why is the middle name and birth/death locations apart from the first/last/married surnames and birth/death dates

+12 votes
174 views
I would definitely appreciate it if data entry field for the middle name was located in between the first and last names and I would be ecstatic if the data entry fields for birth location was under birth date and same for death location be entered under death dates.

I really find it very inconvenient that the related fields are located so far apart. I would think others feel the same way. Is there some reason the data fields on the create a new profile page are set up the way they are?
in WikiTree Tech by Corinne Kuhlmann G2G6 Mach 1 (10.3k points)
Thank you for raising this.  This has always bugged me.
The first fields on the form are used by the system to do an automatic search for duplicates.
I suspect they could rearrange the field order without disrupting the fields that are required for the search. Maybe put an asterisk next to the fields used for the search, or outline them in bold.
Absolutely agree with you, we partly put data in, scroll down to complete the relevant details.

I HEARTILY AGREE that the related fields (all parts of name, all parts of birth info, all parts of death info) should be grouped together on the New Person input form.  But wait!  I suggest that any changes to that screen should come from a thorough redesign, not simply from ad hoc consensus.

Based on "best practices" for screen design, many screens in WikiTree are middling to poor.  And, unfortunately, the input screens are the worst.  I have come to believe that the current layout/functionality of the input screens (New Person, Edit Person) may be our worst enemy for reaching our goal of One Tree.  Why?  Because G2G postings suggest that the input screens are what alienates users.  

A user survey can help to determine whether this is so (along with analysis of past G2G postings and invitations for new G2G postings on this specific issue, perhaps under a new "WT Wishlist" G2G Topic).  If it is found our current input screens are truly unwieldy, then we MUST redesign them.

Wonderful suggestion, Corrine.  Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to bring up something that would be an obvious improvement.
How could we make this a serous topic? Who can we collaborate with to make it happen?

2 Answers

+3 votes
I have, of course gotten used to it, but yes it is a big pain and I am sure we lose potential information that a person has right in front of them as they enter but they tire of the whole mess after going through the potential matches the search brings up!

Terrible problem that is crippling this place and here it drifted (this suggestion and possible resolution) off into nowhere for two years

Lets brainstorm a fix for this so the whole process of starting here and adding profiles flows smoothly for everyone.
by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (147k points)
+1 vote
From another point of view: I, as a Norwegian, never use the Middle name field, so for my part it's perfectly placed where it is. And I'd like to have the check box for "No middle name" right there beside it.

On the other hand, I'd like a dedicated field for patronyms, which should be grouped with surnames for searchabiity. In the Scandinavian projects we're seeing a terrible anti-pattern all the time, where people put Patronym + Farm name (or any other identifier which is not quite a hereditary surname) in the LNAB box, thus making both invisible for searches. Or they put the patronym in the Middle name field, similarly making it invisible for searches. Or they're appending the patronym to the First name - you get the idea. It has been decided to use the LNAB for patronyms whenever there are no real surnames taking precedence.

The entire name structure in WikiTree, with middle names, prefixes and suffixes, is based on Gedcom, which really seems to be made for 20th century North Americans, and not much else. It's definitely not a name struchure which fits the whole world. We non-Americans are far too much forced to shoe-horn our own name parts into a pattern where they really don't fit.
by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (111k points)

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