The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
The new version of masslandrecords.com continues to be available for testing by customers. When you go to that web address, the old (a/k/a “classic”) version displays and is fully operational. There is also prominent language inviting customers to “click here” to try the new site. Unfortunately, many customers are interpretting that as a command and not an invitation and are clicking through to the new site and becoming discouraged by what they find.
My sense is that the criticism falls into three general categories: The first is that the new site is more difficult to use which is true, at least for the first few times you use it. Once you become familiar with it, however, the added functionality of the new site should be readily apparent. Every time we’ve deployed new technology at this registry, it has resulted in a negative reaction from users, but that negativity only lasts for as long as it takes for them to get acquainted with the new system. Ironically, when “classic” masslandrecords first came out, the reaction to it was quite negative. Now that folks have grown comfortable with it, the reaction is much more positive.
The second area of criticism is the speed (or lack thereof) of the new site. I have to agree with this. For someone pulling up a random document, it might not be too bad, but when you have to do a title search and retrieve dozens of documents, it’s aggravatingly slow.
The third area of criticism is the layout of the front page. The page is dominated by instructions and other non-functional items with the search boxes and links to advanced search funcitons tucked away in the upper 20% of the page. The functions available on this new site are an improvement over the “classic” version. I’m just concerned that no one is going to get to them to discover this on their own.
Sometime next week there is a meeting of all the registers of deeds who utilize the masslandrecords site. More information about whether it will be fully deployed or sent back for a re-configuration will be available then. I’ll keep everyone posted.
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