Why don't we have vertical sibling (and other) lists in the right-hand column?

+7 votes
163 views

I've kind of brought this up before (https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1123650/how-about-making-the-children-sibling-lists-vertical)... And I understand that some people (for some reason) really like having the siblings listed horizontally (https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1129416/new-profile-view-hate-it), but in a recent thread/question/discussion (https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1131853/sibling-list-is-hard-to-read), Nelda Spires had the great idea of putting the family information vertically in the right-hand column.  That column isn't doing very much really anyway,  is it? 

I'm building this idea into my Chrome extension (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/auto-wikitree-tables-%20/bldfdpnmijncfmaokfjgdmcjdhafihoh), and it looks like this (though it's not been submitted to Google yet):

My point isn't to say, "Please install my extension", but to ask those up top to just take a look and think, "Yeah, good idea."  A couple of people have said they really like the vertical lists (not many have actually tried it yet), and other(s?) have wanted it, but not in an extension.  I'm suggesting making this an option on the site itself.  I honestly don't think it would take too much time to implement this.  [techTalk] (If I can do it with Javascript, it would be so much easier to do it the proper way, with PHP and CSS.) [/techTalk]. My extension is kind of clunky and takes a few seconds to do the job, but when it is done, I think it looks pretty good and, more importantly, it's easier to read.  Doing it server-side would be much better.  I don't see any downsides of adding this as an option, and I think many people would appreciate it. 

 (By the way, the vertical lists and this changing the position idea are optional in the extension if you want to use the extension for its main purpose, which is making tables.)

in WikiTree Tech by Ian Beacall G2G6 Mach 9 (95.6k points)
Ian, I think this formatting change to your extension will be more useful to me. I hope others like it.

It would be great for me if WikiTree did something like this with their page design, and made it optional, like with maybe an "expand" button for each group of connected individuals. That way, all the current right-hand column stuff wouldn't be permanently shoved so far down and also, those who dislike the vertical lists, would never have to see them unless they wanted to. Actually, even if they left the lists at the top of the bio, maybe there could still be an "expand" option to display the lists vertically.

In the meantime, I will be using and enjoying your app, for which I am most appreciative.
Very nice... what would happen to all the stuff currently in the right column?

(Granted, the images already have a home in the "images" tab.)
Jillaine, the other things are just pushed below these lists. It's all still there if anyone needs it.
Is your extension open source? I have hacked together some of my own UI tweaks that I think make the site so much more useable. Including night mode and tweaks to the new profile creation.
Andrew, I can send you the files if you like... (?)
I would be interested. Is it on github?

That would be amazing if you could. What is the best way to share it?

Click here.  (Honestly, it's all a bit of a mess and not commented for others to read... but it works.)  

3 Answers

+3 votes
This also mirrors what WeRelate.org does on their profiles, what FamilySearch does on a record with multiple people (census, obits, etc.) and it is easier to see the children/siblings vertically rather than horizontally, in my opinion.

Heck, even the GedCompare report does this vertically when listing family members.
by Jonathan Crawford G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
+1 vote

A few considerations:

  1. The vertical list is available from the Edit link on profile for those who choose to view it.
  2. While I think the vertical list has its uses (and sometimes will even look at the Edit version of a profile to see the vertical family list as above), the ultimate implementation of this would be through a popup/modal window. This would make it a) unobtrusive (the current implementation in Edit view, and the proposed version shown herein both take up a lot of room on the screen that takes away from other information), and b) optional to view (for those who don't like it or want to be bothered by it).
  3. The implementation above would also be in line with a more modern interface that I think (don't quote me on this) WikiTree is aiming to move towards in the future (e.g., one column layouts are already being discussed). If this could be implemented through this optional and unobtrusive method, I would be all for it!

