Due to the way that the tree viewer was architected initially, we couldn't allow users to view other Ancestry member publicly viewable tree. With our new focus on integrating DNA we were finally able to fix this for our customers. Something we knew from our research that cutomers had been wanting for a while.
I had also been working on a redesign of the tree viewer, trying to bring the controls into a more reacable location and moving some elements around to make room for some other additions in the future. We decided to build this view using the new controls as a way to test it before implementing those changes in the main tree viewer.
The big challenge with this project came down to sorting out the various flows. I had to consider subscrition status, access level, and the needs of each app. The DNA app would have some basic access, but would need to encourage users to use the family history app for more functionality.
I wanted to use this opportunity to makes some updates the tree viewer controls. They've been up in the top bar for years, but as phones have gotten bigger they have gotten harder to reach. I wanted to move them down to a more thumb-friendly location.
On the main tree viewer these changes would also clean up our app heirarchy. We want to make several future updates and moving the controls to this new loaction allows us to make those updates much more easily.
This feature has been received very well. User research showed that customers were excited to have this ability finally in the app. They also appreciated the updated tree controls. We are in the process of updating the main tree viewer to incoporate these changes along with several others that will allow users to do even more with their trees.