Qwidget Implementation: A Guide for Partner Libraries


About the Qwidget

The Qwidget is an embedded chat widget that libraries can place anywhere on their website, at the customer's point of need. The Qwidget is another customer entry point for our customers into the chat queues librarians already monitor. Qwidget customers are identified as being on that interface by the label “[qwidget]” displayed at the beginning of the question on the librarian's side of the interface.

What does it look like?

You have lots of customization options for the look and feel of the qwidget. This is an example of what a  "regular" "blue" qwidget looks like. It will drop you into the Maryland AskUsNow! Public Library queue:

Where could we put the Qwidget?

The Qwidget can be placed anywhere on your website or other online spaces but key locations are on your front page and in a recurring table of contents, if possible. Other great locations for the Qwidget:

  • Subject guides, libguides
  • Young adult pages
  • Readers advisory pages
  • In the catalog (specifically, on a "no results" pages)
  • In the subscription databases
  • Facebook
  • your mobile website
  • anywhere!

Implementing your own Qwidget

To customize your qwidget and grab the code you need for your website, the liaison (or someone who has the 9 digit admin access) should follow this path:

Administration > Forms > Forms Manager > Create Qwidget

Once on that screen you will have options to customize the size, color, and messages. Additional customization information is also linked from that page. There are also directions for how to create a collapsible qwidget to preserve real estate on your website.

If you would like to put the qwidget in your Facebook page, Question has documentation for doing so.

Want a mobile qwidget? The Qwidget is mobile, right out of the box - you just need a special link not found in the Qwidget customization area of QuestionPoint. We have another page to explain that.

Why Qwidget?

Time and time again it’s proven that when barriers are removed, customer usage of that thing increases. The same is true for embedded widgets – removing a couple of clicks to get into AskUsNow! and placing the widget all over the place makes it easier for a customer to ask a question where and when they want to.

Do you have stats to support this claim?

YEP! Check out the compiled PDF for anecdotes and numbers from other statewide services. and our own data:

Chats requested by customers - comparison of requests by month pre- and post- qwidget launch. All listed libraries launched in Jan/Feb 2013.

Jan 2012

97 24 899* 134 19
Jan 2013 67 19 213 105 32 (19)
Feb 2012 145 18 512 101 11
Feb 2013 182 (including 95 through the qwidget) 31 (3) 314 (109) 147 (51) 31 (25)
Mar 2012 98 12 325 106 10
Mar 2013 201 (112 qwidget) 16 (5) 303 (199) 189 (63) 33 (28)
Apr 2012 66 7 248 84 9
Apr 2013 175 (84) 21 (8) 279 (123) 133 (49) 26 (20)
May 2012 96 27 284 120 7
May 2013 162 (91) 18 (2) 228 (131) 115 (44) 12 (10)
* anomaly due to Nook Contest Promotion

Can I still push pages to customers on the Qwidget interface?

No. Due to the nature of the interface, when you send a URL to a customer it DOES NOT show up on the side like it does in the regular customer interface- because there is no "side" for it to show up in. Your link is sent, however, and customers will simply click on it to view the page in another window/tab of their browser.

Is the Qwidget Accessible (Section 508)?

Yep! Here is the VPAT statement: http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/support/questionpoint/Section_508_Accessibility_QP.pdf

However, there is one issue with the Qwidget & screenreaders:  when Qwidget is closed, the screenreader reads both the open and closed message, thus confusing the user. Our Qwidgets roll up to the Coop, so they are always open and therefore the users on screenreaders will have no problem.  But if any library has a Qwidget that does not roll up to the Coop (like NOAA, for example), then this could be an issue.  There is a fix for this which will go into the next release, the Qwidgets improvement release, in May.

The Qwidget Improvement release in May 2013 resolved the screenreader issue.


Is this guide useful and understandable? Does it have everything you need to get started? If not, please let us know so we can fix it!