I don’t use LinkedIn on a desktop often. In fact, I really only pay much attention to LinkedIn when I’m on the hunt for a new opportunity. Or stalking a prospective new colleague… which was how I ended up in disdain about their desktop experience a few days ago.
On a job search front; LinkedIn has done good for me. I found my last 3 jobs on there. Two times recruiters reached out to me based on my profile, and once I found a posting, applied, and was hired within a few days. So I don’t want this to come across as a bash session; I think it’s an immensely useful app, and it’s going to be long-lived. So, we better do something about their atrocious UX, don’t you think?
I don’t know how long this hot mess has been live like this, and I don’t know why it hasn’t received more feedback from the design community. What was I even looking at? What action am I supposed to take? How do I find what I’m looking for?
Because I love UX and design, I actually took my personal time to identify the issues that were making the experience feel so fragmented. And here they are:
• LinkedIn integrates their own updates into the feed of people I’m connected with and follow. So scattered through my feed are people and things I don’t know and don’t care about. A gross overlap of Facebook’s experience, EW. I do, however, understand the value in proposing new connections, suggesting jobs, and more; but they would be better received if they weren’t strewn about my personal update feed.
• That tiny little kabob icon below the “Publish a Post” bar?? Near impossible to see; yet the toggle between Top posts and Recent posts is one I feel I would use frequently. Don’t hide what I need!
• Here’s one I’ve always wondered… (and maybe this feature always existed but the fact that a computer-savvy art director doesn’t know how to use it means it’s been poorly executed…) How do I search amongst updates? For example, if I only want to see what my network is discussing about UX, can I search, ‘UX’?
• The top section, about me, is so fragmented. I get the whole material design card thing; but let’s merge a few sections and simplify it for a more streamlined look.
All this being said, it only took me about 45 minutes to ‘frankenstein’ a screenshot of LinkedIn and adjust it to what I feel would be a smoother experience. This is not a redesign; I’ve left all stylistic elements and content as it was.
I moved all LinkedIn’s updates, essentially anything with the grey silhouette icon or handshake icon to the right, along with ads, things that a user might want to see, but out of the way if they don’t.
If the user is abiding by LinkedIn’s policy that they know all their connections personally, then that means their primary feed will only be comprised of people they know.
I added a search bar for updates, along with a crystal-clear dropdown to toggle between Top and Recent posts.
Last but not least, I merged my posting icons with my profile snapshot, so all my info is right there in one, clean card.
So here’s the before and after, in all its glory.
It’s not rocket science, and I haven’t solved every issue flawlessly. But it feels a little more comfortable to me. I have clear definition between sections of where to find what I’m looking for. So I’m curious, do you guys think this is a better experience? What would you change? Did I miss something that drives you nuts? Tell me about it, in the comments!