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Homepage Teardown: What’s the impact of auto-play videos?

This week in our homepage teardown series, we’re examining WebEx’s website. WebEx is one of the most popular web conferencing products. If you’re in marketing or sales, you’ve most likely used WebEx for an online presentation or webinar.

WebEx sells licenses to its product through a self-service model on its website, but it also has a sales team that will work directly with larger customers. It’s a great website to examine for conversion optimization.

UsersThink Report 100078 Screenshot

Our Analysis

As usual, our analysis is based on four different criteria that typically impact conversion rates:

  1. Is the design clean and organized?
  2. Is the language clear and free of confusing marketing buzzwords?
  3. Does the site require users to dig through multiple pages to find the information they need?
  4. Is it clear what to do next?

Let’s jump into


  1. Is the design clean and organized?

Above the fold, the first element that draws your attention is the large background video. The video shows people meeting, and while it’s a simple video, the motion in the video can distract visitors from reading the important information about WebEx’s different products. Outside of conveying an atmosphere of meetings, the video doesn’t provide any concrete information about WebEx’s products.

Beyond that, the rest of the site is well laid out. There is plenty of white space, and the text is minimal and simple.


  1. Is the language clear and free of confusing marketing buzzwords?

No. WebEx doesn’t convey – in simple terms – exactly what their product does. If someone isn’t familiar with WebEx, these phrases would be very ambiguous:

  • “Meetings are just the beginning”
  • “Meet and work with 2 other people.” (How are we meeting?)
  • “More mobile. More productive.” (Is this a mobile app?)

The visitor really doesn’t have a chance to really understand WebEx until the page section saying “Meet instantly.” Here, it starts to become clear this is some type of product to have meetings on your computer or tablet.


  1. Does the site require users to dig through multiple pages to find the information they need?

Yes. WebEx does not provide clear copy describing exactly what their product does. Visitors are forced to click on subpages to get specific information describing the product.

Also, WebEx could do a better job of providing more information about pricing. For example, simply saying “pricing starts at $19/month” would help potential customers understand if they can afford WebEx.



  1. Is it clear what to do next?

For the most part. WebEx provides several calls-to-action such as:

  • Sign Up Free
  • Pricing
  • Product-specific links, such as WebEx Event Center
  • Contact sales

While these links are all very simple, there are too many of them on the page. This could confuse visitors. What exactly should they do next? WebEx could improve its site by limiting the number of next steps for a user to take.


User Testing

Next, we worked with to have 7 independent people review and share their thoughts.

As usual, the results were varied. Visitors had different perspectives – some positive, some negative – about

We’ve shared some of the key patterns and feedback below. (You can also download the full report. It’s worth it – there are some very insights comments in the full doc.)


  1. What’s your first impression of this page?
  • It looked like a very well put together Website and it made me want to read more about the service that it was offering. However, it was very busy. There was a lot going on within the page.
  • The video is a bit blurry, it’d be better if it was crisper.
  • I thought it was very busy. I didn’t like how there were buttons for multiple sections on the front page.
  • I was wondering what the site was about at first, and then the more I viewed of the site, the more I found out about what it was for.
  • It is too complicated. You should not have to scroll down as far to see all of the content.


  1. What didn’t you like about this page? Why?
  • I thought the page design was rather busy. I think it could benefit from possibly removing some of the excess from the page and coming up with a more streamline and simplified design. I also felt like I had to search a lot to find out all the services that they were offering.
  • I don’t like the blurriness of the video
  • I didn’t like the feeling of everything jumping at me at once, and would have preferred a much more concise layout. I also didn’t like a video automatically playing.
  • I also thought that it was a dating site at first from the way that the text talks about meeting people. The text is somewhat misleading.
  • I dislike the clip that plays when the page loads. I dislike that. I much prefer the moving picture to be somewhere down the page.


  1. If you could only change one thing about this page, what would you change? Why?


  • I think it would be beneficial to have the main page be a more simplified version so potential customers do not have to scroll to get a basic feel for the service.
  • Make the video more crisp, less blurry.
  • The layout. I do not like the length. It seems like it drags on, when really it can be effectively shortened.
  • If I could change one thing about the site, it would be for the picture that is on the site to be clear.
  • I would make it more clear what WeBeX does. It is vague. I am not sure what the benefits are.
  • I think the theme should be unique and let people instantly recognize that it is Cisco.
  • There is a lot of blank space at the bottom when I scroll down. If you cut that space out, then it would make scrolling a lot easier.


  1. What did you like most about this page? Why?
  • I loved the graphics as well as how the page incorporated many colors. It was very aesthetically pleasing in that sense. I also like how it offers both a free service as well as a paid service so people have an opportunity to try it first without having to pay right away for the ability to hold bigger meetings.
  • I like how well the page communicates what the services/products are.
  • The thing that I liked the most about the site was that it was short and to the point. I honestly hate sights that are long and that are not clear with what they are talking about.
  • I do like the layout. I like the way the information is presented. I like the simplicity of the front page.


  1. Would you recommend this page to a friend if the content was relevant to them? Why or why not?
  • Yes I would … the page offers a free service so my friend would not suffer any loss from trying the service out if I were to recommend it to them.
  • Yes, because ultimately it looks professional and communicates the service well.
  • Yes I would. It seems trustworthy and informative.
  • I would. If the cost was appealing. If he or she needed a product like this. Cisco is a very reputable company.
  • I do not know if I would recommend it exactly. Since I did not leave the front page, I do not know the site enough to give it my name and trust.


Final Thoughts

What’s working

The WebEx homepage is clean and well-designed. The design, plus the Cisco brand, instills an instant sense of confidence in visitors. Visitors also found the graphics, colors and icons very pleasing.

What should change

Almost universally, visitors found the video at the top of the homepage to be annoying, confusing and distracting. WebEx should push this video to the bottom of the homepage or remove it completely.

What’s up for debate

Does WebEx describe its product well enough? Our analysis found the copy to be vague and confusing. The biggest red flag is the testing user that thought WebEx was an online-dating site.

However, many users said WebEx does a good job describing its products.

Also, many users found the homepage to be cluttered and with too much information. Users didn’t like having to scroll to the bottom of the page. On the flip side, other users found the homepage to be simple and effective.

What are your thoughts?

What do you think of WebEx’s homepage video? Is it distracting? What about the copy and description of their products? Leave your thoughts in the comments.








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Adam Steinberg

Adam is a co-founder of Transpose