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    Workflow Simplification


    Ex Libris is undertaking a workflow simplification initiative across different Alma functional areas  starting with Fulfillment and Acquisition.
    Workflow simplification will be achieved by enhanced user experience facilitating a smoother, user-friendly layout and navigation options.
    The new layout allows to easily switch between the ongoing tasks in your main workflow and any peripheral tasks. including:

    • Multi-select facets - Ability to select multiple facets in a single operation will assist staff users to focus on the needed entity more efficiently 
    • Clearer information hierarchy - A cleared and more prominent information hierarchy of the search results will enable staff users reviewing the the  search results list to find what they need faster and with less navigation needs (less clicking).
    • "Side -By-Side" presentation - Viewing/Editing the record's information without the need to specifically enter a new screen in order to edit a record enables users to complete their tasks faster with less navigational needs.
    • "Slide-Out" panel for extra information - When viewing/editing a record and navigating to a different (related) entity, a "slide-out" panel will overlay the screen providing the user with a single page application experience and a clear sense of orientation.
    • Labeling mechanism - Enabling staff users to add personalized labels to records will allow to mark and group records in order to assist users accomplish their tasks in various ways such as easily locating records they worked on, creating sets for global updates and more.    

    Circulation Desk Redesign

    The Manage Patron Services UI will be completely redesigned in order to leverage new layout capabilities to support a more streamlined workflow at the circulation desk. This is planned to be developed as part of the 2024 roadmap plans for Fulfillment

    The redesign has been done with a  number of concepts in mind:

    • Dashboard like view of patron status with regard to different fulfillment activities will make it much easier for circulation desk staff to be able to reflect to users on their current status without having to manually accumulate information from separate  screens.


    • Unification of previously discrete screens. Fulfillment related actions such as loans list management, fee payment and user information update will be accessible regardless of how the patron card has been accessed.This will enable circulation desk staff to supply the different services, such as check-out, check-in, request management and fee payment, all from one screen.
    • Ability to personalize elements of the screen as per personal or Institutional preferences and common workflows. New layout technology and the dashboard like appearance of the desk enable placing different components of the dashboard in different areas of the screen. For example, system notes may be given preference over manually managed notes. This way, the information that the library staff need to immediately notice will be closer to their main work tool, making sure they don't miss out on information they need to share with the patron that is at the desk.


    What are the benefits of this feature?

    The new circulation desk design will improve the efficiency of the circulation desk staff's work. Being a customer facing service, it is extremely important for the staff that provide end user services to be able to quickly access information and tools needed to service the patrons that have come up to the  desk. The new design and the technology it utilizes will make the  work at the desk quick and more efficient, reducing the work load of the library staff and perhaps even more importantly, reducing the time it takes for an end user to receive the required service at the desk. 

    When to use this feature?

    The new design will serve all circulation desk operators, and the personalization options will enable different libraries to customize the UI to best refelct their own preferences..


    New PO line management workflow.

    The new PO line management workflow is designed to save users extra navigation withing the POL management screen and ease the task assignment using a side by side presentation and by that save 50% of mouse clicking for most workflows. For full information see the New Unified PO Line Task List page and the  2022 roadmap highlight.

    The general elements which characterize the side by side view are:

    1. Compact left side record view presents users with key information regarding the PO lines they would like to work on. Clicking on a specific PO line from the left panel presents detailed information regarding the PO line on the right panel.
    2. The right side panel presents detailed information regarding the selected PO line, the right panel is separated by sections as described below.
    3. Any information changes on a PO line conducted from the right panel are saved immediately and automatically once the user enters the new/modified information to the PO line. The Saved indicator is set to present users with a confirmation that their changes are saved. This indicator is displayed upon any modification of information from the right panel.
    4. Right panel actions are set to enable users with all the available actions that are available in the "original" PO line editing screen.
    5. Navigation arrows enable users to navigate to the next/previous PO line presented in the left panel.
    6. "X" icon closes the right panel and returns the user to the "record-view" presentation.


