3 Major Business Networking Improvements We’d Love to See for LinkedIn

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 in FeaturedLinkedInSocial Media
It was late last December 2009 when LinkedIn announced a redesign roll-out. The redesign brought about a cleaner interface, what some would christen as a completely new Web 2.0 look. However, there were some gripes and grouses reportedly coming from dissatisfied users. Here we present 3 major improvements we’d love to see being implemented on LinkedIn.

1. Is LinkedIn’s GUI too cluttered? You bet it is!

Some of my friends and connections have confided in me that LinkedIn’s GUI was too cluttered, while some new users mentioned that they’ve gotten lost more often than they care to remember. Finding your way around can be a tad bit difficult. For example, say I’d like to explore the Applications within the LinkedIn interface…

This is a screenshot showing the old LinkedIn layout where useful stuff can be found on the left panel. Ah so that’s where the Applications button is!But where is it now? As hard as I try, I cannot find it anywhere on the new layout…Until I scroll down lower…

There it is! Boy, finding the Applications section is such a feat. So what happens when I hover my mouse and try to find out more about an application…?

The apps section can be found on the lower part of the homepage as you scroll down lower. It is located below the “Add Connections” button, all the way down to the lowest part of the right column. Not very visible at first glance, is it? Which makes me wonder why the Apps section was kicked off the main nav bar after the redesign.

Improvement we want to see: Make the site more user-friendly and searchable; improve the nav bar!

2. Down with the drop-down menus!

According to many LinkedIn users who are well-versed in the subject of User Interface (UI) usability, the drop-down menu located in the top navigation bar is a huge no-no. Users do not think it is wise of LinkedIn to hide their navigational items, saying that it was completely unnecessary to implement these navigational drop downs. Compared to their older interface, users now need to pull down menus just to perform searches.

I for one have encountered numerous occasions where I was “surprised” to find something hidden beneath the navigational item I have just clicked. For example, say I click on “Profile” without hovering long on it. Then as the page begins to load, I realize there is more beneath the it! By the time I realize so, I’ve clicked on the tab and I get directed to the first item displayed on the drop down menu, which may not be where I want to go…

To counter this, UI designers involved in any future “redesigns” are required to collect viable data from focus groups that consist of light to heavy users on LinkedIn in order to gather feedback that would help them determine if a redesign is necessary at all.Improvement we want to see: Away with drop-down menus! Bring back the old nav bar!

3. Show me the funny!

Well, I don’t really mean funny “ha-ha” but funny as in “fun” and “interesting”. As a fairly new LinkedIn user, I didn’t mean to compare it with Facebook although I just did so one article ago but I honestly think picture sharing features should be introduced to LinkedIn. A little more color and graphical elements won’t hurt, would it? Sure, you may think of Facebook as a social networking site “for the masses” but who says business should be dull and boring?