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First Impressions: End User and IT Experiences

First impressions matter. Whether you’re trying to get a job, make a sale, or go on a second date, you know that the first things you do and say are critical. Studies say you have between 2 seconds and 2 minutes to make a first impression. When you download a new app for your tablet or phone, how much time does it have to make its first impression on you?

When IT departments make technology decisions, the path to end-user adoption is a key concern. The relative ease or difficulty of setting up and maintaining the back-end infrastructure or cloud service is one thing, but the means by which end users first experience the solution and get started using it is perhaps even more important.

IT needs products that are easy to roll out and that provide end users — their customers — with a delightful first impression. That’s why Cisco considers not just the end user experience and the IT administrator experience, but the places where they intersect, such as in the deployment of solutions to a large end-user community.

A tangible example of this attention to experience is Read More »

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Desktop Virtualization and Cloud: Fueling a New Collaborative Workspace and Creating a New User Experience

January 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm PST

Have you stopped to think about how much your desktop has evolved over the past 5 years? Many elements from it have evolved, some have disappeared, and others are still there as they were before. But why haven’t they all changed at the same pace? To me, the answer is in the quality of the experience those elements provide, and the possibility to have your full desktop environment on whatever device you choose.

Take, for example, the personal computer. For many of us, that device became mobile years ago without sacrificing much performance but adding a lot of convenience and new capabilities. Many of us use a smartphone and the availability of new touch-screen computing devices, such as tablets, have considerably changed the way many people interact with applications and information.

But it does not seem to me that we are looking at the “convergence” of those devices into one “universal device” that will replace all those three and deliver the features, capabilities, and convenience we enjoy from all three form factors. Why?

From the user experience perspective, the mobile revolution helped us to be “free” from fixed office locations but it did not provide ease of use, flexibility and capabilities for all the use case scenarios that traditional desktop accessories offer. Most users (me included) would struggle to Read More »

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Paper (and Other Things) That Come Alive #TomorrowStartsHere

December 10, 2012 at 6:40 am PST

Here is something fun you can do today with your smart phone or tablet. It’s an app that brings the Internet of Things alive from a newspaper or screen.

How to get it:

1. First, go grab a copy of today’s global Wall Street Journal and find the Cisco TOMORROW Starts Here ad, which is in the center of section A. ( From your computer, you can also print or view a copy of the ad.)

2. Download the Cisco app (available for iPhone, iPad and Android) from Cisco.com/app or from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

3. Start the app and touch the Wake up an Ad icon.

4. Press Start to wake up the ad.

(Again, if you don’t have the actual ad you can also print or view on the screen a copy of the ad from your computer.)

5. Point your phone or tablet at the ad

 

6. Choose “Newspaper Spread” when the translucent overlay appears.

7. Enjoy playing with the interactive experience!

We’ve gotten some fun comments from Cisco employees during the testing, including these two:

 SO cool! My kids actually watched the videos with me (ages 5-1/2 and 4); their verdict: “OOOH, look — the people are MOVING!!!”

Wow! It’s just like Hogwarts!”

Enjoy!

 

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 4): Is This the Year of VDI?

October 10, 2012 at 12:31 am PST

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, EMC’s Craig Chapman (@virtualchappy) and WWT’s Joe Onisick (@jonisick) discuss the evolution of VDI, the business drivers of competing IT architectures, and keeping the core user experience front and center.

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

What’s your vote? Is this the year of VDI? Do you agree with Craig and Joe? Post a comment here, ping them on Twitter, follow @CiscoDC, join the conversation!

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Engineers, Researchers and Designers: The Geeks Behind Cisco’s Collaboration Technology

It’s a great time to be at Cisco. Earlier this week, Susie Wee, chief technology and experience officer (CTEO) for the Collaboration Technology Group, unveiled the “collaboration geeks”: the engineers, researchers and designers behind the technology, to a handful of press and analysts. We were excited (and a bit nervous!) to share how Cisco is approaching user experience (UE) and design. These changes aren’t just happening from the product side, but are also evolving our internal thinking about being more user-centric across the organization.

Have you ever heard of a CTEO? Probably not, because it is a new role that we created to address the importance of coupling user experience and technology. As CTEO, Susie is responsible for driving innovation and experience design in Cisco’s collaboration products and software services. The first step involved in making a cultural change is how we approach product design. But what does this mean for her team? Below is a short excerpt from our User Experience Day event.

At Cisco, we’re dedicated to changing the way we work, live, play and learn. We’re always looking to break down barriers among staff; one example is how we’re approaching user experience design. Our team is looking into principles, guidelines, and archetypes that represent an organizational-wide approach to user experience design. The design team really lays the foundation for growing the influence and scope of all the UE specialists into strategic conversations where user experience can impact what we design and how we design. We coined the term “XQ” as the eXperience Quotient of the organization. XQ is a tool and metric that we developed to measure our customer’s experience with our products and our user experience-centric development process.

Another example is how our engineers are thinking about their products from the user perspective and pulling in the user experience designers and my team (user experience researchers) as well. To showcase this at the event, engineers brought in a number of XQ demos to show this thinking firsthand: Read More »

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