This winter, Nicole and I have been hard at work on various fronts. We moved office a few weeks ago, worked with our local printing partner on a quality checklist, and created a new genealogy product roadmap for 2021. At the top of the 2021 product development list: genealogy charts that show multiple spouses.
Having charts that show second husbands and wives has been one of the top requests from customers for years. Everyone has someone in their tree who married more than once. Some people have also asked about showing third or even fourth marriages!
What's held us back is the reality of the printed page. There is only so much real estate to go around on a 17 by 22 inch sheet of paper, let alone the 8.5 by 11 inch standard for smaller genealogy charts. If something is added, like fields for extra spouses, something else has to be moved elsewhere - or even taken off the page altogether.
This is exactly what happened when we designed the Adopted Family Genealogy Kit, released late last year. In order to make room for two sets of parents (adopted and biological), something had to give. For the large format pedigree chart, we had to reduce the number of generations shown on the page from 6 to 5 generations. For the family group sheets showing two sets of parents, we had to reduce the number of children shown on the two-sided forms from 17 to 13.
We are now working through how to make room for the extra spouse fields on the new pedigree charts and family group sheets. There are other issues, too, like how to display the extra fields. Place the extra spouse fields inside the existing couple, or outside? Dotted lines to connect someone with a second spouse? Roman numerals or letters to mark the extra spouses? Here's a look at one of the rough sketches showing the design concepts:
(Believe it or not, almost all EasyGenie genealogy chart concepts start as simple paper sketches - it's the easiest way to express basic ideas. Then we will move onto wireframe diagrams using Google Drawings, although sometimes we skip that step and send the paper sketch to a professional graphic designer.)
We will be working on the design of the new genealogy charts showing multiple spouses over the next few weeks. If you have any suggestions, feel free to respond. We hope to have a formal product launch in the early spring.