Webex Teams

Optimizing a collaboration tool for every team.



How might we enhance the onboarding experience for end-users logging on to Cisco's Webex iPad application for the first time?


Cisco UX Design Team


January - March, 2020 (10 weeks)


UX Designer + Researcher


Interaction Design, Visual Design, Usability Testing, User Interviews


Anqi Cao, Erika Johnson, Evan Schmitz, Mojin Yu

By addressing the key usability issues within the onboarding process, first-time users of the collaboration tool are able to successfully activate their account, access prioritized functions, and visualize clear status feedback when utilizing whiteboarding or screen sharing features, leading to greater user activation. 

Product Overview

Streamline Activation Flow

When users sign up for Webex Teams from the email invitation, they would be lead through a simplified account activation journey that will not be blockaded by confusing redirections.

Flexible Messaging Categorization

Engaging with the app, users would be able to filter out their chats with teams, spaces, and people to create a clear differentiation between each term and visualize what they do and don't have access to. 

Status Feedback

In a meeting, users would receive explicit feedback information as to when their whiteboard or screen is being shared on the call with other participants.


Through usability testing, my team and I aimed to understand if users are efficient in their remote, collaborative workspaces through Cisco's video conferencing and whiteboarding platform, Webex Teams. Our goal is to find the usability flaws specifically on iPad devices and recreate mock designs to improve user interactions.


Cisco Webex.png

"Hey Cheyenne, we want to roll out an iOS update for our iPad application the following quarter that will encourage more viral adoption and user activation. How might we enhance the onboarding experience for users logging on to Webex Teams on the iPad for the first time?"


Meeting with Cisco Webex’s Design team and learning their goals, we gathered more information about their target persona and some upcoming developments with their product. This information informed our decision to test and find key usability flaws within the “Day Zero” experience, then address these flaws through prototyped mock recommendations.

Research Question


In testing the iPad application, we quickly ran into issues and confusions with the account activation, chat experience, iconography, and feedback from key meeting features. We marked up the usability heuristics that were lacking in the app, which helped us to identify what was critical to test in our study.

Heuristic Evaluation


During recruitment, we aimed to enlist participants based on specific characteristics, such as frequency of internet use, frequency of iPad use, and experience with non-Webex Teams collaborative tools in both professional and/ or academic environments. From these, our two main constraints for participants were having an occupation as an information worker and having familiarity with iPad and/ or iOS devices.



Information Worker

Someone who works with computerized information on a daily basis.


Familiarity with iOS Devices

Someone with similar device usage and the behaviors that correspond with it.


We conducted our usability test with 8 participants, utilizing several testing methods that include observation, think-aloud protocol, system usability scales, and semi-structured interviews; this allowed us to collect more contextual data to help us further assess the usability issues. Our usability test concluded that the majority of participants felt the collaboration tool was complicated and confusing, directly reflecting the SUS score. 

Usability Testing


Intent of Use

Participants' intent for using the tool in the future

Intent of Use.png

System Usability Score

Participants' impression of the collaboration tool


Word List

Participants' reflection of their experience with the tool

Word List.png

Here, I am preparing to facilitate this usability session as the participant is filling out their digital consent form.


After affinity mapping our data, we found six critical usability issues within the iPad experience. From each finding, I took the lead in designing mocks to provide recommendations on their collaboration tool. Below is a summary of the recommendations proposed to the Cisco UX Design Team.

Design Solution


Account Activation Misdirection

The "Meetings" site was confusing and unfriendly.

As participants were redirected to Cisco's Meetings site, the majority became confused by the information and link, finding the design of the page unfriendly to interact with.

Participants did not have easy, flexible access to contacts.

There is no clear, distinct list of contacts that shows the separation of both direct contacts or group messaging.


Inflexible Messaging Categorization​ 

Terminologies like "spaces" and "teams" are confusing.

Participants found the two high-level concepts of "spaces" and "teams" to be indistinguishable.

The initial login flow was discouraging for all participants.

The back and forth between the web browser and application in the first task complicated the initial login flow.


Poor System Feedback

The screen-sharing icon was not easily recognized.

Participants found it difficult to locate the icon, and it did not provide enough context to its function.

Whiteboarding and screen-sharing features lack system status and feedback.

These two features congruently do not provide enough status or feedback information when in use.

After reflecting on this usability project, I would have liked to further validate the key findings. Beyond the current study, additional testing with a greater variety of professionals could have brought other usability issues to the forefront. This would have also allowed us to understand if a segment of information workers had substantial difficulty moving through the usability test, therefore scoping our assessment. Also, while the current study focused on iPad usage, investigating the onboarding workflows across other devices could have helped inform the standards required for the design recommendations.

If given more time, I would have also preferred to conduct more usability tests after concluding the design recommendations. Testing the designs I've made would immediately validate if these recommendations successfully or unsuccessfully relieved the usability issues. Given that Cisco's UX Design team has taken the recommendations to improve this onboarding user flow, overall resulting in an increase in activation.