As the technology landscape continues its rapid transformation, those who work in the industry are faced with the constant challenge of keeping their skills up-to-date. To address the needs of professionals looking to build, assess and continually reinforce wireless technology or network design expertise throughout the spectrum of their career, we are announcing updates to three of our training and certification offerings: CCDA, CCDP and CCNA Wireless.
Designing Tomorrow’s Networks
Enterprise environments require networks designed for performance, availability and scalability with the flexibility to meet rapidly evolving demands. Skilled IT professionals are needed to plan, design and optimize today’s enterprise networks. Cisco’s Design certifications drive successful business outcomes by building and validating end-to-end network design skills.
The new training courses we are introducing teach Cisco network design principles that apply to enterprises of all sizes. This update to the curriculum extends the design perspective across all segments of Cisco’s Enterprise Network architectures while adding focus on new and evolving technologies such as services virtualization and programmable controller based architectures. The updated training and certification offerings are:
Updates to the design certification and training offerings include:
- Teachings on current technologies and solutions that are leveraged in designing and optimizing reliable, scalable and resilient enterprise networks.
- Goals that align to the promotion of a modular network design that Cisco formalized and that remains applicable to new and evolving enterprise networks.
- Expansion of network design topics to include Network Programmability, controller based architectures and virtualized services that require a holistic design perspective in order to transform the digital enterprise.
- Elevating the focus to consider design dependencies and considerations that span across the campus, data center, WAN and branch segments of advanced enterprise networks.
- Additional aspects of the modular, hierarchical campus design, advanced addressing and routing to enable transitions to IPv6, optimizing WAN services, interconnecting data centers and improving overall network security.
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Tags: CCDA, CCDP, CCNA, certifications, design, education, Learning@Cisco, wireless
If you’re an astute visitor to Cisco.com, you’ll notice a couple of our prominent pages have gotten some nice functional updates. .
First, the all new Support & Downloads page, which went just through some tweaks, streamlining, and a mobile-friendly update:
Some new functions on the new Support & Downloads page:
- Quicker searches for downloads and products
- Easy focus on top product categories
- Quick, visible access to open support cases, recent downloads, and recently visited products in support
- “Responsive” so it works nicely on smartphones (along with more than 7,000 mobile-friendly model support pages underneath)
Also, not too long ago, we created a new Products & Services gateway page:
Among the things we’ve updated on the Products & Services page:
- More readable with bigger fonts (so you don’t have to squint)
- More pictures (so you don’t have to read so much) (but still loads fast)
- Clearer linkage to the handy Products A-Z list
- “Let Us Help” available even as you scroll
- Better information on financing options (which you really should check out)
- “Responsive” so it works nicely on smartphones
- Linked more obviously from the body of the recently updated Cisco.com home page
More to come on the background on both of these designs. Enjoy!
P.S. Smartphone views of these same pages:
Tags: design, responsive design, usability, web experience
We’ve updated the design of the Cisco.com home page. Not just because we wanted to, but for you. Here’s a point by point overview, starting with the desktop/laptop version:
- Same top of page navigation. We’ve keep the same top of page categories, and “mega menu” navigation, as these work very well today. (Yes, we’ll continue to tune these every so often as we have been.)
- Quick Tasks. This new element is based on your feedback about your most important regular tasks on journeys on Cisco.com. Since these items are most important to you, we figured we’d put them front and center for easy access. Expect these tasks to evolve over time as we learn more about how people are using them. And, in the future we’ll have different top task lists for Partners, employees and other roles.
- The “marquee.” This graphic at the top of the page is a staple of corporate home pages, and we actually toyed with several designs that eliminated it. But in the end, in our testing and reviews, we found that it actually serves a pretty strong purpose to orient visitors and cue them to big announcements or happenings. One innovation: We are personalizing this area, so that over time you may see something different than your neighbor (and more relevant to you).
- Let Us Help. We’ve added a linkage to chat online or call so you can get information about our products, services and solutions right from the home page. This follows scrolling down the home page, in a way that we hope is unobtrusive.
