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Personas Come of Age

It’s interesting to see something from the inner depths of the user-centered design world suddenly exploding into the mass media. This has happened recently with personas.

Personas are a tool we use at Cisco in designing products and web sites — a way of profiling a “prototypical” user (that might be you!) based on our interviews and research.

For instance, one of our personas (at right) is named “Millie” and she’s a small business owner who juggles appointments, phones, deals, and employee assignments. Sometimes we use real photos; sometimes we use figurines or illustrated comic figures to represent our personas. But they’re always accompanied by a lot of background information to help us understand different types of visitors to our web sites. And they are always based on what we learn from visits or interviews with real customers.This last week I’ve seen in-your-face instances of personas used in mass media, and I think it’s an indication that companies (and even ad agencies) are becoming more oriented to their users. Read More »

More Page Grids

The other day I was mentioning the importance of using page grids even in the modern world of Web 2.0 (3.0? 4.0?)It turns out there’s a neat site that is dedicated completely to page grids and the web. Read More »

Live Mixed Reality Events on January 23rd and January 31st

So you asked for mixed reality virtual events via the Second Life surveys completed last year and comments on this blog…as promised we are starting off 2008 with not one but two live mixed reality events in Second Life. During these events you will be able to watch a Cisco Senior Vice President via live video (make sure you have the latest version of Quicktime installed) and ask questions to be answered live on air. I’ll post details on the January 31st event closer to that date, below are the details on the January 23rd event. So, on January 23rd at 8:30am Pacific please join us in Second Life to hear Jayshree Ullal, SVP, Data Center, talk about Cisco’s recent announcement regarding the Application Network Services (ANS) expanding portfolio. Including the business application vendors (such as Microsoft) jointly worked with to validate their applications over the Cisco network infrastructure and the new products added to the ANS portfolio. Cisco recognizes that business applications are critical to an organizations productivity, profit, and operations. ANS transforms your existing branch, data center, and campus networks into a business-enabling platform; ultimately reducing the total cost of ownership and enabling better utilization of resources.Looking forward to a stimulating discussion. Hope to see you out at the events.

Page Grids (are Good)

Sometimes I think some of our web pages look, well, lopsided. Not everything, mind you. Not our nicely laid out home page or our wonderfully appointed news pages, of course. But look at some pages and you wonder if everything is lined up quite right.And other sites, too: This is a problem which many, many famous web sites display, and it’s all on account of something called page grids. Read More »

Thanks for a great first year!

On behalf of the entire Networked Virtual Environments team at Cisco, I’d like to thank the tens of thousands of our customers and partners that contributed and participated in events on our virtual campus in Second Life in 2007. Yesterday, concurrent with our CES announcements, we celebrated the first birthday of our virtual campus with cake, cookies, party hats, and some really annoying party horns (Pictures Here). We also were fortunate enough to have Moo Money of Second Life fame create a machinima highlight video of our 2007 Second Life experience.A special thanks to those who came yesterday and made the party such a success. We look forward to seeing you all for an even better and more active year in 2008.