Qwidget & Full Interface Update

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Did you know that patrons have two ways to access AskAway, and that there are some good reasons to consider which a patron is using?
This post is about the differences between full-screen and Qwidget interfaces, and how to tell which way your patron has entered AskAway.

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Full-Screen Interface

Most service providers are familiar with Qwidgets. These are the IM widgets that can be embedded in webpages, databases, and elsewhere. In the past year, 78% of patrons accessed AskAway via Qwidget.
22% of patrons accessed AskAway by the full-screen interface in the past year. Some institutions provide patrons with the full-screen interface, and all patrons entering through AskAway.org use the full-screen interface.
While chatting with a patron, you can determine whether they have entered AskAway by Qwidget or through the full-screen interface. The Info tab includes the word Qwidget before the initial question for Qwidgets patrons (see image below). This is how to determine whether or not your patron is using AskAway via Qwidget.

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Determining whether your patron is using a Qwidget is useful for a few reasons:

  • it impacts scripts you choose to send them (e.g., which closing script)
  • it allows you to provide relevant feedback if they are having technical difficulties using AskAway (e.g. text is too small, chat box is too small)
  • the full-screen interface is vulnerable to framebusting pages - knowing this can help you warn the patron about potential framebusters

Please contact me at the Admin Centre if you have comments or questions.

- Reece, BC ELN