Martin Hardee from cisco.com web team posted a response to Everytime the Cisco Toolbar Appears, God Kills a Kitten.
OK, first off, speaking for the Cisco.com team, I do have on good authority that no kittens were harmed by the toolbar. Honest.
That said, as Gd points out, the toolbar is collapsible — just look for the arrow at the far left and click it. The toolbar will remember to stay collapsed across sessions, via a cookie setting. (If you delete your cookies, just collapse it again afterward.) We’re working on some newer and less xx approaches for this kind of thing
To Greg’s point on the “floating model”: We actually do get a fair amount of interaction with floating chat window , including a fair amount of questions on technical specifications of products. I know this because we analyze the logs of the questions so we understand what kinds of product content need to be created or modified on the site. But, you have a quite valid complaint if it is popping up a lot, and there are some rules we can adjust to make it appear less frequently for regular visitors. Give me descriptions and we’ll investigate.
I hope some of the navigational changes we have made recently have actually been a help vs a hindrance. We tested these pretty extensively with experienced customers before we updated the site, and got pretty universally good feedback. Some of the recent navigational enhancements are:
* Hover menus to all the major product, support and training categories from most all pages on the site (so you don’t have to keep navigating back to the home pages or gateway pages)
* “Quick links” on search results so you can jump directly to relevant data sheets, downloads, etc (see http://blogs.cisco.com/webexperience/easier-search-results-on-cisco-com/ )
* Links in the page footer to commonly accessed areas
Greg or Bob, if you have a higher-def version of the kitten picture, I would love to print one out for our hallway.
Frankly, that crappy tool bar is utter rubbish. Let me attempt to explain why. Because I use the cisco.com for hours a day, I can hardly begin to tell you how offensive and gruelling the toolbar is. I can’t even see past this to any other ‘features’ of the newly overloaded and underperforming redesign. †The toolbar gathers up†tools that have been in the Cisco web site for years that I never used, so I can only I believe you want to keep polishing that one without checking what customers really want.
Firstly, When the toolbar is collapsed, it’s still consuming a centimetre of screen space that I can’t use for web pages. That’s not an answer.
Secondly, it wouldn’t take much to put an option in the profile to turn it off. That’s what is absolutely needed. Just give me a option to remove this pustule of vileness from my web pages and save my bandwidth and screen space. You can even use a cookie for that too.
Third, it doesn’t work on my iPad and actively clutters the screen with a overlay that can’t be gotten rid off. Like really, the iPad !!! You can’t make that work ?
Fourth, the page load performance has reduced by several seconds which is most annoying for someone lives overseas. Have you heard of latency testing ? (because it’s cisco.com is quite grim on low bandwidth connections and the this tool infection is a big part of that. †)
Fifth, It’s ugly. It looks like a you chose to most offensively aggressive colour scheme to make it stick out and offend users. You must be proud of it to make so offensively egregious in UX terms but nothing is less interesting to users than a tool that runs slow and pointlessly.
Sixth, I’ve actually tried to find a benefit from using it. No, really, I thought to myself, embrace the beast and look for for beauty in adversity. Alas, it’s slow. REALLY slow. If you thought it was a long way to the shop, it’s nothing compared to how slow this is. It’s so bad I test it by using Adblock on my desktop – yep it takes seconds to download that crapplet.
Even worse, put a few items and it takes ten to fifteen seconds to populate the inlay. It animates in slow motion, and then pauses to fetch content. Which takes ages. So why bother.
- I can’t block it in most cases – corporate desktops.
- It loads slowly and it causes my pages to load slowly.
- Its very slow to use in itself. (microsoft style I’d say)
- It’s ugly.
- I don’t use the tools that it encapsulates and never have because the content on cisco.com keeps moving around and the links don’t track correctly.
- the updates on products and content within the tool vary according to the business unit that produces the product so it will never be a consistent user experience which further reduces it’s limited capability.
- it looks the website was designed by a bloated corporate structure.
To answer your specific points:
I have noticed that improved search – good enough. But I use google 90% of the time anyway, it’s much better and much more convenient. I only use your search for ‘seekret’ hidden content.
The navigational changes are a problem. Content that I have used for years have moved. The reallocation of content into groups is incoherent. Oh, and I not sure about the wiki, it’s really not working for me yet – I’ll keep trying but I’m finding it hard to get to content and the layout is hard to read.
I imagine people are fiddling with the toolbar, I’ll also bet it will fade quickly. And because of the performance, I’ll bet they are all based in the US and not overseas.
What I want is:
- I want speed.
- I want less graphics, more text and no video.
- I want it google searchable because that’s a much more convenient tool. (one command set and interface)
Those stupid multimedia content are clagging up the website. I don’t want a bloated, cluttered, trash filled web page that hinders me from moving around the website at speed.
So, come on, respect the people who use the site heavily, strip out the rubbish and give us a fast, slim and content rich but multimedia free experience.
I can’t begin to describe how offensive the current experience is. I’ve even been really polite and have only been swearing at you in my head. I’m glad you can’t see that. I can possibly, just possibly, live with the rest of the corporate bloatware and ‘1970’s porno wallpaper look and feel’ if you make that useless toolbar go away.