15 November 2012

Where's My Good Customer Experience at Ancestry.com?

We've blogged about this problem before (In my blog post "Color Me Confused," )--but still no resolution.

An Ancestry.com staffer did reply to my post regarding searches on Ancestry.com's immigration database that were more specific and resulted in "too many matches."

The problem is still there--and the searches are still not working in a consistent fashion.

The search for:
  • first name sop*
  • last name tra*
  • arrival year 1870+/- 10
Has too  many matches--as shown below:

The search for:
  • first name sop*
  • arrival year 1870+/- 10
Does not have too many matches--as shown below:

I've had readers privately tell me that this isn't really a problem.

It is.

The first search is the more restrictive search--at least in the way I interpret searching. The more search terms that are entered, the more limiting the search. The first search is most limited and yet receives too many matches to display. The less restrictive search does not return this result.

Why does it matter?

Because if the search interface does not respond in the way it should, how can I effectively construct searches?

And, how do I know that other searches are working properly?

It's great when a search gives me what I'm looking for. That makes for "a good customer experience." But when I don't find something after conducting searches, it leaves me wondering if it's something I'm overlooking or if the search is not working properly. And when I perform my genealogy research, I'm not interested in a "good customer experience."

I'm interested in things that work they way they should--that's a "good customer experience" for me.

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