Cisco’s vision on user-centred design

Cordell Ratzlaff
The UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph profiles Cordell Ratzlaff, director of user-centred design at Cisco Systems, and former head of Apple’s Human Interface Group.

“Like a lot of prominent technology companies, Cisco has recognised that its products aren’t as intuitive to use as they could be, so has brought in Ratzlaff to take a fresh approach.

Ratzlaff is no stranger to shaking up the user experience, having previously been tasked with making the Mac interface so enticing that users would almost want to lick the screen, rumour has it. From Apple, he went on to become creative director at Frog Design, where he designed for Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

At Cisco, he has researchers whose role is to get among users and identify needs they don’t yet realise they have. Significantly, Ratzlaff doesn’t see a distinction between professional users and consumers. “There’s no such thing as an enterprise user — people’s values and skills don’t change as they put on their work clothes,” he notes.”

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