Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Updated admin site and webchat client rollout this weekend

We recently announced that we've been working on a major revision of the admin site and a more minor update to the webchat client. These updates will be rolling out to the main US server (libraryh3lp.com) this weekend, on Sunday morning. There will be some downtime but as always, we will do our best to minimize it. And we'll tweet our progress so you and your staff will be able to check the status.

In our last post, we focused on the improvements to the admin site. The new layout of the admin site significantly improves management of large admin domains with lots of users and queues. Daily workflow is streamlined by making the most common admin activities more prominent. And for those of you who love your reports, we've added snazzier interactive graphs.

In this post, we wanted to give you a rundown on improvements coming to the webchat client. The most visible change to the webchat client, beyond the cosmetic change from blue to grey, is integrated navigation to chat monitoring, using the Activity tab (bottom-left).

Chatting looks pretty much like before. But notice the tabs across the bottom!


The Activity tab gives an overview of the day's chat activity.

Some improvements will not be immediately noticeable, like sound alert improvements. We're using a new JavaScript library to play sounds, but we still have the same actual alert sound (the sonar ping). Our goal is to make sound alerts more robust overall. One immediate benefit is that IE9 users will no longer need to use compatibility mode.

And we have brand a new feature - Desktop Notifications! Desktop notifications provide a pop-up window alerting you to new patron chats, even if the webchat client is minimized or buried way in the background with lots of other applications on top. Now, if your sound is turned down or even muted, you'll get good visual alerting for new messages.

If your broswer supports them, desktop notifications can be enabled using the Actions menu (top-right). They have native support in Chrome and in our testing, this feature works great in Chrome. There is also a desktop notifications plugin for Firefox; the only caveat with the Firefox plugin is that we have not tested it extensively.

Desktop notifications in action in Chrome.

We hope these changes will improve your workflows and service quality! Additionally, these upgrades pave the way for exciting (and frequently requested) features, such as canned messages and the ability to centrally block abusive patrons. Stay tuned over the coming months for details.

2 comments:

walking473 said...

I'm wondering why the tabs don't appear in my webchat client window...

Pam Sessoms said...

Hi there walking473,

Yes, that sounds strange. Can you please send a screenshot of the whole browser window to support@libraryh3lp.com so we can take a look?

Pam