Thoughts on profile layout.

+1 vote


I am a strong advocate of text, but I find the profiles hard to read. Is something like the following even up for consideration?
Son of John Doe and mother Jane Roe
..Born 4 July 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
..Brother of Martha, Mavis, Mabel
..Married Marilyn Maffis 25 December 1800 in Boston, Massachusetts
..Died October 1812
....Father of Jimmy Doe and Janey Doe
The dots could be, e. g., |_> graphics. I'm not adamant about order except for having the parents preceed the person in question.
Son of John Doe and mother Jane Roe
.....Born blah
.....Brother of blah
.....|_>Father of baababa
I realize there are some English syntax problems that arise. I could see background color helping here, too if the order was changed as in my first example (I can understand why the present order is desirable). If the background color for preceding and succeding generation was different from the other entries, then different language could perhaps be used; e. g.,
<grey>Parents: blah;
<cyan, bold>WILLIAM DOE
<cyan>Born, Brother of, Married, Died, etc.
I respect the use of all terms in from the perspective of the profile subject, but when everyone uses the same names, a bit of hierarchy would be welcome. Thank you, bkm
[To clarify, It becomes confusing in families where the names of the generations are about the same. Samuel marries his cousin Elizabeth, they have children, Sam and Elizabeth and their parents are named...this is where a bit of hierarchy would help! bkm]
in Genealogy Help by BK McDonald G2G Crew (590 points)
edited by BK McDonald
I still catch myself looking at the sibling list and thinking I'm looking at the children.  But I'm getting used to the layout, and I do believe it's sleek, logical, and useful.  My brain wouldn't be able to wrap around added colors or graphics (and my eyes would give up way sooner than they do now), and I'm not sure I'd ever get used to seeing parents first when I go to someone's profile (especially considering how many profiles I go to that have unknown parents).

I know you didn't ask for "workarounds" - but since I have multiple same names in multiple lines, similar to what it sounds like you have - I keep a tab with my family tree open, allowing me to see at a glance where several generations fit and mouse-over to confirm the WikiID for the profile I'm on/want to go to.  The Ahnentafel List is pretty useful for keeping track of who belongs where too.

Sorry this comment's several months late - I'm sure you've figured out your own workarounds (or gotten used to the layout) by now, but maybe it'll help someone else and I did want to add my 2 cents that I like the layout as it is :)


1 Answer

0 votes
Remember wikitree is for geneoligists and family historians.  With lots of flexibility for all.  Biographies make nicer family histories and work best for close family connections. Ancient ancestors need documentation and are based on tidbits of info. Even then these little pieces should be used for a biography. Then the little pieces are there for confirmation of data and to help resolve conflicts of data that always occur.

Wikitree allows for lots of flexibility within the curent established program

Current Name Field guildlines can be found at:

and variations can be place amongst the tidbits of information below any biography ie:

=== Name ===

John Smith. (The name our ancestor used)

:John Smith Sr. (used by geneoligists to distinquish from son John, even though John never used the suffix)

:J. Smyth (1900 Census)

=== Birth etc.

A name nightmare "Onesimus Fudge" see Fudge Family Mysteries. None of them ever used Sr., Jr., I, II,III etc. and all were closely related. Ten years ago a group working on that line came up with a standard naming convention amongst themselves. This should probably be used still, to avoid confusion, that it caused in the past. My line has an Onesimus Fudge new to this group and not yet connected.

When you are working on such a group, could adopt a similar scheme.
by M Lechner G2G6 Mach 6 (61.8k points)
Wonderful to be sure, but only tangentially related to my question.
Hi BK. I'm not 100% sure I follow everything you're saying in your question. I think you're talking about what appears at the upper-left of a profile page, i.e. the basic data. The dots you mention confuse me. Where are you seeing those?

FWIW, about a year ago we were talking in the Facebook group about using colors to separate these lines at the tops of profiles, but my suggestion for this was ruled to be garish. :-) Without a doubt, our profile pages do need some design improvements.
I'm just saying put the parents before the person or indent the line that the person is on. I can see that this is not a perfect solution, but to me, listing the parents first is worth the inevitable inconvenience.
Hi BK. To make sure I understand: you're saying that on a person's own profile page, their parents' names should be listed before their name? When we first playing with layouts for WikiTree I had a blended tree/profile page, but ended up splitting them. The profile is meant to be about the individual person. The tree is the family structure. I don't know if that relates to what you're saying.
Indeed, the profile page is what I refer to. Yes, I advocate putting the parents' names first. A bonus would be indenting the person (or outdenting the parents). Again, I like solid blocks of text, but I would like to be able to tell at a glance who were the parents and who were the children. A little bit of formatting would go a long way toward hinting at navigation without the reader having to leave the profile.

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