    The logic of the new workflow is based on existing principals and data models so working with the new workflow should be intuitive for the Acquisitions operator/manager.

    What are the benefits of this feature?

    When you use this feature, you gain the following advantages:

    • Increase efficiency by working on multiple PO lines within a single screen and prevent the need to navigate back and forth between the POL search result and  the editing area of a specific POL
    • Unified task list will allow users to search PO line associated with a task list and immediately edit it, preventing the need to "Go to task list" in order to work on the PO line
    • Quick navigation between multiple PO lines (for example when looking at a list of POLs associated with an invoice)
    • Multi select facet capabilities
    • Save 50% of mouse clicking for most workflows

    When to use this feature?

    The new POL management workflow impacts all POLs in all their statuses. You will see this new workflow when you simply search for a POL or when you desire to review a full list of POLs by entering the relevant menu link (In review, waiting for manual packaging, Claim, etc.).


    Resource  Sharing Task Lists

    The Resource Sharing task lists (borrower and lender) has been redesigned and implemented with new layout capabilities. This greatly improves the efficiency of resource sharing request handling on both the borrower and the lender side for all types of requests.

    The redesign is done with a  number of concepts in mind:

    • Right pane work area that allows inline editing of the in focus request without requiring to navigate to a separate edit form and lose the context of the request list that is being processed.


    • Multiple facet selection supports a more flexible tool for creating your work set, by including requests that  meet multiple criteria of the same facet in one work set.


    • Inline handling of note and patron queries in a right pane. This makes these important information elements more noticeable when reviewing the request list as well as makes it easier to add and edit notes to the processed requests.


    • Easier search across requests in multiple activity statuses and across assignee responsibilities by handling the request status and assignee information as facets that support multiple selection rather than by filters.


    • Sliding panel enables full work on requests without losing the requests list context.


    What are the benefits of this feature?

    The new task lists' design improves the efficiency of resource sharing staff's work. The more efficient work process not only reduce the time and effort it takes for staff to manage requests, it also increases the ability to track the current overall status of the in process requests, and  eventually reduces the time it takes for the patrons to receive the resource they have requested.

    The new task lists make resource sharing staff better able to manage only the requests that require their manual intervention, and make that manual intervention easier and quicker to process.

    When to use this feature?

    The new design serves all resource sharing staff. It will be the tool for both the regular daily task list based work as well as for processing specific required requests.


    New Title Search - Enhanced Repository Search Results

    The Title search UI will be completely redesigned in order to leverage new layout capabilities to support a more streamlined workflow while reviewing Title search results. This is planned to be developed as part of the 2024 Alma roadmap. The Title search redesign will include the Physical, Digital and Electronic title search results as well as general collection search results.

    The redesign is done with a  number of concepts in mind:

    1. Multiple facet selection supports a more flexible tool for creating your work set, by including requests that  meet multiple criteria of the same facet in one work set.
    2. Clear indication regarding the Bibliographic record type.
    3. Clear indication regarding the inventory types associated with the Bibliographic records and information regarding the requests and orders associated with the title. 


    1. Right panel which holds full information regarding the entities associated with the title, this information will be presented in the form of sections, which will enable full work on entities relating to the title while remaining within the context of the initial search results
    2. "Simple" MARC view section will be available to the user up-front without the need to move back and forth between various screens


    6. Sliding panel will allow initiating workflows while remaining in the context of the search results, this will allow easier understanding of the contexts where the workflow was initiated from as well as easy navigation back to the origin point.


    What are the benefits of this feature?

    • Increase efficiency by working on multiple Titles within a single screen and prevent the need to navigate back and forth between the Title search result and  the the various workflows
    • Quick navigation between multiple Titles (for example when reviewing similar titles and their MARC records)
    • Multi select facet capabilities
    • Save mouse clicking for most workflows

    When to use this feature?

    The new Title search results will impacts all type of Alma users which uses the title search results for their daily workflows, from catalogers to acquisitions staff. Users will see the new design and workflow while using any of the Title searched.

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