Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Solving the top problems with New FamilySearch -- the Help Center

One of the very most impressive features of the New FamilySearch program is the Help Center. What many users may not realize is that the Help Center is semi-autonomous from the New FamilySearch website. It is the comprehensive support and help site for nearly all of the online programs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), many of which programs have nothing directly to do with FamilySearch or genealogy at all. If you go to a pull down menu next to the "Ask a Question" box, you get a long list of LDS Church programs supported by the Help Center.

Having used the help function frequently in a variety of programs, I am well acquainted with the problems of finding an answer to your question. I rate the FamilySearch Help Center as the most helpful I have ever used. I have always found the information I needed or been told where to go to find it, every time. Unlike some help menus, the Help Center is updated daily and responds to new problems rapidly. I can usually find an updated explanation only one or two days old for many questions.

Listed in the clip from the website above, you can see the "Top Problems." Each response to a problem or question has a number and you can search for solutions using either text search terms entered into the "Ask a Question" box or by the number. This  is a convenient feature since you do not have to write down the whole title of the resource, only its number. FamilySearch now refers to those resource/response documents as Diagnostic Knowledge Documents (yes, another acronym DKD). Some of these documents are very long and detailed, others are only one or two short paragraphs.

Just under the "Ask a Question" box there is a link to an Advanced Search. One of the benefits of an advanced search is that you can look for items posted in the last few days or weeks, so if there has been a change in the program or policy, you can always get the most recent answer to your question.

The FamilySearch Help Center is an extremely valuable resource, not just for New FamilySearch but for all of the LDS Church online products.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words about Help Center. We're glad you like it!

    We're also working currently to make it update even faster, so pretty shortly here the latest top documents and top questions will be even more accurate. :)