Sunday, February 03, 2008

More Meebo & IM

Late Friday afternoon marked the success of adding a Meebo Me widget to my personal web site, the same place I am housing all of the web design discussion, changes, and samples. This is the perfect place for practice because the page is directly on university server space and no ftp or staging server is needed; once I hit save everything on the page is live. A short celebratory exclamation was appropriate (woo-hoo) and I contacted two other librarians, via IM, to test out the page. It was fun, informative, and we learned a few interesting things:
  • If one or more patrons types in a question at the same time, simultaneous IM windows open. The person answering IM questions will do double duty.
  • It helps if users close out of/leave the page featuring chat when they finish. Otherwise the next person may need to refresh or clean out their cache to open a "new" session.
  • The widget does indeed make an annoying sound (it can be turned off) when the IM window is activiated and when the patron answers your query. On the plus side, this does make it easier to keep more than one window open for IM/chat.
  • The active IM window is highlighted, again making it easier to distinguish when a new session is opened.
  • It is possible to put up more than one widget. This will allow us to create different size feature widgets for different pages. Some pages easily facilitate larger windows while others have less available real estate for the feature.
  • From a design standpoint, we were able to customize both the title of the IM/chat window on the Meebo Me widget and the colors.
After the initial thrill of "it works" wore off, we spent a few minutes conference chatting with Yahoo! Messenger discussing how the widget looked from both the user and patron end. All in all it was a very successful, and fun, afternoon. Monday I want to take time to finesse the colors and widget title some on the internal page. I also need to add text description of what widget feature entails as far as providing reference may be concerned.

With a bit of luck, the sell will not be as difficult as imagined ... one can only hope.

No comments: