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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Coming soon! Updates to the webclient for staff

We've been hard at work on updates to the webclient for staff based on user feedback. This updated webclient retains the current webclient's basic layout and workflows, and so it will feel immediately familiar to most operators. We plan to release these updates on January 29, but for now we invite everyone into the late-stage beta testing phase. You can readily switch back and forth between the production and beta versions as desired. If you'd like to give the beta version a try, follow the link provided from the webclient login page.

And without further ado, let's run down the list of changes and improvements!

Menu Layout

The navigation menu has moved from the top to left sidebar, which opens up the space for your custom status (more on that below).

Left: older layout with navigation at top.  Right: updated layout with navigation along left sidebar.

Custom status for colleagues more conveniently located

Provide short custom status lines shown only to your colleagues (guests won't see this).  Previously, custom status was set through the Availability drop-down menu.
Setting a custom status

Canned message improvements

Canned message behavior has been redesigned.  Now in addition to or instead of the type-ahead menu, you can use our canned message selector to visually browse and filter all canned messages within each chat.
Visual canned message browser.

And, for those that prefer an approach that doesn't require use of the mouse, canned message type-ahead matching remains, with a couple of usability improvements to make it less aggressive:
  1. Matching begins after three matched letters.
  2. Matching occurs only at the beginning of words.
Type-ahead matching begins at three letters now.
Type-ahead matching can be enabled or disabled in Preferences.

Emoji picker

No need to memorize the key combinations for the available emoji. There is a handy "insert emoji" button that comes with every chat. Click the "insert emoji" button to review the available choices and then click the desired emoticon to insert it.

Emoji picker available via the "insert emoji" button for a chat

In-place profiles

If you staff a collaborative service, you're probably very familiar with queue profiles.  These function as staff "cheat sheets" and provide useful context-sensitive shortcuts for staffers.  


Queue profile displays as an overlay and can be detached into a separate window.
Queue profiles display as a convenient overlay now, instead of always opening in a new tab.  And, if you need continued access to a profile, you can detach into a separate tab at any time by clicking the icon in the profile overlay title bar.

Performance improvements for very busy services

We suggest Chrome for the best experience if you have a high-volume chat service and often chat with many guests simultaneously.

Conference rooms

If you use conference rooms, you'll notice a few changes to the layout:
  1. There are no longer options to join or to leave the conference room. Both actions are done automatically for you as you log into and out of the webclient.
  2. If you have more than one conference room available to you, the rooms be listed vertically to the left of the conference room messages.  Previously conference rooms were listed horizontally across the top of the conference room area.

Detachable Chat History and Profiles

Chat History and Profiles are both available for browsing at any time within the webclient.  And if you need to have them available in their own, separate browser windows while you're chatting, you can detach them easily.

Detachable Chat History
Detachable Profile Browsing
Open Chat History and/or Profiles in their own separate browser window or tab.




Desktop visual alert improvements

Desktop alerts notify the user visually of new chat messages, even if the webclient itself is minimized or otherwise not at the top of the user's desktop.  This is especially handy in situations where sound must be disabled on the staffing computer.

In any browser that supports desktop notifications, you will be proactively prompted for permission to display the notifications if permission is not currently granted to the webclient.

You can control the duration of these visual alerts if you're in Chrome.  So you can set a lengthy duration if you're worried about missing a notification when your attention is away from the computer for a few minutes.
Configurable persistence of desktop alerts available in Chrome ONLY.

Auto-logout also available in Preferences now

Auto-logout is a very handy feature that prevents you from leaving your chat service falsely online if you forget to logout and then step away for a meeting or for the day.

Change your auto-logout preferences at any time, not just at the time of login.
As before, the opportunity to adjust your auto-logout setting continues to be offered each time you login, so that you can flexibly change your auto-logout trigger if needed based on how long you expect to staff in that particular session. But now, you can also visit and change your auto-logout setting in your Preferences.  

1 comment:

Scott McGregor said...

Looking forward to trying out these new features:) Scott (University of Dundee)