Visitors to WebEx.com will notice the site has been updated recently with a brand new look, including streamlined navigation and page designs. In style and format the site is now more similar to Cisco.com, using bright saturated colors, the same page width, and many identical elements.
The new design and structure will make it easier for visitors to find information about WebEx products:
- A simpler navigational structure replaces previous complex menus.
- Product and Overview pages are more visual, easier to scan and read, and rely on screenshots and videos to illustrate ease-of-use, features and benefits.
- The “How To” section with short video clips and a new webinars section—Together@WebEx—are both accessible directly off the top navigation bar.
The new site is a first step toward other improvements in the works. WebEx.com is now on a platform that enables quicker updates and ongoing user experience enhancements. Over the coming months, content on the site will continue to be updated and optimized to address the needs of a variety of visitors. And new subscribers will see big improvements in a simplified purchase process, too.
And last but not least, European visitors will see similar makeovers on WebEx European sites, coming later this year.
Oh, and, as you probably know if you’re a WebEx customer, the online service itself gets new features and improvements regularly.
The new online experience took many months for the WebEx.com team to conceptualize, design and test, and involved groups within the Collaboration Software Group Online and IT teams, and Cisco Solutions Marketing. It was fun collaborating with the designers on WebEx.com as we worked on some of the common design elements across Cisco’s sites.
P.S. Thanks to Amelia and the WebEx.com team for the pictures and notes. It really was great watching this update come together!
Tags: design, webexperience
It’s a little thing, but over the past couple of weeks we’ve done some tuning up of the Cisco.com home page:
- It loads faster
- Menus and other interactive functions become active more quickly
- A few tweaks for iPad users
Enjoy, and let us know what you think.
Tags: design, performance, webexperience
One thing I really like in web designs is when even the smallest elements of a site are kept in context to the subject. For instance, all of the error pages on RockBand.com have beautifully rendered rock performance themes.
A subtler example is the anti-spam challenge for comments on PacketLife.net’s pages. Most sites have a ReCAPTCHA or simple math challenge. By contrast, PacketLife offers questions that are contextual to the subject matter of the site:
(I only point this out since you’ll never see these challenges if you’re a regular PacketLife visitor and stay logged in all the time.)
P.S. And, how many bits long is an IPv6 address? That’s a number we’ll all be quoting a lot in coming months, I predict!
Tags: design, webexperience
On Cisco.com we usually won’t do anything with quite the entertaining production values of JibJab’s latest year in review (a romp through US political headlines of 2010). But it turns out that our rich media design process at Cisco has a lot in common with JibJab. I know this because the JibJab team took time to put together a fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary showing how they created their latest video.
What struck me especially is that the basic process they follow at JibJab is similar to what we do on Cisco.com when we’re creating more business oriented online demos, conceptual overviews or training. It’s standard great design practice: Creating a brief, then writing a script, then storyboarding , then laying the audio tracks, potentially creating animatics to show how the resulting video or Flash piece will be, and then animating or doing full production.
Whether it’s the demo of the Cisco FlipPRO camcorders, or the adventures of IT Willis, we go through pretty much the same journey with scripting, storyboarding, etc as the folks at JibJab.
Of course, we explain these steps every week to our internal teams at Cisco, as do countless design organizations in every company and organization around the globe. But the folks at JibJab have captured the design process in a really interesting format that lots of people are likely to read.
Here are a couple of samples from their design process overview: An example of a storyboard, and a puppeteering session:
One difference. At Cisco.com and most other web sites, the teams don’t get to play with puppets, which looks like a lot of fun. I’m jealous.
Tags: design, webexperience
Chances are you have used Wikipedia for something in the last few months. And if so, chances are you have seen one of their fundraising pleas, such as these:
What’s really interesting is that Wikipedia is publishing the results of the ads, in something we in the biz call an “A/B” or multivariate test. The idea is this: Create a series of different ads – with different pictures, headlines, buttons and links – then alternate them across the site, and see which combinations work best. You can measure “version A” versus “version B” (that’s called an A/B test), or you can do a more sophisticated mix and match of the elements, called a multivariate test. The great thing is you get data from 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000+ interactions with your web site creative content, and from that can see what visitors are actually interested in, based on their behavior.
Commercial web sites do this all day every day, but the difference is that Wikipedia is posting their results in real time publicly, to the world. There’s a ton of raw data about click behavior in multiple languages.
In their link to their A/B tests data updates you see a lot of interesting and counter-intuitive behaviors. For instance, I thought “Admit it- without Wikipedia, you never could have finished that report.” is a fantastic headline, but it got less than a 1% click-through rate, whereas the “personal appeal from Jimmy Wales” with his picture got almost 3% clickthrough on a recent week.
The Wikipedia team are also posting regular summaries of their findings, in case you don’t want to slog through their detailed testing page or download their spreadsheets of raw data. Some findings from last week emphasize that the total experience (from clicks through donation) are important to measure, and not just the initial click-through rate:
- “The original two-step payment form we’ve been using is the most effective, it performed better than the new one-step process.”
- “Adding an editor’s image to the landing page did not significantly affect donations.”
- “The click-through rates on the editor banners continue to be on par with the winning Jimmy banner, but bring in fewer donations.”
- “Many donors appear to relate better to letters which focus on readers showing support instead of individuals editing.”
- “There has been a positive response to the new editor banners, the variety keeps our campaign interesting.”
From the commercial web world, there are a couple of other sites that post results of A/B and multivariate tests: WhichTestWon.com and MarketingExperiments.com both show recent design tests and let you guess which ones were most effective.
By the way, you don’t have to use A/B tests just for advertising. In fact, many companies use them as part of their design regimen to test for which designs actually are most effective for users to complete a task. The A/B test tells you which design works better, but of course not why it works better; you still need usability testing for that.
P.S. Shoutout to the folks at digitaloptimizer and others for pointing out the Wikipedia tests to me – very interesting.
Tags: design, usability, webexperience