In regard to the technical implementation, we have seen in the past that what we can generate quickly through extensions is not always that easy here on WikiTree. Janie has more or less confirmed this - and if anyone knows, she does. The software has been highly customized, and adding new features and functions has to be reviewed carefully and tested heavily since the core coding is quite old.

by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (512k points)
As a side note, the only reason I have not installed your extension is because I would have to constantly enable and disable it. If you were able to implement the modal version through the extension (similar to how I do the source previews), I would install it and use it.

Hi, Steve.  Thanks for your input. Some responses...

The vertical list is available from the Edit link on profile for those who choose to view it.

True, but it's less convenient there. And what about non-members?  Maybe people would be a bit more likely to join in the first place if they thought the site were a liitle ... better.

The proposed version shown herein takes up a lot of room on the screen that takes away from other information.

I disagree. As I said, there isn't very much happening in the right-hand column right now.  The objection I saw before was that it takes a lot of scrolling before getting to the bio.  (For what it's worth, I disagree with this, too.  I see the the readability of those lists as being much more important than the negative of having to scroll a little.)  This implementation (putting it in the right column) gives you the bio straight away - even faster than the horizontal lists.

... optional to view (for those who don't like it or want to be bothered by it).  

Well, I am suggesting that it can be optional in the settings.  There is probably a faster way to change the settings - a little button next to the lists - and maybe that's a good idea...

As a side note, the only reason I have not installed your extension is because I would have to constantly enable and disable it. 

Why do you think you would need to disable it?  You may have to re-enable it if I ask for more permissions (which I have done a couple of times).  But I've put these two features - the vertical lists and moving the lists to the right-hand column - as options.  (Though, admittedly, I put the vertical lists as the default option... Maybe I should change that.)

If you were able to implement the modal version through the extension (similar to how I do the source previews), I would install it and use it.

I'll look into that. smiley

Hi Steve... I'm back.  I was thinking about the modal view that you mentioned, but I was also thinking about Nelda, who said this:

It would be great for me if WikiTree did something like this with their page design, and made it optional, like with maybe an "expand" button for each group of connected individuals. That way, all the current right-hand column stuff wouldn't be permanently shoved so far down and also, those who dislike the vertical lists, would never have to see them unless they wanted to. Actually, even if they left the lists at the top of the bio, maybe there could still be an "expand" option to display the lists vertically.

And here's where I'm at now (below).  Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything else I want to add or change, so that might be it for now.  (But, new things have been popping into my head a lot recently, so...)  

Anyway, I'd be interested in your thoughts...

(Sorry about the low quality of the .gif).

By the way, there are cookies on this to remember your preference.  How you leave it on one page (vertical/horizontal, left/right) is how it will be shown on the next page.

This is definitely an improvement but it still faces the issue of rearranging content on the screen (which I am not a fan of).
Steve, Why is rearranging content on the screen an issue?  It's actually the point of what I want to do here.  I've been using this vertical list view recently, and I've been loving it.  Now, I think putting the lists on the right will be even better.  Just looking at the page is easier (a better user experience) than having to hover over something and wait for the window to appear. And, as I've said many times, I think the vertical lists are much easier to read.  But it wasn't a rhetorical question.  You must have a reason to say that moving elements is an issue.  What would that be?

Thanks.
I’m no power user of wikiTree, nor particularly skilled in using the interface, but do speak from being a person with limited vision. A vertical list is always easier to read than a horizontal listing,. What’s more, if the list is generated by the linking of profile to profile, then there would be much less need to add a numbered list in the biography itself., and eliminating errors in repeating a list by typing it in. Furthermore, separate lists could be provided for children born of different and unknown spouses that would also help eliminate inadvertent errors as to correct parentage.  Overall, this could be a great improvement  to our interface.
+2 votes
When you brought this up recently I liked the idea as I often deal with large families who have multiple last names. The horizontal list is very difficult to read. It would be great to not have to go to edit view to see them and basic data so readily. I had also suggested a button to enable it (similar to the enhanced editor preference) so I would like my support for that option to be added in with Nelda's.
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Pilot (175k points)

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