Monday night Ancestry.com broadcast a "town meeting" attended by about a thousand people. Mike Ward, Ancestry.com PR guy conducted the session. Tim Sullivan, CEO spoke first, followed by Andrew Wait, Senior Vice President over Ancestry.com; Gary Gibbs, Vice President of U.S. Content; and lastly, Eric Shoup, Vice President of Product Development. These presentations took the first hour, during which Mike gathered questions from participants. During the second hour, the management team fielded a selection of the hundreds of questions submitted. I don’t know if Ancestry.com will post the webinar for rebroadcast. If they do, you can probably view it here.
Of greatest interest to me, Shoup previewed two upcoming website features.
One is an updated record viewing page. Currently, Ancestry.com handled display of record text and record images on separate pages. Later this summer a combined viewer will be launched. Shoup showed us the “mockup” below. I believe he said that its use will be optional, for those that prefer doing things the old way.
Also coming this summer is a new person page. The person page is what you see when you are working with a person in an Ancestry.com member tree. The main rectangle at the top of the page is called a Person Card and its display maintains context as the different tabs underneath it are selected. Since the page is the most often viewed page on Ancestry.com, it is being re-implemented from the ground up for speed and performance. The page has a stronger focus on sources and incorporates greater contrast for improved readability. Shoup thought the page might be available for some to start testing out in about a month.
The mockup also shows the new navigation bar that is launching soon, perhaps today or next week. The bar is expected to look like this:
The new navigation bar incorporates drop-down menus. Above the navigation bar, To-Dos and Favorites also incorporate “drop-down” functionality to provide these features without switching pages. For more information, see this page.
This new feature is coming on the heals of a feature that has been months in development: lifespan filtering of search results. For more information, see “Latest on lifespan filtering.”
Stay tuned for more coverage of the Town Hall meeting.