Ex Libris Product Testing
Ex Libris has recently initiated a renewed interest in ALMA product testing. Carmit Marcus of Ex Libris, is leading this effort and has reached out to very large academic libraries in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia that have been on ALMA for over a year or more. A key focus for Alma product development in 2016 will be improving Alma usability. The goal is to review usability pain points at select institutions, bring those pain points forward to Ex Libris Development, and then have Development work through eliminating those pain points as part of the 2016 development cycle. Additionally, a consultant with experience in usability will be brought on board.
UW was one of the libraries contacted and Sion Romaine of UW provides the following update:
As part of this focus, Carmit Marcus, Ex Libris” Director of Product Management, met with University of Washington Libraries staff on June 24 to review Alma usability issues. Together, the group reviewed and walked through workflows in all Alma functional areas where usability could be improved, including providing more consistent labelling and placement of action menu options throughout the interface, eliminating redundant confirmation and pop-up screens, improving response time, and streamlining workflow steps to reduce the likelihood of ‘death by a thousand clicks’. Carmit had recently met with staff at the University of York in the United Kingdom, and noted that they discussed many of the same usability issues as the UW. Carmit will also conduct similar site visits with the University of Minnesota and the University of Manitoba in mid-July. UW staff agreed that the meeting was extremely useful in surfacing issues that do not break workflows, but which hinder both speed of processing and the rate at which users become comfortable navigating Alma.