Designing a Live Chat web client

Matthew Middleton

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Over the past few weeks we’ve been working to collect ideas and feedback for the SUMO Live Chat web client. Contributors currently use the open source Spark client to help in Live Chat, but we’re working on a web-based client to allow everyone to participate from any standards-compliant web browser. This web-based client will allow Live Chat to be tightly integrated with the SUMO Knowledge Base and Forum, streamlining the chat process for both users and contributors.

Spark has a lot of neat features that we will want in our web client, and we’re planning a number of improvements based on feedback from the community. To guide development, we’ve focused on some of the best ideas we’ve received to create mock-ups of the new Live Chat interface.

Live Chat web client mock-up

Much of the new functionality is intended to decrease the length of chat sessions, increasing user satisfaction while allowing contributors to help more people in less time. Communication following a chat session will be streamlined, and transferring chats between helpers will become more efficient. We will also be able to integrate with the new SUMO search engine, allowing helpers to find solutions to most issues without needing to open another window.

More details and implementation requirements for the Live Chat web client are on the project requirements page. We’d love to get feedback on these concepts or on implementation ideas — the best place to get in touch is the SUMO Contributors forum. (If you’re a Java developer and are interested in helping with this project, you can find the SUMO development team in #sumodev on irc.mozilla.org.)

Live Chat, the most social way to help with Firefox Support, allows contributors to chat with Firefox users and with each other to help people use Firefox. To see more ways to get involved with SUMO, check out our guide to getting started.