New Family Tree Enhancements in “Preview Mode”
Back to Blog

NEW LOOK- AND MORE SPEED Today we launched in a "preview" mode several enhancements (with more coming soon) designed to make your family tree experience faster and easier. These changes will remain in preview for the next several weeks before they become permanent.

The family tree pages will load faster and we've introduced some key navigation improvements to help you find what you're looking for quickly and navigate your tree with fewer clicks. We've updated the Ancestor Profile Page and the tree navigation, and added a new "click card" feature. Enhancements to the pedigree view also will be coming soon.

HOW TO ACCESS THE PREVIEW To access the preview, navigate to any person in your family tree and select the link at the top of the person page Check out the new look of family trees and give us your feedback. old-person-card-highlight

 The preview link is also available from the pedigree view page.old-pedigree-highlight

HOW TO EXIT THE PREVIEW To return to the current family tree look, click the exit the family tree preview' link at the top of any page in the

Also in this same area you'll find links to learn more about the changes, and a tool to send us your thoughts on the updates (which we welcome!).


Ancestor Profile Page We've changed the look and navigation of the profile page to make it easier to use and to help you keep your information organized. Tabs across the top of the page make it easier to access sources, photos, stories, comments, hints and more. General information about the person you are viewing will remain consistent at the top of the page making is easier to always know exactly where you are. profile-tabs


Show me the sources The new "Facts & Sources" tab makes it easy to see what facts and events a person has, and what evidence supports those facts. profile-facts

 Family is always a click away We've made the "Show immediate family" link available on most pages so you can always put the person you're viewing in context of his or her immediate family members. profile-showfam

 Photos, front and center You spoke up, we listened. You let us know that you prefer photos above the timeline. That's where they are now ? back on top. In addition to showing photos, the media gallery shows all of the media items you've added. profile-gallery

Built for speed We've completely rebuilt many pages from the ground up. It's faster than ever to load and navigate around your tree. So this is more than simply a new color & layout change'moving to this new design helped us achieve substantial improvements in performance. The new design has major technical improvements (requiring 65% fewer object requests, and 90% fewer server requests), so your pages will load faster than ever. In addition we're loading the most important parts of pages first, so you can get on with your research sooner.

New Navigation Shortcuts The new tree navigation is designed to make it both easier and faster to access key tools for your family tree.

What's different' When you first visit your tree you'll now see your pedigree view first, rather than the "overview" tab with your recent updates. Instead, you'll find those updates in the "Recent Activity" tab, and your photos, audio, and video in the "Media Gallery" tab.

Tree Shortcuts The new tree navigation offers convenient shortcuts. (Click the arrow next to the tree name opens a drop down menu.) This gives fast access to:

  • view the family tree
  • view tree settings
  • tree privacy
  • invite family members
  • view recent activity
  • view all the photos and stories you've added in the tree "media gallery."
In addition, the new tree navigation has persistent links to the home person, the list of all people, and a quick search box which lets you type in a name to quickly navigate to a person. profile-tree-shortcuts-highlight

Profile Shortcuts A new navigation feature we think will be especially helpful on the profile page is a "click card" link next to the names of each family member. Clicking this icon will bring up a quick overview of the person's information along with fast access to:

  • view profile page
  • view Ancestry Hints
  • quick edit
  • search for records on
  • view family tree
  • and add a relative
  • view immediate family members

When you click this link, you'll see this card: clickcard-highlight

Coming Soon: Enhancements to the Pedigree View Next up in our preview of tree updates will be a new version of the pedigree view that will let you see more generations at one time, see your tree full screen, drag and grab your tree, and zoom in and out. Improved navigation tools will make it faster and easier to return to an ancestor profile page. pedigreeview

 Look for more information on the new pedigree view coming soon!


What's a preview'? A Preview' enables members to see upcoming enhancements in their own family trees with their own family data. Many members appreciate (and have requested) a chance to learn more about and comment on significant changes before they are finalized. The preview model provides an opportunity to do that.

Why are you making these changes' We've approached these changes with a great deal of caution'why mess up a good thing' We have two key reasons for these changes'first we've studied how members use the family tree product and found several areas where the current design hampers navigation and requires too many clicks. 

The new navigation model will make it easier to move to different people in your tree, with fewer clicks, and easier to review the information and sources you have for each person. To minimize the amount of change, we've done our best to add these key navigation improvements in the most low-impact way possible.

The second key reason for the change is to improve site performance. The ancestor profile page has become the single-most viewed page on Improving its performance will minimize wait times so you can focus on getting your research done.

How do you know this is better' Our confidence comes primarily from working with members and watching how they do their family history work. We visit members in their homes to observe how they work, we invite members to our office to see our new design ideas and try them out, and we get a lot of suggestions online and by email. We're launching this as a preview' to make sure everybody gets a chance to see what we're changing and give feedback. The feedback tool sends each message straight to the team responsible for these changes to the tree system. We will be reading and considering each feedback item we receive. If you find things that don't work as well for you as you'd like, please let us know. How do I give feedback on the preview' To access the feedback tool, click the link in the preview banner Give us feedback about the new design'.  The feedback tool has four general categories for feedback: General feedback, Share an idea, Report a problem, and Give praise. profile-feedback-highlight How long will the preview be' We expect the preview will run for 3 or 4 weeks while we continue to refine it, fix bugs that come up, and implement your suggestions. When the preview ends, it will replace the current experience.