Mastering Design, One Red Dot at a Time

Rowan Trollope | March 31, 2015 at 7:14 pm PST

One of my favorite designers, John Maeda, believes that the most successful tech companies of the future will really be design companies.

When John’s somewhat bold prediction is put in the context of this quote from Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” – it’s easy to see that John is right.

So if the future successful tech companies will really be design companies, what does that mean for all the “non design companies” of today (read: most tech companies and especially most IT tech companies)? This is an opportunity for all tech companies to understand the real value of design.  I believe that change has to start at the top, so for Silicon Valley, it means business leaders have to come to grips with this transformation. Not just hiring more UX people, or opening a “design center,” but embracing design as a way to lead your entire company.

It should come as no surprise that I place such high importance on the Red Dot awards.  They are a validation of amazing design quality from beyond the technology industry.  Our products in the Collaboration portfolio have won six Red Dot awards in the last 18 months – that’s as many as Cisco has won in all its 30 years.

Last week, I found out we won two more. Our newest video endpoint and the flagship of the Collaboration portfolio – the IX5000 – just won a “Red Dot Best of the Best” 2015 award, the highest distinction in Red Dot’s product design category. In 2015, only 1.6% of the nearly 5,000 submissions received this top prize.

The Cisco TelePresence IX500
The Cisco TelePresence IX5000

This is an important award for the IX5000 because it promises a video experience like no other. When we introduced the IX5000 I emphasized attention to detail in all aspects of our design.  For instance – the sleek profile, the use of green and recyclable materials (like PET), and the details of triple 4K cameras with virtual zoom and whiteboard mode. This “Red Dot Best of the Best” award is recognition of this attention to detail and the importance of design.

On the other end of the product spectrum, the smallest of our video endpoints – the new DX70, was also recognized with a Red Dot 2015 award. That brings our total up to eight.

Now the world’s foremost design experts have recognized our entire new video portfolio for outstanding design and innovation.  I’m grateful to the teams at Cisco who put their heart and soul into these products – your efforts have been recognized!

Its great to be recognized with awards, but for me, getting to work with our incredible engineers and designers at Cisco – the best in the industry – is the real honor.  Thank you team!

So check out Cisco Collaboration and let me know how you think we are doing. –@RowanTrollope

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