FTDNA myGroups

Sigh.  The first week of using the FTDNA myGroups page wasn't fun - as the feature just wasn't ready for launching.  Some of the biggest issues have been addressed - but there is still much needing to be fixed.  (I have only converted a couple of projects so that I can try things out and monitor the progress)

If you are an "early adopter" and are willing to work around things that aren't fixed yet - then you can probably be happy in converting to myGroups now.  If you like things to be stable and don't want to put your project members through more changes and probably lose some searchers - then I suggest that you wait.

Positives:

  • More attractive page
  • Looks and feels like a Project Home page (which it isn't yet - but is what it should become)
  • Administrator can select a banner picture (or upload their own) and can also upload a crest
  • "Facebook-type" feature called "Activity Feed", which is loved by some Admins (but hated by others) 
  • Activity Feed currently includes a Coupon feature - where a new coupon is released every morning
  • Activity Feed can be turned off by Admins who choose not to use it
  • FTDNA has provided a WorldFamilies Icon, which takes the searcher to the WorldFamilies project
  • Readers can tell me of other advantages they see - easiest is to email me: terry@worldfamilies.net.

Negatives (note - those being addressed by the Debbie Kennett et.al. list by the Facebook yDNA Administrator group have been moved to the bottom of the posting)

  • Launch came before bugs were worked out.  The following glitches still aren't fixed yet

    • Administrator names accurately displayed
    • Clear labeling for WorldFamilies Icon, so the searcher understands why they want to click the Icon
    • Layout and Links were designed only for a project using FTDNA's website
    • Coupon isn't turned off after being used - imagine being the person ready to place an order because of a coupon and finding it doesn't work
    • The "Project Website" url is not accessible for edit when Project is converted to myGroups - and the edit isn't being updated at the myGroups page even if you un-converted so that you could access & edit it; then reconverted
    • The posting thread is named "Activity Feed"  (who knows what an activity feed is?)
    • probably others I missed
  • Stops short of being a true Home page

    • Page for ordering kits through the project ("Join" page) is not reachable from the myGroups page
    • Project Description is at Ordering page ("Join") instead of at myGroups page
    • Searcher at FTDNA for a Project is first sent to the FTDNA Ordering Page, where the myGroups url is also provided, 
    • It's really awkward to reach the myGroups page in any case - which shouldn't be the case for a "Home Page"
    • Searcher should be routed to access all of the project info (at myGroups) before being offered to buy a test - not afterwards
    • No Text Field and display block for the Administrator to provide a welcome message
    • No functional customization for Admin (such adding more links to left side bar, hiding ones with no info, ...)
    • Page title doesn't use the Project name defined by Project Administrator
  • And most importantly, it isn't obvious and crystal clear how to get to the project's DNA Results and related information when the project site isn't at FTDNA Public pages.  (FTDNA has stated they will fix this for WorldFamilies' Projects.  FTDNA haven't commented to me on other projects with their own project site)

I'll update this in the coming weeks.  Here are links to my Barton converted project site - so that you can see the banner approach that we are testing and will use if we aren't satisified that the myGroups page provides crystal clear routing to the WorldFamilies project sites

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/barton/about

Terry

Items being addressed by the Facebook yDNA Administrators group:

  • Searcher who isn't signed in to FTDNA (which requires a DNA kit) can't access the administrator's email
  • "DNA Results" link doesn't take the searcher to their WorldFamilies results page - it takes them to the FTDNA Public Page Results - which we don't support
  • Surnames count and project total counts don't match other displayed counts - sometimes in the same screen view
  • myGroups pulls data from odd locations. It's difficult to figure out how/where in order to make changes to earlier Admin inputs