One year of UI Design – Day 10

April 14, 2014

I think Live Chat is one of the best features a website can have to offer support to their visitors. Happily I see chat boxes appear on more websites these days and I find it very helpful to be able to ask direct questions before I buy a product or sign up for a service. I was thinking how a chatbox like that could be improved and made a quick sketch.

Often you see the live chat buttons at the right bottom or vertically at the left side of a website, presented as a tab. To let the chat button take less space, we could bring it down to one little square with a chat icon. I think that should be clear enough to indicate a chat function. Depending of the design of the website, that square could be placed in one of the corners of the screen.

When clicked on the icon, a new, floating chat window should open with a greeting to the visitor. The only question for the visitor should be their name, to keep the chat personal. I prefer not to ask for more info like email or phone to make sure the chat is accessible and approachable.

The reason why I think the chat window should be floating is because I personally don’t like to have chat windows in the right bottom of the screen (like you have on Facebook), I just want to be able to place it wherever I want. Some solutions other websites use for this is to open the chat in a separate window, but a downside of that is when you have many windows open, you can loose the chat screen.

I still have to spend more thinking on this one, maybe doing a first mock-up in Photoshop to see how it will look and feel. What do you think of Live Chat on websites and how do you think it could be improved? Let me know @edwinduinkerken.


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