What AskAway entry points are available?
The Qwidget is a chat widget that can be embedded into any webpage or tool. Clicking on the Qwidget and typing a question initiates a chat session instantly. Qwidgets are the preferred entry point into AskAway.
Qwidgets provide immediate, barrier-free entry into a conversation at point of need, which increases engagement. When Qwidgets were introduced in 2009, libraries that implemented them saw an average increase in usage of 221%. Qwidgets are recommended whenever possible.
How to title the Qwidget:
Titles should indicate what the Qwidget is for: research help. Titling it “AskAway” may not clearly indicate to patrons that they can use this chat box to get research help.
Some effective titles used by participating libraries:
- Ask a Librarian
- Research Help
- Need help? AskAway!
- AskAway: Librarian Chat
The Qwidget title can be changed in the QuestionPoint Create Qwidget module. See: How to create/update a Qwidget
How to embed the Qwidget
OCLC provides general directions on embedding the Qwidget.
A button is an image that links into an AskAway session. Buttons should be used when the webpage’s design does not allow for a Qwidget.
Buttons should meet the following criteria:
- Large and prominent enough to stand out from other elements on the web page
- Include some indication of the button’s purpose (e.g. “Ask a librarian”, “Research help”, etc.)
- Button links should bring patrons directly into an AskAway session or to a page with a prominent Qwidget, within one click
- Links open in a new window when appropriate
- Links should not open a new window containing a web page with only the Qwidget on it, unless:
- The Qwidget and containing page are appropriately sized
Text links are appropriate when communicating via email or on documents. While including an AskAway link in a menu can be a helpful supplement to a Qwidget or button, it should not be the only way to find AskAway on a page. Because they are not attention-grabbing or distinct from other elements, using text links exclusively is not recommended unless no other option is available.
All links should bring patrons directly into an AskAway session or a page with a prominent Qwidget. AskAway should be accessible within one click.