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Home page tune-up

It’s a little thing, but over the past couple of weeks we’ve done some tuning up of the 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.

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Gotta love PacketLife’s subtle design touches

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 have beautifully rendered rock performance themes.

A subtler example is the anti-spam challenge for comments on’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!

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What do you think? Product comparison functions

A while back, I mentioned a new product comparison function we’re experimenting with on We’re piloting the first one on a Cisco Small Business 100 Series Unmanaged Switches comparison. Although we have  a variety of comparison tables and rich spec data on the site, this function is a little different because it’s interactive and you can use it to filter and compare by different attributes.

If you’re the kind of person who’s involved in researching, recommending or purchasing, I’d really like your feedback: Is the information shown in the comparison the kind of data you need? What would you add, or take away?  Are the filtering attributes the kind you would use? How would the best imaginable comparison work?

Several of you have sent us very useful feedback though other channels, and I’d really love to hear from more via comments here.


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Kudos to the Global Web Team: Top 3 Global Site

Hearty congratulations to our global web team! was just once again rated in the upper echelon of global web sites – just behind Facebook and Google. In the respected ByteLevel Research Web Globalization Score Card for 2011, garners an impressive #3 ranking among 250 web sites for global corporations.  Cisco has consistently held this #3 position overall since 2007 – and finishes first in its industry category (Enterprise Technology).

Picture of Scorecard.

Also heartening for our web team, Cisco is specifically called out as a regular of the top globalization list: “Companies like Cisco, 3M, Philips, and NIVEA have become regular faces in the top 25.”

It takes an incredible amount of energy to design and regularly update our major 85 regional sites, and our Global Team works literally around the clock to keep things humming  (and  I know that for sure because sometimes I am often invited to attend their midnight and 6 AM meetings!)

You can read a little more about the 2011 Web Globalization Score Card at ByteLevel Research’s web site.

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Blueprints for designing and deploying

Recently, we posted a bunch of new material in the Smart Business Architecture of Design Zone. Cisco Smart Business Architecture (SBA) for Midsize Networks and Enterprises offers a blueprint for designing and deploying a full-service, comprehensive network. SBA delivers prescriptive network design and deployment best practices for organizations with 100 to 10,000 connected users.

It’s really worth a look. Here’s a comment one customer posted on the main page:

Really brilliant document, I’ve already asked the … support community for this kind of architecture support document and it was exactly what I was thinking.

For me it’s the best way to have people adopt Cisco technology: help them to master it by  being able to do complex things in simple guided steps.

We’ve supplemented the new content with an interactive “subway map” flash widget that you can launch from that page.  I don’t always like online interactive maps, but this subway map really gives a nice overview of the different guides available and explains when to use what. Cisco’s Linda Beaton has just posted a great backgrounder on the “train” (or “subway stop”) concept. You launch it from the “Getting Started” button on the Smart Business Architecture page.

There’s also a more traditional list of the documents. Let us know what you think.

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