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Design Cheat Sheets: A Best Practice

Being that we’re #17 on Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” list, you can bet Cisco has all kinds of brand guidelines, page templates, wireframing kits, component documentation, and other tools to keep our presentation looking consistent and our online experiences well designed.But perhaps the most useful and effective tool we’ve created for our online designers and design agencies are some simple “cheat sheets” that serve as a quick visual reference for the style we’re creating with web pages, Flash, and other online experiences. Here’s an example:imageThese simple style sheets have been a big hit with everyone who’s used them; they can hold them up against their own work in progress, and instantly judge whether their creative work “looks like Cisco.” If you don’t have something like this in use at your company, I heartily recommend creating one that captures the essence of your organization’s brand identity and style, and making it widely available.

Virtual Events: Reality or Hype?

There has been a lot of buzz about virtual tradeshows and events lately. With a lot of folks speculating on whether they are ‘here to stay’ or ‘only result of the current economic state’. Check out these five reasons on why I am on the ‘here to stay’ side of this fence.


1) Virtual events will only get more immersive as we move forward and better tools for collaboration and immersion will create different ways of training and interacting. Which means attendees will stay longer at your event and engage more with each other, sponsor participants and your virtual event staff. For example, Cisco is hosting our monthly Cisco Live in Second Life TechChat on Cisco EnergyWise on April 14 but this time there is an immersive twist. In addition to the discussion based event format we always have at our TechChats this time the speakers will also include a virtual conceptualization of a day in an office using green technologies. After the event you can interact with the demo yourself so if you do not have a Second Life account yet you should register now and download the client so you can interact directly.2) We are all responsible for this planet and we need to consider this when making event choices. This does not mean all physical events should be scrapped but when planning an event one should look at whether a virtual extension or virtual only option makes sense or is viable as there are many ways there are many ways these approaches can help green the globe. For example reduced or no hotel stay needed for virtual event extensions or virtual only events which means less water down the pipe…or reducing the carbon impression associated with shipping booth materials and staffers around the globe; just to name a couple. Read More »

Further adventures of Wall

I meant to mention that we launched another edition of The Realm, featuring my favorite character Wall and some nasty looking bots. Enjoy!imageimageEnjoy!

Web Design on the Cheap (part I, icons)

BTW, related to the general topic of icons, here’s a great set of guidelines for using icons on web sites.

The Virtual World: A Compelling Place to Learn, Work and Network!

As we investigate virtual worlds for enterprise, we’re seeing that 3D technology takes Web 2.0 to another level in the way it supports synchronous interactions. Virtual world settings have a way of enhancing the collaborative experience by establishing a sense of cohesiveness, a feeling that you’re a part of a team rather than a lone participant on a remote call. Being in the same space, at the same time, in an immersive environment improves one’s sense of presence during an interaction that cannot be replicated in a 2D space.

According to former CEO of Linden Labs, Phillip Rosedale, there’s a sense of geographic place and personal presence in virtual worlds, even when users are miles or continents apart. In Second Life, as well as other Virtual World platforms you can see and interact the others in the form of their avatar character through voice chat, text chat, and even instant messaging. Rosedale points out that virtual worlds transform the way we collaborate and do business by providing a multi-tiered communication platform with dimensions that do not exist with e-mail, conference calls or other platforms.

Cisco, Intel, Sun, Microsoft, IBM and others are colonizing Virtual Worlds by holding global events, meetings and training sessions. In a recent Cisco VW pilot hosted by WW Sales Force Development Learning Technologies, Kevin Avery, Sales Operations and Business Development Manager, shared with participants how to use the Executive Engage and Discovery toolset to drive executive conversations.

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