Thursday, December 23, 2021

When New Does Turn out to be Nicer


Sometimes, the promise of change can be near cringe-worthy. Like reaching into a trusty toolbox for just the right tool for the job, we want our hammers to do exactly that: hammer. Not screw things up.

With past disappointing experiences in mind, I did not exactly jump for joy when I logged into my account the other day. The first glimpse I caught was of an unexpected note explaining that the website had been updated. New and improved, the notice claimed. I held my breath. I like things exactly as they are on my go-to genealogy websites.

New it was. According to the official blog, the website revision was unveiled on December 9, offering a "more modern look and feel" including subtle changes to color, visual elements, and design. Best of all—at least for me—was the promise of "improved contrast ratios for legibility" and a more modern typeface design.

While the blog indicated the new design was revealed beginning with the December 9 launch, the revision has apparently been rolled out to subscribers gradually. My account's update showed up only this week. Perhaps there are others still awaiting the change.

The promise seems to be that the new look is the outward appearance of what, tucked inside the package, includes setting the stage for more frequent updates in the future, and a basis for launching new features faster. There's that word "new" again—making me wonder what else is in store besides a graphics facelift. Overall, the changes this month seem visually pleasing—not to mention, more legible, in my opinion—which hopefully will be the tone of the new changes yet to come.


  1. I don't like change. I don't like the icons on the trees. I don't like the popups on the right that you just click to add to your tree without examining what they are. I don't like the extra steps to get to the information before it adds itself to the tree. Whine Whine Whine. I just don't like change.

    1. I'm totally with you on those feelings about that last change, Miss Merry, but I've learned to work around some of them. I just click the hyperlinked title on the sliding popup, then proceed with the new screen, just like it always was. I just smile and move on. I'm like you: I want to see the document itself, before deciding whether to add it, not someone else's transcription or decision tree.

      That said, I think this most recent revision is far more benign. Trying to look on the hopeful side of things, I'm looking forward to seeing what next development this change is preparing for.


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