them bother to "threaten" that they won't renew their subscription. It would be like if people threaten FTDNA that they won't order more tests. It just seems a bit hollow. I know there are other options, but I really doubt they will go through with it. Maybe they just have more spoiled researchers over there? I don't know. Granted, if something new doesn't work like the old, you should speak up, but I don't see the need to get that worked up about something that isn't really broken. Change a color scheme and it really angers some people.

        Just because something changed, does not mean it can't be altered to work like the old or even better. Some people just don't like change at all. It reminds me of how some banks are doing away with tellers in the lobby and replacing them with ATMs indoors. Some people choose to avoid the machines no matter how much the bank pushes them onto them.
        Last edited by The_Contemplator; 17 December 2015, 11:19 PM.

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        • #5
          Click to add comments about New Ancestry

          Click this link add comments about New Ancestry.
          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The_Contemplator View Post
            I'm surprised some of them bother to "threaten" that they won't renew their subscription. It would be like if people threaten FTDNA that they won't order more tests. It just seems a bit hollow. I know there are other options, but I really doubt they will go through with it. Maybe they just have more spoiled researchers over there? I don't know. Granted, if something new doesn't work like the old, you should speak up, but I don't see the need to get that worked up about something that isn't really broken. Change a color scheme and it really angers some people.
            I know, I really don't get the people freaking out over a color change. Some people are saying it depresses them and has completely ruined their tree building/researching experience, that they get no enjoyment out of genealogy now, whatsoever. It's just a color. Surely, the functionality is what matters?

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            • #7
              Frustrated Ancestry Changes

              I'm a longtime serious genealogy researcher that has used Ancestry's online Family Tree Maker extensively for many years. The New Ancestry is frustrating to me. Some of the changes make the site harder to use. Some features have been taken away. Many of the changes make the user do more clicking and mouse movements. The color change is ugly, but I can put up with that. The functional changes are what bother me. It was easier to use before.

              Click here to provide feedback comments about the New Ancestry

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              • #8
                @SJCoker, your link has no relationship to Ancestry

                Mr W

                P.S.
                Twice...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SJCoker View Post
                  I'm a longtime serious genealogy researcher that has used Ancestry's online Family Tree Maker extensively for many years. The New Ancestry is frustrating to me. Some of the changes make the site harder to use. Some features have been taken away. Many of the changes make the user do more clicking and mouse movements. The color change is ugly, but I can put up with that. The functional changes are what bother me. It was easier to use before.

                  Click here to provide feedback comments about the New Ancestry
                  There's not much that's missing anymore. There are a few things that require more clicks but there are several other things which now require less clicks. Overall, I think it works better than before, you just have to give yourself time to get used to it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dna View Post
                    @SJCoker, your link has no relationship to Ancestry
                    I think he is trying to kill two birds with one stone with that link. There is a link on that sheet to the right side where he wants the comments to go.

                    Originally posted by Germanica View Post
                    It's just a color. Surely, the functionality is what matters?
                    It also seems like they don't believe that Ancestry will keep working at it. They freak out, some of them do leave, and then what? Maybe it is the fact that the changes come little by little that they don't notice them? I recall complaints about the profile picture being a circle. Some people really hated that. I can understand disliking it, but hating it that much? Now it is like a rounded square. There have been other changes but if you aren't paying attention you won't notice them.

                    I'm sure there are changes to the amount of clicks, but I can't remember how many. None of the comments I have read seem to be clear on how much things have changed. Criticism of the changes should be clear. Saying it is bad or ugly by itself won't help. If enough people express clearly what is bad and how it could be changed, that would yield better results. I've seen comments about people saying they are glad they left. But if they really left, why are they commenting on that site to begin with?

                    So many complaints against them and yet if you read a lot of them, they would be against each others suggestions. Some complain that there is an attempt to automatically create a story based on what they have. They could, just not use it. Others complain that it isn't good enough and that feature needs to be fixed!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dna View Post
                      @SJCoker, your link has no relationship to Ancestry

                      Mr W

                      P.S.
                      Twice...
                      It was now my turn to make the same mistake, as you did... My apologies!

