Cisco Blogs

Design (Not Just Art) on the New Unified Communications Page

July 27, 2009 - 0 Comments

A friend of mine was making a point the other day about the difference between art and design.Paraphrased, it goes something like this:

  • Art is when you make something interesting, touching, inspiring or beautiful.
  • Design, on the other hand, is about solving problems. Design can also be inspiring or even beautiful. But the primary job of design is to make things work. (That’s why it worries me a bit when I hear people say “we’re going to design a better user experience” and then proceed to talk solely about icons and graphics, which are often more art than design.)
Here is a case in point. I like to think our new Voice and Unified Computing pageis nice example of solid design. That is, it solves real problems and addresses real needs of customers. And, there’s beauty and inspiration thrown in for good measure, making it artful as well. If you remember the old page, you’ll recall that it scrolled forever without too much product background or context. It was a great format if you knew the exact name of the product you were looking for, but not so good at orienting you.We think the new page does a nice job of making the products more accessible, providing more background information, allowing quicker access to data sheets and comparisons, and much more:imageHere are some highlights of the new design:
  • Series comparisons make it easier for you to research and learn about products
  • Critical decision-making tools like model comparisons and datasheets are more accessible
  • New Series and New Models designations spotlight recent product introductions
  • The full listing of products now has its own tab, and has been reformatted for easier reading.
  • A related solutions tab organizes solution-related links that were previously, well, scattered
  • Extended descriptions, featured case studies, and resources links collect useful backrgound information
  • Top-of-page “heroes” and featured content areas across the pages give you lots of background on the different products, without getting in the way
Almost all of these improvements are based on your continued input, and I’d like to thank all of the customers who have participated in usability tests, interviews and surveys over the last year as we worked to redesign this area. (We’ve done rounds of testing in the US, China, Mexico and Germany, and collected your detailed survey comments in several other countries.)Enjoy, and please send your comments!

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.