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Help Improve Cisco.com Even More

July 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Remember the various posts I’ve written about the value of remote online usability sessions? I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our customers and partners for participating in the many remote usability tests we’ve done over the past year. Their participation in these tests of the new features on our site really helps us perfect what we’re doing on Cisco.com, and improves the experience for everyone.And now we have a way for even more folks to help us improve Cisco.com: You can now sign up to participate in future online usability sessions (right from home or work) and get an early preview of new features we are building for the site. Most sessions are short (15 minutes or less), and we also have some longer online and in-person tests.A bonus is that many of the opportunities are paid or involve a thank you gift, so you get something extra in exchange for the few minutes of time you take with us. And, you’ll be making Cisco.com a better place every time. Read More »

Orange You Glad You Have Cisco TelePresence?

July 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

I had to share this amusing photo from a Cisco TelePresence meeting we had with one of our design agencies on Friday…imageJanet, from our Cisco.com design team, was in California. Dan, with the agency, was in Virginia 2,400 miles away. Read More »

Summer Reading on User Experience

July 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Not a week goes by that I don’t get asked by someone about good books or courses about how to improve the user experience for products and web sites. It turns out that User Experience Designer Whitney Hess gets the same requests, and has put together a handy list of books, courses and other resources to get you started on the road to providing a better experience to your customers and visitors. Read More »

Remembering Billy Mays, 60-second Storyteller

June 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

The other day we posted an entry about how tricky it is to convey sophisticated ideas in a simple way (and the approach we have taken on some Cisco Eos Flash experiences along these lines).Nobody was better at explaining things quickly than TV pitchman Billy Mays, who, sadly, was found dead today at his Florida home. Though Mays worked in a completely different world from high technology, his little commercial gems showed how a sometimes complicated story could be boiled down to setting up a premise, giving a little technical background, and demonstrating how the product works. I often use examples of his work when describing to people how to get across a point quickly online.Don’t expect to see infomercials anything like these on Cisco.com (and I promise we will never yell like Billy), but we have been thinking a lot about how to make our online demos and Flash experiences more straightforward (like that Cisco Eos example mentioned above). There are elements of that Bill Mays spirit that we will hope inspires us to be succinct storytellers.Here are a couple of my favorite Billy Mays ads: Some spoofs he did for ESPN that show off the master’s style of demonstration and storytelling: Read More »

Is Your Digital Crib This Good?

June 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

There are some new Digital Cribs videos in the Consumer neighborhood of Cisco.com. Those digital lifestyles from Martha Lane Fox, Paul Van Dyk, and Graham Hill make me a little jealous!image Read More »