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đź•Ą Change tracker app, UX iteration 1


Hello everyone!

I just started working on a “Change tracker” app and I would love to have your feedback.

What is the “Change tracker” app?
“Change tracker” is a helper app that will allow users to keep track of all changes made to a record.

Below is a wireframe of the Users app with the “Change tracker” open:

How does it work?
When users edit a record, the “Change tracker” icon will appear next to both the edited field and the pane header title.

After clicking on the “Change tracker” icon next to the edited field, a modal will appear stating what change was made to the field and giving users the possibility to add a note/reason why.

After clicking on the “Change tracker” icon next to the pane header title, a modal will appear with a summary of ALL the changes made to the record and the possibility to add a note/reason why.

Change tracker app full view
When full view, the change tracker app will have a search pane allowing users to search a specific change by keywords, time and/or apps name.

When a search result is selected, a list of all changes related to the selected item will be displayed and the one selected will be highlighted. If the user is the one who made the change, he will be able to edit/add a “reason”.

Please, feel free to share your questions, feedback and ideas in the comments below to help me improve it.


This looks potentially game changing. :slight_smile:

How do we forsee change tracking being persisted on the back-end? Is there a standard interface that would need to be implemented? Or is that discussion outside of the scope of this app?


Thanks for you question, @Kurt_Nordstrom :slight_smile:

The details of implementation have yet to be discussed and decided on, but the hope for this feature is that it would be available for anything that exists as an editable “record” in FOLIO. So I imagine we would want to prescribe a standard way of storing / logging / making information accessible for this sort of interface to reach its full potential for end users.


Am I correct in thinking that changes will be tracked automatically and users only need to interact directly with the app to either add/edit a reason or to view change history?


Yes @LauraW, it is what we envision. We would like changes to be tracked automatically, allowing users to have the full history of a record.


For Voyager bib records, I think we can see who originally created the record and the last person to edit. Sometimes it is frustrating to not be able to see beyond just the last edit, but is keeping track of every edit to every record feasible? Or useful? Serial bib and holdings records could see many, many changes in just a few years. For a library with millions of bib records could this become a server space issue?


That’s a great point, @PaulaSullenger! Thanks for sharing it! :slight_smile:

@jakub, do you have any thoughts on this?


What is the intended scope of this - that is, which fields does it track changes to? I ask because some fields change frequently, like item status or a loan’s due date. From what I know, it’s useful to see changes to those types of fields over time & and it’s also helpful to see changes to other fields that don’t change as often, but I wonder if grouping those together when one is much more high-volume is going to be confusing, unless you could separate them out.

This also brings to mind the loan details page, and the action table that records renewals, claim return, changed due date, etc. - is the change tracker app intended to replace that, coexist with it, or not apply to that information at all?


We are working on an “actions list” in Requests. If there was instead a standard “change tracker” that we could plug in, that could be quite useful.

I’ve also heard from some SMEs that it would be very useful to see, when viewing an item, every change that the item has been involved in, such as “filled a request”, “barcode changed” etc. That seems like a big undertaking, but perhaps something like a Change Tracker would have easier access to all the pieces that would be needed to show that variety of information in one place.


I agree that a change tracker would be very useful in the world of circ transactions. I’ve always wished for an item status tracker, and it sounds like this tracker could be used for that. Showing the full date/time and operator ID would be very useful. Q: Would the tracker capture system-initiated changes (such as batch job record updates), or just operator-initiated changes? it would be useful to capture everything, and be filterable by date range or opid.


This looks like a great and very helpful feature! How about tracking automated changes too? Automated fees and fines are often questioned by patrons and a complete history of events and related fines would be very helpful.

Still privacy rules have to be taken care of… So perhaps when a “case” is done, patron information has to be anonymized/removed in historic records too.


I share @PaulaSullenger’s concerns. But I also think this functionality, if it can work, would be amazing. We currently use so many local notes that attempt (somewhat ineffectively) to do this. Would it be possible to select only certain types of changes to track? Or to periodically purge certain types of changes only?


Great point @schwill! I didn’t think about privacy. Do you have an idea of other fields that could have a privacy issue?
And yes, in our vision, not only manual changes will be tracked but automated changes as well :slight_smile:


Thanks for your comment @ecboettcher @Joanne_Leary @taniafersenheim. We would like the change tracker app to automatically track every type of fields and changes (manual and automated). In our vision, users would be able to sort changes via the following filters: app name, category (made by the team, by you or automated), date range, keywords. @LauraW Are we missing a filter? What do you mean by types of changes? Could you give me an example?


An example of something we might not want to track (or might want to purge routinely) would be yearly resets of circ data. We might also want to purge acquisitions receiving changes after the end of a fiscal year.


I wonder where it is best to take care of privacy issues of records. Perhaps the app storing the record is the best place. If so, it should take care of the record history too. That way the tracker app could just display what is left after anonymization/pseudonymization/deletion…


If it is feasible, then i say do it! Currently Aleph retains all changes to item and order records, and a log of time/users who make changes to bib and holdings records (but not what the actual change was). I don’t know that we need to retain all the text that was changed, for example in a bib record, but knowing what element in an item or order for example is super helpful.


@Stephanie another filter to consider: by type of record, since there may be multiple record types within a particular app. Date range (which you already mentioned) will also be a useful one. Thank you!


Coming back to this late, sorry - some other information that could be helpful to have would be the service point where the change was applied (e.g., to track down an in transit item that hasn’t arrived), the time (not just the date) of the change, or links to loans it’s been part of. (Some institutions that keep borrower history want to be able to get to the previous borrower for the item, for example.) Are those sorts of things out of scope for this app, or no? The last might be similar to what @taniafersenheim is saying for seeing whether the item has filled a request, but I’m not sure.

I’m particularly interested in the “scrollable table with recent changes related to Rosalyn Roman” in the fourth screenshot above. Does that only refer to the changes the user is presently making, or all changes in a certain time period? If the former, is there a way to see all the changes to an item record, starting from that item record? Or is it that you have to go into change tracker & search for your item?


Great feedback! Thank you @ecboettcher! For the scrollable table, it is only for changes presently made. If a user would like to see the change history of Rosalyn Roman record in the Users app, he would have to open the Change tracker app, select the Users app in the filters and type Rosalyn Roman in the search field (see 5th screenshot). So yes, users would have to open the change tracker app to search records and see the changes.