How about making the children/sibling lists vertical?

+10 votes
269 views

Let's make the profiles a bit prettier.  Format the children/siblings vertically rather than horizontally as a list.  Include the person (the one whose profile it is) in the list of children/siblings, but have it clearly marked that this is the active profile.  If this person is the second child, have them second in the (vertical) list.  We don't need to save space (and if you think we do, you can put something else to the right of this list).  I think better formatting would make it all easier to read and understand at a glance.  I saw a similar idea here - https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1123292/location-of-profile-in-large-sibling-lists - but I was making a new question as my main point was about the readability of it.  When you're editing a page, these lists are vertical, and they're much easier on the eye than the horizontal list on the profile page, especially when there are about seven children.

[edit]I mean something like this page on We Relate: https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Augustine_Washington_%281%29 [/edit]

in WikiTree Tech by Ian Beacall G2G6 Mach 9 (94.0k points)
retagged by Ian Beacall
Excellent idea.

Excellent comment. smiley

If I look at the edit screen of a child from a large family (10 children) who had 16 children of her own, where all of those names are displayed down the right side of the screen, I can only see a small portion of them. On the public page, I can see birth, marriage, death, parents, siblings, spouse and children at all the same time. Placing everything in a list will make navigation rather tedious on a phone or a tablet.
Leandra, websites can (and do) have different styles for different devices.  This can be implemented for PCs and not for smaller devices, say.  Or it could be an option that you choose in the settings.  If you're on a PC (using Chrome), try my extension (there are links to it in the answer I gave (to myself(?)) below).  See what you think.  If you don't like it, you can uninstall the extension.  If you find the extension useful for its main purpose (making wikitables from Ancestry/Family Search pages) but hate the vertical lists, let me know and I'll think about making that an optional feature.  

Having said that... I don't think a quick flick of the finger on a touch screen device is really such a problem.  Also, WikiTree isn't just about individuals - it's about the connections between them.  A vertical list of siblings with the subject of the profile placed into them gives you more context (at a glance) of that person's life. You can see, for example, that they were the first child, who traditionally, in many cultures, has had the most responsibility of all the siblings.  There have been thousands of studies looking into the effects of birth order position, and they tend to show similar features.  The horizontal lists without the subject in them loses that insight.  Not every person conforms to the birth order 'stereotypes' but I think they are helpful to understand a person.

5 Answers

+6 votes
I think, for large families that would make the data part of the page very long indeed. Imagine a person with 7 or 8 siblings, and 7 or 8 children. It would take a lot of scrolling to reach the Biography section. As you say, on the Edit page, this is how it is set out, and can be a very long page.
by Dave Welburn G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
I mentioned earlier that space isn't a huge issue - why would it be?  People just don't like blank space.  In this vertical list of siblings/children, we could have their dates and maybe even some more information - like their ID, birthplace or spouse.  This information is (I just found out the other day) available on the page by hovering over the name.  It could go to the right of the person's name to give a more complete family picture at a glance. We could see - on the profile page - potentially missing children (maybe there was a long gap between births), the movement of the family (different birth places), etc.  As I said, I find the vertical list much easier to understand.  I saw this one time on another site (though I've forgotten the name of it), and I thought it was much better...
I think space definitely is an issue, especially on small screens like phones, and or touch devices like tablets where scrolling down is a pain.

Perhaps a compromise might be a button for siblings that could show/hide an expanded (and vertical) list, like the 'Ancestors' and 'Descendants' buttons do.

I omitted children since the Descendants button exists, but if a different display was wanted for 'Just children' then that could have a button too.
I'm not sure if this is the site that I was thinking of, but take a look at this page on We Relate: https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Augustine_Washington_%281%29

It has the parents, the siblings, and children (with each of his wives) listed in order of birth with their dates.  The subject (here, Captain Washington) is listed among his siblings to show where he was in the birth order.  It's much better than what we have.  Don't get me wrong, I love WikiTree, but I think that page looks much better.
+9 votes
I have always considered the data portion of the profile to be the links to the other profiles related to the person.   The children and siblings list is from oldest to youngest based on the information in their profiles.   You just click on the link and see what is known about the child.   

