Linkedin Design: Good(bad…)fellas

Apr 3rd, 2015

I believe in giving social platforms a chance. After all, someone has to make a living innovating while keeping an eye on the bottom line to increase shareholder social value.

But when innovations fail to make my life easier, then I balk. Not only does it stress me out, it makes me want to flee.

What do I mean?

Here’s the thing. Design matters. Visual design can translate a technology platform making it attractive to use. User interface design can translate a technology platform making it operational – especially on mobile and other not-yet created devices that we can’t imagine.

And cultural design is the real engine driving real value added offering content in real time that resonates authenticity. Unique Canadian content mediated through the eyes and souls of our people imprinting our country’s authentic voice around the world. (Do we really need the CRTC to regulate our creative output as a nation?)

And yeah. It has to_ intuitively work – performing when I need it to do so.

When design and useability is trumped by technology’s promise, then its simply stymied. And when content is shut down, then its dead. And that, is a very, very big problem.

Back to Linkedin redesign which changed in the last couple of months. First reaction, hated it. Second reaction, give it a chance. So I did.

Verdict?

Its clunkyNot intuitive for the user. And more importantly, it stresses me out because I can’t quickly and reliably access what I need in a way that makes sense.

The new design makes me dig and search and sort more than I have time to do. Two weeks into this space, and I was ready to quit.

More importantly, it makes me struggle somewhat to search for cultural content – the stuff my connections post that drives my business, my discovery, my brand.

Linkedin needs to pivot.

Give your software and enterprise architecture engineers a vacation. And take time to challenge your artists (assuming you’ve hired them) and visual designers to figure out the best way to connect with your 350 million users – across many different cultures. Talk to real people using your platform, daily, to drive their business, careers and content. Listen.

And let the artist & techies commute.

Just like figure skaters who dance.

Because even though you have 350 million users.

Its not about you.

Chrystia

vision | voice | visuals | mine

P.S. For a take on design & tech, check out John Maeda of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in #DesignInTech Report.