Wurrd is a mobile client for the Mibew Messenger and now LiveHelperChat (beta). It is currently developed for Android and iOS. If you already know the history and want to skip it, get Wurrd now from here.
Genesis of the Project
I run a website and have been monitoring traffic on the website. I noticed that visitors will navigate to a certain point and abandon the site. In searching for a way to interact with the visitors, I found the mibew.org project, which is a free online chat system used to interact with website visitors. Installing the Mibew Messenger on my website has proven to be really helpful in giving me the voice to interact with the website visitors realtime.
Mibew Messenger provides a browser-based interface that notifies you when visitors request a chat and lets you initiate a chat session with the visitor. Whenever there is at least one authorized chat operator waiting to chat with a visitor, there will be an icon on the website which informs the visitor that an operator is available to chat with. See the two icons below:
So far good and fine. However, I faced a few annoyances and decided to embark on the Wurrd project. They are:
- I am not glued to the computer every moment of my “available” time. There have been times when I leave the computer briefly and it is at that moment that a visitor requests a chat. If I am off for five minutes, the visitor will be waiting for the five minutes before someone engages with them. We all know that web users have a very short attention span.
- There have been times when I have left for the day and forgot to log out of the “waiting for visitors” window. My website will continue to report that there is at least an operator available to chat. The only time I see any chat requests is when I come back to the computer, sixteen hours after I left for the day. This makes my website look really bad, as it is better to report that all operators are offline than to say one is available, but unresponsive.
- I have a smartphone. I found out that in an effort to conserve battery, its browser’s internet connection is interrupted each time the phone goes off, usually one minute after the last touch. This affects AJAX script on the “waiting for visitors” page, eventually reporting to the website that I am offline.
With the above three reasons, I needed a better way to use the Mibew Messenger. My solution was to fork its repository on GitHub and create a native mobile client from it.
Since this was no longer a browser-based interface, some time was spent thinking about how to streamline the process of an operator waiting for visitors. The top two priority requirements were:
- Automating the process of the operator becoming available and when she goes offline — a schedule of availability was to be implemented.
- It is possible for someone to be monitoring chat requests for multiple sites. With the browser-based interface, you have to open a “waiting for visitors” window for each site. The mobile client should handle multiple sites and have all the conversations within a single interface.
As development was underway, other interesting ideas were popping up and many of them will see the light of day.
Efficiency in Teamwork
As enthusiasm for the project grew, I found other interested parties and we formed a team. We will strive to make the Wurrd project as user friendly and as useful as possible. At the end of the day the bottom line is for you to be more efficient as you operate your business! That is in fact our driving force, and all enhancements we make to the project go to satisfy this goal.
Although Mibew is a good platform, development has slowed down. We stumbled upon LiveHelperChat which is also another good open-source live chatting solution that seems to have active development. We decided to integrate Wurrd with LiveHelperChat. This integration is in progress but it is looking promising so far.
Eyong Nsoesie, Lead Developer
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