Friday, April 26, 2019

More Changes from AncestryDNA

Yesterday, I clicked on a match to discover the old "Match Review" page and the newer "Compare" page had been combined into one. I kind of figured that's where they were headed with the changes they'd made to the beta match list, but I was pleased to see it finally happened.

Previously, there were certain features and tools missing from the newer "Compare" page, but the new "Common Ancestors" wasn't featured on the older "Match Review" page meaning you often had to open both pages to make full use of your matches. Additionally, there was no way to add a match to a group from either page, you could only do so from the match list. All of that has been resolved now, and they also reduced the size of the profile pictures, which previously took up almost the whole page on smaller screens - a complete waste of space that only forced us to scroll down more to see any useful information. These were some of my top complaints and now they're all fixed.

As you can see from the screenshot above, everything you need to make use of your matches (well, everything that AncestryDNA current offers) is on the single new page. You can add and edit notes, you can add the match to a group, you can see how much DNA you share without even having to click on anything, the pedigree preview is there (with the option to open their full tree), and Common Ancestors will show on the left if there are any. There's also the option to click on a built in tab to see your compared ethnicity and one for Shared Matches.

Where are the surname lists and location map? Don't worry, they're just a little further down the page (screenshot to the right). The only disappointing thing is that these no longer show all the way back to 10 generations, and the pedigree preview no longer shows back to 7 generations. They are now all limited to a mere 5 generations, which seems much too restrictive in my opinion. That means they only include back to your 3rd great grandparents, which means they will only apply to as distant as 4th cousins! I think we can all agree that there are many, many more distant yet legitimately identical by descent matches than that. Even ThruLines/Common Ancestors goes back further than that (5th great grandparents, or 7 generations). What this means is if there's no ThruLines/Common Ancestor found for a match, we're going to have to open up more pages to explore most matches deeper for a common ancestor, and that seems counter-productive to an efficient workflow. It almost feels as though AncestryDNA is trying to force us to be more reliant on ThruLines than anything else, which would be a big mistake considering ThruLines will only ever be as reliable as the trees it's using.

If you agree with these complaints and/or have any others of your own, remember to keep sending feedback to AncestryDNA through the "Prodvide Feedback" option in the bottom right corner of your match list page!

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