The biography and sources are where additional information about the family should go.  If you put all the details about each child on the profile of each parent it seems to me it would become too cluttered and more importantly it may not get transferred to the child 's profile with sources.

I often add a list of children in Research Notes if I find one and there aren't profiles for each one.  I include basic information that I have and the source,  or sometimes sources.   That way it is easier for me or other members to come back later to add the children 's profiles.   These lists I do put in vertical form because they include more information than just the name  / link.

I think on Wikitree the goal is to have one profile with a sourced biography containing what we know about the life each person .  The data section contains the link to profiles of other family members and just enough BMD information to link the person to a correct time  and location in the overall tree.

This is my understanding of the format and it has worked well for me.
by Cherry Duve G2G6 Mach 4 (49.1k points)
I agree with this. The focus is the profile person, so no need to clutter the data section with details of the person's family. That can go into the biography if needed.
+1 vote

Just an update... If you're interested, I've added this to my Chrome extension.  Try it out. The extension is now called Auto WikiTree Tables +.  I introduced it here..  (If you've tried the extension and hate this feature for some reason, let me know).

by Ian Beacall G2G6 Mach 9 (94.0k points)
I've never added an extension to my WikiTree before and was just thinking about giving it a try, I think this one sounds great so I'm heading over to give it a bash.

Thanks Ian
Ian, I guess that's why mine is showing up in a numbered list now, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!

(I haven't gotten the extension to work for the tables yet, but I haven't given up. Will try again later.)
Nelda, Oh wow!  Great!  But... it looks like doing this stuff has somehow broken the table stuff... I'll try to fix that now and... It takes about a day to resubmit the extension to Google... :(
Yes... I've found an older version (from yesterday), and I've uploaded it to Google.  It should do the things that you've seen already and then the main function - the tables - in about a day or so... (I don't know why it takes them so long.)

Thank you, Ian! I'll try to be patient. wink No, really, this update will be worth the wait. smiley

Thanks for the update - took me by surprise but I like it. (And did notice the tables feature was wonky)

Thanks for all your efforts

Update update: Version 1.93 of the extension is available, so if you update it (if Google hasn't pushed it into your browser yet), I'm pretty sure the vertical lists and the tables are working.

Ian, thank you, again. I already love the list view of the siblings and children. The pink and blue marks are clever and cute!  I think I'm also going to really enjoy using the table maker. I've been doing manual census transcriptions in Excel and using a table-maker which is linked in WikiTree's help pages (which is great, too, by the way) but this will be so much faster and still editable (because sometimes FamilySearch and Ancestry transcriptions are incorrect.)
+1 vote
I made a script to put siblings vertically automatically. It will also prefix siblings with an index.

First I installed the Tampermonkey browser add-on. [1] Then I installed this script [2] inside Tampermonkey.

Without this script I was having a hard time working with profiles like this: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/C%C3%B4t%C3%A9-1399

[1] https://www.tampermonkey.net/

[2] https://github.com/yulvil/wikitree/blob/master/children.user.js
by PB Côté G2G4 (4.3k points)
Neat, I like it.
0 votes
Someone said a button option, and I like an idea like that.  Maybe more like you turn on the enhanced editor or not.  List format or not.  I often have to go into edit mode to read the siblings or children because the lists are too difficult to read when all in a row, at least for large families.
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Pilot (173k points)

Hi Cindy, if you're interested in this, version 2.0 of my Chrome extension has the option of pretty vertical lists or the standard view.  (It will be available soon.  I've resubmitted it to Google, and it seems the submission process usually takes about a day.) 

Maybe this means I really need to switch over to Chrome since so many good extensions for WikiTree are available there.  I've resisted because all my bookmarks are on Firefox!

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