FindMyPast embraces the future with the personal touch

FindMyPast have unveiled a new look in a bid to make family history researching feel more personal to their users.

FindMyPast 2019 logo

The popular family history website FindMyPast has rebranded itself, switching from the familiar blue, green, and white colouring to a dark blue, dark cream and orange instead.

Gone are the leafy greens reminiscent of most family tree sites, and the focus really does seem to be tuned up to the personal and human level. The ‘my’ is emphasised here in an orange handwriting (and there’s a ‘you’ on some screens too), and there’s new hand-drawn logos to help build on that personal, less corporate feel.

I guess with their expansion into building trees, sharing tree-to-tree info, and their recent venture into the highly competitive DNA testing, they need their audience to feel like their site is about personal information – ‘your’ family history. 

Change is always hard to embrace, and maybe you’re outraged. Maybe you don’t really mind. I’m in the latter camp. If this change helps shift the emphasis towards encouraging users to build trees, then I think that’s great.

Another popular family history website has a lot of ’empty’ users that have no trees, and seemingly no interest in researching – having been brought on board by a DNA test. If these changes by FindMyPast can help turn that tide for them, then I hope it does.

In their own press release (issued today), FindMyPast reveal that through research they’ve conducted, 12% of Brits can’t trace their family tree beyond their own parents, and 38% can only trace it as far as their grandparents!

I think I was lucky, as I’d already got beyond those % by the time I was about 7yrs old.

Here’s the new look site in desktop (logged in)

The new look FindMyPast dashboard
FindMyPast, Dec 2019.

And here’s the site on mobile (logged out). Note the ‘my’ changes to a different handwriting for some views.

FindMyPast 2019 rebranded mobile website.
FindMyPast 2019, mobile.

For those of you like me who have been following this site for a long time, you might remember how their homepage looked back in 2009.

FindMyPast homepage 2009
FindMyPast homepage from 2009.

For those of you with longer memories, you might remember FindMyPast arriving as a brand in 2003, having previously been 1837online.

When the site changed in 2014, some people’s worlds imploded, and they were quick to vent their frustrations online.

Janet kicks off at FindMyPast's rebrand in 2014
I bet this person continued to use it really.

I just hope that like in 2014, and in the debacle that Ancestry had too, that they don’t have any major plans to change that search form!

In conclusion, I like it, i’ll miss the green and blue, but like any website, I’ll have forgotten exactly what it looked like within a few months and will be merrily using the new one.

As ever, thanks for reading, and happy tree surgery!


Author: Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin is a British author, family historian, tech nerd, AFOL, and host of The Family Histories Podcast.

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