                      Mr W

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The_Contemplator View Post
                        None of the comments I have read seem to be clear on how much things have changed. Criticism of the changes should be clear. Saying it is bad or ugly by itself won't help. If enough people express clearly what is bad and how it could be changed, that would yield better results.
                        I have researched my family tree for 27 years and used Ancestry.com the last 5 years. I complained about the "New Ancestry" this past summer when the beta was an option for all users. The color scheme was a problem for me, as I don't have perfect vision. The "old ancestry" format and color scheme did not bother me at all, but the new one gave me headaches. I wrote that to them in feedback. Now, whether they made changes, I don't know, but I doubt my vision improved; either way, I am able to use it without getting the headaches I was getting before. Yes, some things are different and there is a learning curve, yet one would find both of those with a new/different product.

                        I think most people are upset with the attitude Ancestry seemed to project. "This is new and improved...deal with it, because we said so." When customers didn't agree, Ancestry.com didn't seem to care or listen. Apparently at some point they did listen and have made some changes.

                        Yes, there are more clicks when entering data, and the profile of each member of a family is cluttered with the birth and death of each sibling (shown as a fact), which isn't necessary to a genealogist when those siblings are listed to the right of the profile and clickable should you need to see more info on them. Things like that are bothersome.

                        "They had a good product as it was and why change what is working," was a common complaint, however, it is their product and one does not have to buy it. In the end, we are consumers and must choose what works for us.

                        Having said all of that, I am looking at it now with a new perspective. I just tell myself to think of it as a competitor to the Ancestry.com I knew and worked with for years, then try to make the best of it. It helps that I stay with the "Facts" version, instead of the lifestory (or whatever it is called). I'm getting used to getting around on it and I think it will be manageable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't know if it's been mentioned, but 23andme is taking a pretty hard hit right now because their whole website is basically in limbo mode right now (lots of features don't work/have been deleted, can't contact a large amount of members due to the anonymity, etc.) Their "medical reports" also aren't too accurate when you compare it to someone like Prometheas.

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                          • #14
                            users hate change

                            I've been doing family history/genealogy for about 20 years, just started with this new DNA stuff. But I've worked at a number of internet startups (dot.com) over the time and there is one constant:

                            No matter what the change is, or how much better it really makes the user experience, a huge percentage of the users will whine, complain and rant about the change. Its kinda the web equivalent of wanting all cars to steer with tillers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: genealogy site users whining about changes

                              Acceptable whining vs. silly whining:

                              Change is inevitable, and people don't like having to think in new ways when user interfaces change, but some of the whining at AncestryDNA and 23andme is justifiable.

                              The 23andme changeover to their new system is proving to be very clumsily managed-- with many people left dangling in the void-- still not transitioned to the new system and no timeline of when they might be transitioned , with vastly curtailed DNA comparison capabilities-- and a price increase of 50% for new kits.

                              AncestryDNA users' most cherished desire is to have on onsite chromosome browser, and any other new bells and whistles receive scant praise if the chromosome browser issue is dead in the water. It's true that Ancestry.com has always said no chromosome browser, but in this day and age, why in the world adopt this research prohibitive stance? FTDNA managed to have an onsite chromosome browser without compromising users' privacy. Why can't Ancestry.com? Convincing matches to go that extra step and transfer to gedmatch to use the chromosome browser there is a tough sell. Inertia is the default.

                              I think the frustration with AncestryDNA is this: it could be the near perfect Autosomal DNA testing site: huge atDNA database (which FTDNA does not have) + many matches who have extensive, public family trees (which neither 23andme nor FTDNA have); but for want of a nail--(chromosome browser)-- the kingdom was lost. AncestryDNA's usefulness to genealogical researchers will remain comparable to that of FTDNA and 23andme because of its shortsightedness.

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