The LinkedIn Redesign Trainwreck: 5 selected issues

I have been rolled out to the new LinkedIn desktop redesign. I was not going to talk about it, but at the end, I considered that it can be a learning experience for you all, as it has already been for me. Here you have five things that, in my opinion, LinkedIn is doing wrong.

You just can’t remove features without thinking of the consequences

Some people, like me, had been using LinkedIn for some time already. We are used to a certain way of using the service. It just does not work anymore.

Some features I find missing and most of the users also do are simple like, for example, rearranging the elements of the profile to reflect the most modern, relevant elements first. This used to be possible, but not anymore. Furthermore, the older elements are in a different order, as you ordered them but the new ones can’t be rearranged. Some others are more complicated, as the removal of the PDF uploads.This has caused outrage, and it is just a proof that feature removal is very difficult once users get used to them.

You should not need to explain the redesign to the users

LinkedIn has done a lot of effort to explain the changes to the users using videos, blog posts, tweets… The problem is that they should not be doing it. If it is just a redesign (and not feature removal, change or addition) you should not need to explain it. Things should be easier to find, more clear and if they have trouble reshaping their workflow, your redesign may not be as good as you think.

Algorithms. Even if they are cool, they may still not work

Algorithms are invisible to the end user, so they must work seamlessly. Many companies are receiving backlash because of the way in which the algorithms show content the user. LinkedIn is currently one of them. Some words to describe how do they show the content to the end user in the forums are “random”, “impossible to understand”, “I am missing friends’ posts”. Those are strong indicators that you need to revisit your algorithm.

If you have help channels, be responsive and keep them useful for everybody

LinkedIn implemented a help center in which they were supposed to answer people’s comments and receive feedback. They are totally unresponsive on those channels. Apart from infuriating the user, it has created the feeling that nobody cares, and that is not the way to attract new users.

Fast, fast, fast. It is not.

In modern usage patterns, loading time is one of the key metrics to obtain higher retention rates. Rolling out a redesign that actually increases loading times seems already a decision hard to swallow, but especially because during the loading time no content is shown. If there are things that take time, implement progressive content loading, we live in the asynchronous web.

I just hope that this is just a temporary stage and they keep improving what seems to be a trainwreck.

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