When you add the Qwidget (QuestionPoint widget) on your library web pages, patrons can easily enter your service. The patron simply sends a message through the Qwidget if chat is available. For librarians, Qwidget sessions appear in the QuestionPoint chat monitor, along with other patron sessions.
In the Qwidget, the patron sees that chat is available if:
a librarian whose primary queue matches the patron's primary queue is monitoring chat. Librarians see Qwidget sessions if
- the patron's primary queue matches the librarian's primary queue; and
- if the Qwidget queue management permissions are set to rollup to librarians monitoring your group, regional or national cooperative, (or the 24/7 Reference Cooperative under certain conditions.)
In the librarian's chat monitor, "Qwidget" appears in front of the patron's question if the patron is using the Qwidget.
Custom Qwidget options
Your web team can create a custom Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) file for the Qwidget to match the color and look of the Qwidget with the rest of your web site. This requires experience with CSS files and with creating and adding files for a public-facing web site. The CSS file will be stored and maintained on your servers. The Qwidget is hosted on QuestionPoint servers at OCLC. For more information, see Qwidget Custom Color Skin Instructions.
Patrons who navigate the web via compatible mobile devices can use your Qwidget to connect to a librarian if the Qwidget was created or changed and pasted into web pages after August 25, 2013. No special setup steps are needed for the Mobile Qwidget. For a list of supported mobile browsers, please see Qwidget Mobile Browser Support.
Configure Qwidget messages that patrons see while waiting for a librarian
You can select and customize up to five messages that the patron sees while waiting for a librarian to join the session. See step 5 below for more information about the messages.
If you have already created your Qwidget and now want only to select and customize the patron waiting messages, do steps 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10. Repeat steps 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10 for each language in which you provide the Qwidget.
Create your Qwidget
- Navigate to Administration > Institution > Forms > Forms Manager.
- Click Create Qwidget.
- Selecta language for which you want to provide a Qwidget and click Submit.
- On the Qwidget Configuration page for the selected language, enter and select option values on the left and see their effect displayed on standard size Qwidget example on the right.
Notes about the available options for Qwidget configuration:
- Qwidget Language shows the language that you selected for the Qwidget.
- Qwidget Name is text that appears in the banner at the top of the Qwidget.
- Offline Message is the message that a patron sees when chat is not available because no one is monitoring your primary queue. Coordinate this message with the Email Option that you select. If you do not provide a message, the patron sees no message when chat is not available. You can include the HTML code for a link in the message. Example: Go to QuestionPoint for assistance.
Although you can create an offline message of any length, we recommend that you not exceed 127 visible characters in the message, so as not to affect the display if you also choose to enable the Email Option described below. You can see how your offline message will appear in the standard size Qwidget if you mouse over the offline message field in the Qwidget creation field as you are working on setting up the options.
- Email Option lets you offer or not offer e-mail question service to the patron in the Qwidget when no one is monitoring your primary queue. If you offer it, boxes are provided for the patron to type and send an e-mail address and a question. They go to your library's QuestionPoint account as an e-mail question. The patron receives an e-mail acknowledgement. If you do not offer it, the patron cannot send a question in the Qwidget when chat is not available.
- Customize "Thank you your question has been submitted" message. (Offline email submittal confirmation) lets you customize the text of the message that patron sees after submitting an email question (if that feature has been turned on). If you do not enter custom text, the patron sees "Thank you your question has been submitted." If you customize the text, we recommend that you limit the length of the text to 55 or fewer characters.
- Qwidget Size lets you select the size of the Qwidget. The Fill (100%) option fills all the space that you make available for the Qwidget on your web page. If you use the Fill option, the available space (the parent element of the Qwidget container) must be at least 230 pixels high.
- Qwidget Color lets you select one of the seven standard colors of the Qwidget.
- Customize "librarian is typing" lets you customize the text of the message that a patron sees when the librarian is typing. This option controls the text for the Qwidget and for chat. If you do not enter text in this option, the patron sees "librarian is typing." The message appears when the librarian starts typing and disappears when the librarian stops. The message is located at the bottom of the Qwidget and above the patron entry box in the patron chat window. If you customize the text, we recommend that you limit the length of the text to 25 or fewer characters.
(When the patron is typing, "is typing" appears following the patron's name above the transcript in the librarian chat monitor and "!" appears at the beginning of the patron's name in the list under the My Active tab.)
- Mask patron IP addresses lets you mask or not mask the patron's IP address. If you select No, the patron's IP address is available when you review transcripts in the Ask module. If you select Yes, the patron's IP address is not available. (The patron's IP address is not available in the chat monitor or in Full Questions in the Ask module whether you select Yes or No.)
