Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): There was not enough improvement to warrant a change.
A few details:
1. Content: The new record page is not a lot different in content. This is a good thing.
2. Font: I think Ancestry.com was trying to create a cleaner look. This cleaner look resulted in less contrast and no background shading. I find the text more difficult to read. For example, on the old version, the name of the individual is bolded and the header information has a grey background making it easier to focus on the data that's unique to this record.
3. Headers: On the old version, the header column (e.g. Name, Gender, Spouse's Name) was wide. For many labels, this meant they were on a single line. During beta testing, these fields were very narrow and the labels end up on more lines. Here you can see, for example, Spouse's Name is on two lines in the new version on the left and one line in the old version on the right. (Click on image to enlarge.)
I'm sure I wasn't the only user who wrote to Ancestry.com about this issue. It seems they agreed and changed it. Now the header column is wider. Thanks Ancestry.com! That was one of my biggest issues with the new version.
4. Source Credit: The NARA logo is now at the top of the Census page. This is not a particularly helpful field to take up valuable "above the scroll" real estate.
5. Thumbnail image: It's larger. Not a big deal either way.
Bottom line: There was not enough improvement to warrant a change. Overall I find the new font and removal of the shading make it more difficult to find the information I'm looking for.
Till next time, keep the blue side up ... Lynn