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    Usability Improvements


    User Interface Improvements Overview

    Beginning with the May 2020 release, Ex Libris is undertaking a usability improvement initiative to facilitate an enhanced user experience across Alma navigation and in the Metadata Editor. This initiative is a result of cooperation with Alma working groups and response to wider community feedback.  

    The new features in the user interface help facilitate a smoother, user-friendly interaction with Alma while providing more control over the Alma layout and navigation options. The new layout allows to easily switch between the ongoing tasks in your main workflow and any peripheral tasks. New customization options enable the personalization of the menu and creation of your own quick-link options.

    Metadata Editor

    The latest evolution of the Alma Metadata Editor brings greater efficiency to processes, making them faster and simpler. The interface can be tailored to each user, depending on the user's level and type of expertise (original catalogers, copy catalogers, and light catalogers). The new streamlined workflows save time and improve productivity, with better management and search performance across the Alma platform.

    The new Metadata Editor includes all the functionality available in the original Metadata Editor plus new features.

    The new Metadata Editor provides a flexible working space for managing records and files in the following functional areas:

    • Records - Create and edit records across different formats such as MARC21 bibliographic records, Authorities records, and holdings 
    • Templates - Manage templates for different formats and types of resources, enabling better cataloging
    • Rules - Managing private and shared normalization, merge, indication, and brief record-level rules created by you or others.
    New Metadata Editor
    To switch to the new Metadata Editor in Alma, select new MDE button.jpg on the top-right of the top toolbar of the Editor.
    More Resources
    • See video for a short training session
    • See webinar to understand more 

    The following table contains the rollout plan for the Metadata Editor improvements initiative.

    Rollout plan*
    Sandbox date
    Production date
    Usability Improvement/Environment
    May 2020
    April 5, 2020

    New Metadata Editor/Sandbox - Records Management core functionality

    The original Metadata editor is the default. The user can switch to the new Metadata Editor and back.

    September 2020
    August 23, 2020
    September 6, 2020

    New Metadata Editor/Production - Records Management full


    January 2021
    December 20, 2020
    January 10, 2021 

    New Metadata Editor/Production - Templates Management

    March 2021
    February 21, 2021 
    March 7, 2021

    New Metadata Editor/Production - Rules Management and Go Live

    All original Metadata Editor functionality will be supported by the new Metadata Editor.
    The New Metadata Editor is the default. The user can switch to the original Metadata Editor and back.
    June 2021
    May 23, 2021
    June 6, 2021

    New Metadata Editor/Production - Default editor

    The New Metadata Editor is the default and it is fully compatible with the original Metadata Editor.
    October 2021 September 19, 2021 October 3, 2021 Original Metadata Editor - Sunsetting  

    *The timeline of the rollout plan is subject to change.

    New Layout

    Starting from the June 2020 release, users can experience a new layout for Alma.

    The new layout increases the user working area, improves navigation, provides the ability to customize the menu and facilitates improved user dynamic workflows. 

    The main changes:

    • The Main menu moved from the header to the left side. In addition, a new customizable Quick Links icon is available.
    • The Persistent search bar moved to the header.
    • The summary section on all pages moved from the top to a right-side panel.
    For the detailed descriptions of all interface changes, see Layout Improvements.
    New Layout.PNG
    More Resources

    See video for a short training session

    The following table contains the rollout plan for the new layout initiative:

    Rollout plan*
    Sandbox date
    Production date
    Usability Improvement/Environment
    June 2020
    May 24, 2020
    June 7, 2020

    New Layout/Production

    Early adopters only.

    July 2020
    June 21, 2020

    New Layout/Sandbox

    Administrators can turn the new functionality On for a specific user (Opt in).

    August 2020
    July 19, 2020
    August 2, 2020

    New Layout/Production

    Administrators can turn the New Layout On for a specific user (Opt in).
    November 2020
    October 18, 2020
    November 1, 2020

    New Layout/Production - Go Live

    The New Layout is the default. Users can turn it on and off (Opt in and out) by themselves. 

    March 2021
    February 21, 2020
    March 7, 2021

    New Layout/Production - Exclusive use


    *The timeline of the rollout plan is subject to change.

    How Can You Provide Feedback?

    Your feedback is most welcome for these new features, especially while trying them in the Sandbox environment.

    • If you encounter an issue, please Open a case via the Support Portal. Indicate in the title that the case refers to the new feature.

    For example "New Metadata Editor - when opening a record the title is cut ..."

    See Support Portal User Guide and What information should be provided when opening a Case?

    It is recommended to make the case public. For more information on making a case public, click here.

    • For any suggestions on improvements or additional capabilities, please submit to the Idea Exchange with the relevant category.

    See How can I request new collections to be added to our Discovery Indexes, KnowledgeBases and the Alma Community Zone? 

    Before opening a new issue, it is recommended to check for it in the Known Issues list. Also, some elements might be marked as 'Coming Soon', which means they will be added in a later release. Click here for the availability table.

    Known Issues

    For information about Metadata Editor known issues, click here.