LinkedIn is coming up with a new UI to to keep brands hooked to the platform. Well, it’s here for some of us! I have been lucky to have the redesigned version.. The new design is cleaner, faster, and a whole lot easier to navigate. The most interesting twist is that it looks quite influenced by the Facebook UI. In this article, we will look at a user testing conducted on the new LinkedIn website.
Redesign inspired by Facebook?
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn has the profile link on the upper right, the newsfeed sitting down the middle, just below an entry field for sharing articles, photos, and status updates. To the right, exactly where Facebook places its trending topics, LinkedIn added a section called “What you need to know now.” It’s above an ad card that’s in more or less the same spot as Facebook’s ad card.
The hypothesis behind this redesign is clear — Users who feel the UI of linkedIn is confusing, are quite comfortable with the UI of Facebook. LinkedIn aims at not demanding its users to relearn using a social media platform. User testing on the LinkedIn web prototype will show how successful this hypothesis turns out.
LinkedIn launched in 2003 and is currently the third most popular social network in terms of unique monthly visitors — right behind Facebook and Twitter. Think Facebook, but with a more professional feel and a ton more features. This social network is primarily centered around careers, and it enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues as well as potential employers, business partners, and new employees.
Objective of the user test
The primary feature of LinkedIn is looking for a job and connecting with like minded people professionally. The objective of the test is to identify how easier has the same become for the users.
Prior to conducting usability tests, I developed a user persona to better understand the target users of LinkedIn’s website. This process helped me get into the mindset of the users, thinking in terms of their contexts, needs, and goals.
So meet Ben!
Platform used for experiment
I have used the CanvasFlip online tool for creating the prototypes and for UX insights such as session replay (the user videos). conversion funnel and heat maps.
No of users in the test
I tested the web prototype with a larger section of the audience just to be sure if there was any issue with the interface and also understand the average time one takes to find a job on the platform. So I tested it with 32 users on desktop.
Task scenarios given to the users
I mentioned the most common scenario for LinkedIn website as the task — “Update the profile and look for a job. You are a marketing manager at CanvasFlip and looking for a job in marketing elsewhere.”
I chose un-moderated remote usability testing because I wanted to capture the experience of the users in their natural habitat, that is, while sitting in their study room, or their bedrooms or their office chambers! Because, these are mostly the situations when professionals update their profile or look for a job.
So here’s the prototype I built for the test.
Prototype tested on :
(Task Scenario : Update your profile and look for a job (You are a marketing manager at CanvasFlip) Find a job in marketing elsewhere, save it for future reference..)
Insights on the LinkedIn prototype:
- Editing the profile
LinkedIn has gone ahead and beautified the profile section. What used to be the old profile section is now accessed through “Me”. Clicking on the “me” tab opens a drop down. The view profile link directs you to the profile page. Alternately, you could click on the profile card on the left of the screen.
Here’s how one of the users updated the profile
Session Replay of LinkedIn
If not at the first click, but the user did figure out relatively fast from where he needs to edit the profile. It took him a total of 45 secs to complete the task, which is definitely quite positive.
Here’s the conversion funnel that shows the task conversion task —
93.75% of the users ended up updating the profile perfectly!
Conclusion — LinkedIn seams to be done with all the confusion and “what to do” UI! The navigations are clear and sorted now :)
2. Applying for a job
With the redesigned version, LinkedIn has the “Jobs” icons right on top along with tabs such as notifications, me, my network etc. Knowing that one of the core motive of being on LinkedIn is finding similar professionals and relevant JOBS, this step was a must! And hypothetically it makes complete sense. The great part is that the analytics reflect the same!
Here’s a heat map of the LinkedIn home screen that shows a dark interacted patch on the “jobs” tab. This I think is enough to prove that users have spotted the exact navigation to finding jobs!
Clearly, LinkedIn has redesigned for the better. The clean and appealing UI of the website is intuitive and easier to use. Aligning to the design of Facebook has been a good move for LinkedIn so far. Something that was difficult and confusing in the past is only getting better.
Amy Parnell, the company’s senior director of experience design said —
“The goal with this design was to simplify and create focus.” and clearly the best way to do that was give users an experience they already understand. “From a design perspective, you don’t want to create a whole new paradigm for how you interact with that model.”
Similar to this user test, if you want to conduct tests on your app/website, do not wait till you have to launch it. Test your low fidelity designs and save tons of resources!