At Towson University, we took a kind of design-y approach to our chat slider (https://github.com/jscaffrey/simplified-chat-slider ) on our library website (https://libraries.towson.edu ). I made my own based on an open source chat slider, and co-presented about it at Designing for Digital 2019, here are the presentation slides<https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1bN3Vn_JQvlsXFv44cfzoaDY6l1Fx4waKret4fr24Z-4/edit?usp=sharing> (which reference some UX laws<https://lawsofux.com/>). Our chat statistics did go up, and this is how we get the majority of our chat interactions compared with other places chat appears.
Animation / movement on a page is, in my opinion, really powerful and potentially very distracting... Psychologically we are drawn to movement. I decided instead of the chat slider completely popping open, to have it stay closed and have a small red circle (notification) that appears after 30 seconds. The user can then choose to engage with it to expand it if they want. It also only appears within our chat open hours.
I've tested ours automatically and manually for accessibility, and it meets WCAG 2.1 standards – especially on our website and I might need to update the exact shade of red on GitHub. Usability-wise, I haven't tested it other than with 1 blind user… for that user it was annoying to have the notification appear during a task, which is consistent with library literature about proactive chat being annoying (see References in slides). I think it’d be really interesting to do more usability testing with it.
All the best,
From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Kyle Breneman
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2020 4:11 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Chat sliders and usability/accessibility
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We just implemented a chat slider across our library's website <https://library.ubalt.edu>, set to open automatically 10 seconds after page load. Although the slider seems to be increasing our interactions with users, I am worried about a negative affect to usability or accessibility. NNG clearly says <https://secure-web.cisco.com/13TKVIK2agVvjf9AubL43lLPPRM3mruXyHVa2dSiG7xIUIz2WpcBbrCC9-W7ZWwjx-UxTlMtfPr1xLm05FnI-iJrzy9lkMXhN9n7RqyaLrDmUJT7rfAJ9Wks9SLa9AgjbYy5gQNFdzaobnEaeJeCrR28WzXDxTrpz9TE8EI1NRXDGqniCFQmVGax1uhaa7S-OMxkC1RlwfriPjvJ_9-rYYuerczMsTbf1XuyyyyKtz-LhyWWCnM_3ZXY86-kIxTyPKmpN9-avJAEx_xYzjpxwkGDKYDHdrlYtQk0rkuBzmz-xt3W4ELs-6Jj-iyXuLgAkgzBsig8suLCS8cAzjrADy9_C9NHFKrdWdUqi0a0lcNYM_2CTzpmVYkWjhDSVMl6b8UVsf0CgcUtplCbQcLKTVDtiR3ZGNn73Vfm9OndBDXbNRR9ZMTcprqJ8x7UEx0OH/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nngroup.com%2Farticles%2Fpopups%2F>that
pop-ups are generally bad, but the slider isn't quite a pop-up.
Anybody have some authoritative info on the usability and accessibility of chat sliders?