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National Library – anyquestions.govt.nz website design and development

“We’re really happy with the new AnyQuestions. Students and teachers are delighted with the new site, finding it welcoming and easy to use.”
- Rob Baigent, National Manager of AnyQuestions

Focus on kids fuels success

AnyQuestions offers free online schoolwork help for kiwi school students. The multi-award winning site lets kids chat online with librarians who help the students find and recognise reliable sources of information, building vital information literacy skills.

The National Library already had an AnyQuestions website. However they knew they needed a tool that school-age children would actively want to use so they asked Boost to design and develop a new site. By focussing closely on understanding and meeting the needs of schoolkids, the site has seen usage jump by 74%.

How we met user needs

To build a site that kids love to use we:
  • went into schools to research what designs kids would respond to
  • created a relatable set of characters to make the students feel at home
  • used the Foundation framework to build a responsive site that works across devices
  • integrated the ManyAnswers site so AnyQuestions is useful even when the librarians aren’t online
  • created multiple pathways and methods for finding ManyAnswers’ many answers
  • tested the work in progress with schoolkids.

To make chatting a seamless experience we also embedded a new Software as a Service (SaaS) LiveChat tool. The great relationship we developed with the LiveChat team led to them giving us a beta version of an embeddable LiveChat widget, saving considerable time and money.

Creating a connection

We clearly saw the connection the students feel with the site during our user testing. When we were showing a prototype to a group of schoolkids a young boy pointed to one of the characters. “That’s me!” he said.