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User Experience, Accessibility, and Infrastructure

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User Experience, Accessibility and Infrastructure


User Experience

Alma was designed to have a modern and intuitive interface. We aim to allow the user to be efficient and to ensure that workflows are as simple as possible. We also take accessibility into consideration, with the goal of enabling people with disabilities to easily use the software.

In June, 2016, Ex Libris initiated a long-term project dedicated to improving the Alma user experience, beginning by focusing on enhancing Alma's visual design and revamping its workflows.

During 2019 and 2020, we introduced a new approach we call "Enhanced UX," which includes many layout improvements in the user interface, such as a "side-by-side" view and slide-out panels, a more powerful advanced search module, and additional improved functionality. The first areas in Alma to be included in the new enhanced UX are the Physical Holdings and the Resource Sharing task list. To ease users' adjustment to the enhanced UX screens, we have added a "phased role out" feature which enables users to opt in and out of new screens for an extended period of time, allowing them plenty of time to get used to the new layout.

2023 is expected to be the year of Enhanced UX, as many new areas in Alma will embrace the enhanced UX screens.  Notably, the Unified PO Line workflow, the Analytics UI in Alma, and the Manage Sets screen are set to receive this upgrade. These enhancements are expected to deliver streamlined and user-friendly workflows, empowering users to efficiently accomplish their tasks and daily responsibilities.


At Ex Libris, we make every effort to ensure that Alma can be used by everyone. Alma was designed and developed to meet Level A and AA of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act for features and functions. See the Alma Accessibility Statement.

For more details on current rollout plans see Usability Improvements.

2016-2018 - New UI 2019-2020 - New Concepts 2021 and Beyond - Apply New Concepts Across the System
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  • Visual Design
  • Navigation
  • System-Wide UI Elements
  • Screen Layout Data Arrangement
  • Messages & Alerts
  • New Layout
  • Side by Side
  • Slide-out Panel
  • Cards
  • Apply the new concepts to the main areas and workflows of Alma

2023 H2

Improved Letter - Editing Functionality

NERS2.png NERS Request  

What’s New Highlights Impact

The letter editor will have an enhanced design that will improve the UX when working with the XML/XSL editor. It will include a live preview reflecting immediate changes in the XML/XSL editors and draft-saving functionality.

  • Side by side live preview, updated immediately when changes are made in the XSL/XML editors
  • Draft feature to enable multi-session work
  • Improved error detection and error description

Added efficiency and transparency to letter-editing workflows

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Manage Sets - New Layout

What’s New Highlights Impact

As part of the Workflow Simplification process, a more informative list view for Sets with enhanced UX capabilities

  • Side-by-side view enabling quicker and more informative navigation between sets
  • Facets in the search feature for more accurate set searches

Fast and more efficient workflows with sets

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Accessibility: VPAT Publication

What's New Highlights Impact
As Alma shifts to enhanced UX screens, the goal is to make both existing and new layouts screens comply with A and AA accessibility requirements. Exiting and new screens in Alma will be reviewed by a third-party leading accessibility company and the audit report will be officially published.
  • Full transparency about the accessibility status in Alma
  • A more accessible Alma

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Configuration Improvements

What’s New Highlights Impact

Code and Mapping tables will undergo improvements to enhance their usability and navigation. These enhancements will make working with and navigating through these tables much easier for users

  • Pagination for multi-page tables
  • Search within the tables
  • Filtering capability

Simplifying administrative work

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2024 H1

Sets – Enhanced Functionality

What’s New Highlights Impact

Simplifying the Sets process to be quicker and more straightforward, including quick access capabilities

  • Intuitive and straightforward set creation
  • Quick and intuitive utilization of sets for various jobs
  • Quick access to commonly used sets

Simpler workflows with fewer clicks and more efficiency

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Color Theme Selection by User

What’s New Highlights Impact

Allowing color theme configuration in the user level

  • Allowing the user to select the default primary color in the user interface 
  • Admin override control in case an institution decides to have one color theme for all

Adding more customization for the Alma individual user 

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Accessibility: Improved Keyboard Shortcuts

What’s New Highlights Impact

Aligning keyboard shortcuts between existing and new layout screens

  • Supporting shortcuts in the new layout screens in the same way they are supported in existing screens
  • Additional shortcuts to common actions

Strengthening accessibility across Alma, with less mousing and more keyboard actions

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Menu Simplification: Customized Menu

What’s New Highlights Impact

A simplified and customizable menu will be implemented, offering a convenient configuration option that includes the most frequently used entries. Alongside the full menu, users will have the ability to personalize their menu by selecting the specific entries they commonly access, ensuring a streamlined and tailored user experience.

This is part of the Workflow Simplification process.

  • A simplified menu that only includes the most common entries
  • Menu customization with simple drag and drop functionality
  • Easy access to the full menu when needed
  • Adding more customization for individual users in Alma
  • A simplified user experience 

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2024 H2

Jobs – New Layout

What’s New Highlights Impact

A quick and intuitive way to create and use jobs, including improved job timing and scheduling capabilities

  • Creating jobs will be more intuitive and straightforward.
  • Job scheduling will be flexible and easy to do.
  • Accessing often-used jobs will be quick and intuitive.

Simpler workflows with fewer clicks and more efficiency

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Menu Simplification: Support Similar Terms in More Languages in Menu Search 

What’s New Highlights Impact

Continuing "fuzzy" search in the menu, we plan to support similar terms in additional languages. This will be done in coordination with the Alma user community.

This is part of the process of simplifying Alma workflows. For more information see the Workflow Simplification page.

  • Search-matching capabilities for non-identical terms in additional languages
Improved workflow that enables users to find the entries they need more easily

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