The New Indexing Program: Feedback Provides Insight

December 4, 2014  - by 

Over the last year FamilySearch has been working hard to develop a new indexing program. In August, we invited several hundred individuals from around the world to participate in the beta (test) version of the browser-based indexing program. This included a series of challenges and surveys to gather feedback and reports of any technical difficulties users experienced.

As we reviewed the feedback and prioritized the suggestions we received, it became clear that further improvements were needed. Based on this information, we have decided to delay the release of the new program to ensure it provides the best experience possible for you, our wonderful volunteers.

For those who participated in the beta, thank you! Your feedback has been insightful and invaluable. Your contribution will help improve the future of indexing for everyone. We know many will be disappointed with this delay, and for this we apologize. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, the current indexing program will continue to be available as usual until the release of the new program.

We truly appreciate your efforts to make records searchable so others can find their ancestors!

 – Article by Jennifer Smith

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  1. What is frustrating is when you index a new project and instead of finding out what you did wrong through arbitration, you get a ?. You never know what you did wrong so how can you correct it. I think sometimes it would be better to get a bad score and at least see what was wrong than never knowing and thinking all your work was in vain.

  2. Question: Family Search, I went to family search to look up Taylor family and could not get information on the people I found to learn more about. Is this a $$$$ program ? Thank You, Marvin

    1. There should be no money problem, everything on FamilySearch is free. Please give FamilySearch Support a call and they will help you: 1-866-406-1830

  3. I have been indexing almost since the very beginning and think the current program is wonderful. We of the older generation have learned to use it well. I believe you may lose many of us if you change programs. (ie I don’t even know what you are talking about when you say browser based.) It is difficult for us to keep up with all the technological changes.

  4. When an Obituary states “Nieces and
    Nephews”, and then lists quite a number of them, but by the names they are obviously listed randomly. Is it proper to identify them “Relative”, or ???

  5. I am tired of horrible arbitration ruining my score. My time is valuable and when my good work is changed incorrectly, I feel like giving up. Too many arbitrators just ignore the batch rules and make decisions based on rules from other batches. The new program needs to have a comment section so careless arbitrators can see where they messed up. I don’t blame people for quitting. No one likes their time abused…

  6. I recently completed an email survey for FamilySearch. I neglected to say that the arbitration function should be more focused on helping indexers learn on less on statistics. I believe that will greatly enhance the abilities and interest of all volunteers. Thanks for all you do.

  7. I enjoy indexing immensely right up to the point when I get arbitration results from someone who does not read or follow the project rules. It’s so frustrating to get an arbitrator who apparently has never read the full instructions for the project. There must be a way in the future to reconcile this issue. I think many of us would enjoy this process much more if there were some kind of feedback loop to correct poor arbitration.

  8. I really hope the mobile indexing program becomes available soon.
    There are more than 50 young adults here teaching English in China who have time available to index, but no desktop computers. They are only here for a semester. Any chance it will be released in the next few weeks?

    1. I have not heard news that it will be. Thank you to those wonderful and willing young adults though!

  9. Hi,
    I would like to participate in bata testing of the new web browsing indexing product. I have a long history in data processing and testing new programs and can provide useful feedback.
    Thank you

    1. Ali, call FamilySearch Research Support at 18664061830 to see how you may be able to get involved in beta testing.

  10. Please post another update about the progress of the indexing beta. I have beta access and it looks a lot better. It still had a pretty basic bug last time I used it a couple days ago. That surprised me a little. I couldn’t type a four digit year in a field that required it. So I know that it needs more work, but without hearing news lately it makes me think it has been put on the back burner. I hope not!

    1. My wife and I are anxiously awaiting the release of the online program as well, and hope this project is not on the back burner.

        1. Donald, we will be posting updates regarding the release of this new program. Keep checking back for new posts containing more information!

  11. I would like to see more samples of the documents I am trying to index or arbitrate and I would like more detailed instructions. For example, I am working on some Revolutionary Rolls, in particular, payrolls. The input ask for a day of the month for each soldier. This is sometimes given on the title header, but no where in the column listings is there a day of the month or anything for the individual soldier as far as a date goes. I do not think there should be a date input for each soldier – it is a waste of time both indexing and arbitrating. The title header also sometimes lists the name of the captain of the company and the battalion commander. Should they be listed on the payroll list? As an indexer, there is no where I can go to find this information for this project or at least I have not found it. As an arbitrator, if the answer is not in the project instruction, then how can I fairly arbitrate input. As an arbitrator, sometimes, I find an answer by arbitrating several batches, but then I cannot go back and correct the batches I have arbitrated. I would like to be able to do that. As an arbitrator, I also would like feedback from the indexer, especially, if I am doing it wrong. I want the records to be as correct as possible. Perhaps, comments could be made under the “Share Batch” number and both the indexer and the arbitrator remain anonymous, but can get to the correct input. Sometimes, when the indexers do not agree, I will go to another source to see if I can find an answer if I cannot determine which indexer is correct simply by looking at the document. I do not care about how many records I have indexed or arbitrated so that never enters my mind. I pore over the documents trying to index them or arbitrate them to the best of my ability. I do what I can when I can do it and that is all I can do.

  12. When a is put into a field, the forward TAB does not work. To tab forward, one has to back TAB then forward TAB twice.

    1. It should have said, “When a BLANK is put into a field, the forward TAB does not work. To tab forward, one has to back TAB then forward TAB twice.