- Require Email for Qwidget Chat lets you require or not require that the patron submit an e-mail address in order to chat with a librarian. If you select No, the patron is not required to submit an address and can check a box to remain anonymous when submitting one. If you select Yes, the patron must submit an e-mail address after sending a first message in order to chat with a librarian. The new chat request does not appear in the chat monitor unless the patron submits an e-mail address.
- Required Email Prompt is the message that a patron sees in the Qwidget before sending a first chat message if you require that the patron submit an e-mail address in order to chat with a librarian. Provide a message that informs the patron about the requirement. If you do not provide a message, the patron sees the default message shown on the Qwidget Configuration page.
- Nudge patron to enter email address lets you nudge (remind) the patron at the beginning of the session to submit an e-mail address. (This option and Nudge Message are not available if you require the patron to submit an e-mail address.) If you select No, the nudge message is not displayed. If you select Yes, it is displayed.
- Nudge Message is the message that a patron sees after sending a first chat message if you choose to nudge the patron to submit an e-mail address. Provide a message that encourages the patron to submit one. The message appears for a few seconds in place of the envelope button that the patron can click during the session to submit an e-mail address. If you do not provide a nudge message, the patron sees the default message shown on the Qwidget Configuration page. If the patron does not submit an e-mail address during the session, the patron can click a link after the session ends to request a transcript. If the link is clicked, the patron is prompted to enter an e-mail address.
- Enter and select the option values for the Qwidget patron waiting messages.
Notes about the available options for patron waiting messages:
- You can select and customize up to five messages that the patron sees while waiting for a librarian to join the session. The five are: Initial Message; First Message; Second Message; Third Message; Fourth Message.
- The Initial Message always appears when the patron connects to chat. You can use the default text or provide custom text. To use the default text for the Initial Message, check the Use Default box. To use custom text, uncheck the Use Default box and type the custom text in the text box.
- The other four messages are optional. You can use none, one, two, three, or four of them.
- If you use the First Message, it appears when the patron has been waiting for 50 seconds.
- If you use the Second Message, it appears when the patron has been waiting for 80 seconds.
- If you use the Third Message, it appears when the patron has been waiting for 120 seconds.
- If you use the Fourth Message, it appears when the patron has been waiting for 190 seconds.
- You do not need to use the messages in order. For example, you could use the Second and Fourth Messages and exclude the First and Third.
- To use a message, check the Include box. To exclude a message, uncheck the Include box.
- To use the default text for a message, check the Use Default box. To use custom text, uncheck the Use Default box and type the custom text in the text box.
- If there is custom text in the text box for a message when you check the Use Default box, the custom text is removed. If you had previously saved (submitted) the custom text, you can restore it by clicking the Cancel button.
- After you click the Submit button, you can click the View Other Messages button to display the Patron Waiting Messages page on which you can view or print your patron waiting messages. The messages for each language in which you provide the Qwidget are included so you can review the messages for all languages and determine the languages for which you still need to provide messages. Click the Close button to return to the Qwidget Configuration page.
- Click Submit.
Note: If you make changes to the Qwidget, you must click Submit before you click Test or copy the Qwidget code.
- Click Test. A separate test window containing the Qwidget opens. If someone is monitoring your primary queue, you can test chat. If no one is monitoring your primary queue, you can see what the patron sees in that case.
- Repeat steps 4-7 as needed to make changes based on your test results.
- When the Qwidget for the selected language is ready for use on web pages, click anywhere in the Code box to select all of the code, copy the code, and paste it in web pages.
- The Qwidget code contains UTF-8 encoding so any foreign language diacritics display correctly regardless of the encoding on the rest of your web page.
- If you make changes to the Qwidget after you paste the Qwidget code into web pages, you must replace the code in the web pages if you change Qwidget Language, Qwidget Size, or Qwidget Color. You do not need to replace the code in web pages if you change only other options.
- Click Return to Forms Manager.
- Repeat steps 2-10 as needed for each language in which you want to provide a Qwidget.
Putting multiple Qwidgets on a web page
You can place up to 5 Qwidgets on any webpage. The Qwidgets can be from different institutions, and/or in different languages, and in differing sizes and/or styles.To place additional Qwidgets on a page, you must uniquely identify each Qwidget by customizing or adding elements to the code. For instructions, see Multiple Qwidgets.
Embed instructions for CMS
For instructions in placing a Qwidget in Drupal, Blackboard, Facebook or Sharepoint, see Qwidget Embedding Options.
If you experience difficulties with embedding the Qwidget in database products or other CMS products, please contact OCLC Support, and explain in detail what product you are using and what problem occurred when you attempted to embed the Qwidget. Depending upon the product and the difficulty reported, we may be able to provide you with alternate code that will solve the issue.