We’ve done some fine-tuning on the search on Cisco.com:
- It should feel faster, especially after the first search you do
- Results should be even more relevant
- Popular features like the “information box” for key queries remain intact
Let us know how it’s working for you!
Tags: search, usability, user experience
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
I’ve often written about how we optimize to our Customers’ and Partners’ top journeys across our web sites and mobile apps. We’ve found that focusing relentlessly on the top things that visitors do with us online (versus following the latest cool digital fads) helps us stay grounded. Customers and Partners drive their own journeys, and we’re reminded of this every time we run a user test with them or look at the analytics from our sites.
Following this “top tasks” approach, we’ve been able to raise usability scores in key areas like Support by as much as 65 or 70%. And, in areas where we still have challenges — as all sites do, by the way — the focus on top tasks keeps a spotlight on the work we have ahead.
I mention this again because usability luminary Gerry McGovern has recently published a nicely detailed overview of our top tasks approach on Cisco.com. It’s a great inside look at the process we follow, and is a great read if you’re interested in quality improvement or customer satisfaction in the digital space.
The techniques we’ve followed here for web sites and mobile also apply more broadly to omni-channel experiences, of which digital tasks are usually core. We’ve been exchanging notes with teams in other companies around this topic of measuring top tasks and journeys, and would love to hear about the experiences from you!
Tags: cisco.com, customer experience, digital, journeys, usability
This recent post in the Harvard Business Review, Your Digital Strategy Shouldn’t Be About Attention, is a good reminder that the best digital experiences come from listening to your visitors and then anticipating what they want.
We’re tried to follow that philosophy on Cisco.com and in our mobile apps, through observing by listening, invisible change, and continual improvement.
Tags: digital experience, usability