- Product showcase. Visitors to our site love products, so we’ve opened up a space to showcase featured products. Here, we have used a “carousel” approach because products have enough of a draw to get active engagement (notice that we dropped the carousel we used to have above on the marquee. But here, we think it adds breadth.)
- Products link. There’s a prominent link to a newly designed “All Products” page.
- “Offers.” Folks in marketing call these “offers” but you can think of them as showcased items that may be of interest specifically to you. We personalize the list based on what you’ve expressed interest in previously.
- Watch this space. This is a space for more information that we’ll be experimenting with over time.
- News. The new news feed is easier to read, and shows news and announcements from Cisco.
- Blogs and Communities. Some of the most interesting information from Cisco is on our blogs, and the content all of you contribute in our communities. This new component gives us a place to showcase these fresh topics right on the home page.
- Social sharing. Those social sharing widgets you’ve come to expect on home pages. (This would be a great time to share the new home page if you like it, by the way. )
- The “fat footer.” We’ve made no changes to the fat footer on the page, which has been very effective and helpful and gets 4-6% of the click-throughs on our pages. One question we had was whether visitors would click through, with the longer page. Based on our early usability testing, the answer seems to be yes, and people seem quite engaged in scrolling when they are drilling down to the information they’re looking for. We’ll be watching the metrics on this area carefully to make sure it’s still “discoverable” and well used.
The Smart Phone View
For the mobile view of the home page, the it’s the same information, but rendered slightly differently:
- Same header and menu. We’ve retained the same header and “hamburger menu” as before, as it’s been working well
- Let Us Help. The same linkage to chat online or call, but in a more compact form for mobile.
- Quick tasks, in a more compact form. Interestingly, this text only version tested very well for phones, but got lost on the page for the desktop view, so we used icons on the desktop and text for phones.
- Featured Products, in a more compact, swipable form for mobile devices.
- News feed in a compact form.
- Blogs & Communities in a more compact form.
Thanks to all of you who participated in the multiple rounds of testing and have also given use feedback in the last many months – if not years – on your needs for Cisco.com.
P.S. If the last version of the home page is a distant memory, here’s a picture of it:
Tags: cisco.com, design, usability, webexperience
It’s fun seeing some of the quirky examples of home pages on web sites today, including Amazon’s retro “April 1, 1999” page.
I can’t think of a time we’ve ever done anything like that on Cisco.com, mainly because we don’t want to distract customers from the jobs they’re coming to do with us. But, if you are craving some old school Cisco.com pages, here are a few:
1992: Cisco Information Online (CIO) – Telnet/Modem Only:
1994: Cisco Information Online Web Site:
Mid-1994: Cisco Information Online Web Site Stellar Motif:
1995: Cisco Connection Online (CCO):
1996: Cisco Connection Online (CCO):
Prize for the best comment below.
Tags: design, digital experience, webexperience
One of my favorite designers, John Maeda, believes that the most successful tech companies of the future will really be design companies.
When John’s somewhat bold prediction is put in the context of this quote from Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” – it’s easy to see that John is right.
So if the future successful tech companies will really be design companies, what does that mean for all the “non design companies” of today (read: most tech companies and especially most IT tech companies)? This is an opportunity for all tech companies to understand the real value of design. I believe that change has to start at the top, so for Silicon Valley, it means business leaders have to come to grips with this transformation. Not just hiring more UX people, or opening a “design center,” but embracing design as a way to lead your entire company.
It should come as no surprise that I place such high importance on the Red Dot awards. They are a validation of amazing design quality from beyond the technology industry. Our products in the Collaboration portfolio have won six Red Dot awards in the last 18 months – that’s as many as Cisco has won in all its 30 years.
Last week, I found out we won two more. Our newest video endpoint and the flagship of the Collaboration portfolio – the IX5000 – just won a “Red Dot Best of the Best” 2015 award, the highest distinction in Red Dot’s product design category. In 2015, only 1.6% of the nearly 5,000 submissions received this top prize.
The Cisco TelePresence IX5000
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Tags: award, Cisco, collaboration, design, IX5000, Red Dot, TelePresence