Thursday, November 09, 2017

New Find-a-Grave site is fashionably illegible

The last couple of times I have gone to the Find-a-Grave site I have been taken to the "new" site, and have quickly switched back to the old one, because the new one is much more difficult to use. I am sorry to see that the old one is to be retired soon, because, whatever its other faults, it is at least legible on screen.

It seems to be fashionable among web designers nowadays to make their pages as difficult to read as possible, and the new Find-a-Grave site is no exception to this, and is a particularly egregious example.

After battling to make out what was written on the new site, the moment I switched to the old one everything became clear. This is in spite of the fact that the old site uses a smaller font size than the new one. The difference in legibility is due to the better contrast between text and background on the old site, and also the greater thickness of the letters.

So if one is measuring the site by "user experience", I would rate the old site at 55% and the new one at 5%. The main user experience is frustration at trying to puzzle out what is written on the screen.

The new site may bring oohs and aahs from other 20-something web designers, because it follows all the fashionable trends. But spare a thought for the poor suckers who actually want to use the site. Many of us are over 60, and our eyesight is not what it was when we were 20.

PS My wife looked at the new site on her computer and found it easier to read than I did on my computer. Perhaps if you have one of those old-fashioned monitors with little knurled knobs that you can use for adjusting brightness and contrast you could fiddle with them until some of the presently illegible text might become readable, but my flat-screen Samsung monitor has automatic adjustment of brightness and contrast, so I'm stuck with it. And the fact remains that the old site is perfectly legible to me, and large parts of the new one are not legible, using exactly the same computer and monitor. So I can say unequivocally that the new site is designed to give a very bad user experience. I can't even make out the words on the screen wearing two pairs of glasses and holding a magnifying glass up to the screen.




22 comments:

Deb said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Amen

Anonymous said...

I can't read all of your blog because the photo is overlapping the words.

Anonymous said...

Oh. Now I can read it ok. Had to comment on it in order for the site to reposition.

From someone over 60☺

Patricia said...

Totally agee

Carolyn said...

I don't like the new site either. Still not a fan of the newer version of Ancestry since that changed a few years ago. It takes more steps to accomplish what we could do with fewer steps in the previous version of Ancestry. Am afraid the new Find-a-Grave will be like that too. What do they have against efficiency?

Donna said...

Far from user friendly. Im afraid they may lose some new users and old Find a grave hands because its just too much junk!! Yes old FAG had ads but they were at the top and not HUGE. Plus you have to scroll down though more ads just to see who created the memorial.
You cant click on a photo without a huge box poping up saying who took the photo , its blocks most the photo.
I am ONE UNHAPPY Find a Graver !!!

Avid researcher said...

Glad I'm not the only one who detests the new findagrave! And I agree that the "new and improved" ancestry makes searching much more difficult and time consuming.

Anonymous said...

I do not like the new site either.


Lawrence D. Pool said...

Not a single person replying to this has said they like it ... I DETEST IT!!! There may be some improvements somewhere; I haven't found any yet.

cc andbay said...

I've not been back to it for months, because it was so annoying. Thank you!

LinJ47 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LinJ47 said...

Can't stand the new format! Switched back to the old one but I know its days are numbered. Hate these techies who do not know a thing about genealogy or graphics! Stinks! >:(

Anonymous said...

It's an unfortunate fact that once we get used to using a web site, we think it's better...because we know our way around and all is familiar. With that said, when web sites get face-lifted, they are almost always less efficient, less attractive, noisier, and more aggravating. Then about the time you get used to the new-fangled one, along they come and face-lift it again. I haven't used the new FAG web site yet but I will hate it at first. When ancestry.com face-lifted their site, I didn't use it for over a year. Now that I'm finally used to it, it's okay. Not as good as the old site, but okay. FAG will be the same for me.

Anonymous said...

Only good thing I found out is to look up a name in one I done I can just put in the name that was the only good so far but in time we will like it I hope

Kevin Frye said...

New site is simply nauseating.

Monica said...

I like the new site and I am NOT a 20 something. It is more in line with Ancestry (parent company). I was not taken aback by the new site because I had been switching to it in order to preview it. I have a flat screen monitor and my monitor has settings that I can adjust although it does also have an auto setting (I turned it off) so maybe yours does also and you are just not familiar with it. I do wear glasses and have no problem with the new site. Maybe you need to adjust the zoom or possibly get new glasses. :-)

valhayes said...

I have mixed feelings about the new site. I feel largely that it is just change for the sake of change, and to justify the employment of developers. It is OK on my machine. BUT I have seen the mess that Steve had to read. He DOES have a flat screen, and it DOES have monitor settings, and he HAS worked through all of them to try and get a better picture. He has been working on computers since 1982 only 8 years fewer than on Genealogy. The fact is that the screen shows the old site perfectly so it is not impossible for the developers to ensure that the new one does too. I have run into this problem with developers before at work, all it probably need is a 10-30 minute tweaking of the fonts and font colours to ensure that it works as well as the old one does. After all the product is for the USERS not for the amusement and vanity of the developers. My objections at work were sorted in 5 minutes by a man who understood this.

Sallysmom said...

Lots of graphics that cause older computers to have issues.

Bonnie Huish said...

I hate the new site! Guess Ancestry.com folks had huge input! I don’t like Ancestry latest screens/charts either as to cumbersome to really find useful anymore! Why change things when the older versions worked so well?

Toni said...

Too much scrolling! Everything fit on my screen in the old version. the new version, once I've decided between buying a new car and buying a pizza - 2 things I hadn't thought about doing on findagrave- I can scroll all over the page to get the information. And for everyone who doesn't know to scroll WAY to the bottom to see who authored the memorial, another opportunity lost to contact someone who might know something I don't already know. After the new version becomes the only version I will not add anything there. I'm in the process of saving all the old pages I can but I won't ever get them all. There are too many. Maybe internet archive will have the old version.
If the programmers actually used ancestry OR findagrave we wouldn't be looking at this mess.

Lighthouse said...

I am a contributor to www.findagrave.com my own family historian and a genealogy volunteer and find the new site absolutely terrible, unfriendly, awkward, un-informative and crappy. Bring back the old site. How can we as a group ask to bring back the old format. It allows us much more than the new site. I also have some suggestions to improve and add valuable information to the site such as separate addition/link funeral cards that is a vital information linking the information on the deceased persons. from Maria - Melbourne, Australia.