30 November 2011

An Open Letter to Ancestry.com

[This is the text of an email I just sent to Ancestry.com. It is unedited and somewhat less polished than usual, but I just wanted it sent. As a brief bit of history, I have used Ancestry.com since the website went live and wrote articles for Ancestry Magazine before there ever WAS an Ancestry.com]


I am not certain what happened, but the searches at Ancestry.com are not working correctly. I (and) others have had problems for the past few days. I get search results that do NOT match my exact search terms--which is extremely frustrating. Sometimes I make conclusions based upon the lack of results from these searches and this is extremely maddening.

Personally, I would rather the searches WORK on a regular basis for the web-based PC user than see all these cell phone and other "mobile" apps being released. I realize the bottom line is important, but I think there is an overemphasis on the "newbie" and attracting new users that the power-users, professionals and others are sometimes left out in the cold to defend themselves.

It also appears that those who beta test things are only performing simple perfunctory searches.

Sorry for the negative tone of this email. I use Ancestry.com daily and benefit from it greatly, but creating workarounds on a regular basis is a pain. Those of who theoretically "know what we are doing" can do this. Those users who have less experience are the ones I am worried about.

Searches that do not work do not leave a very positive user experience.

Please forward as appropriate. As you know, I am a loyal Ancestry.com user and fan and have been since the very day the website went live.


I also sent this link briefly describing my experience: