By Dave McGurgan
LinkedIn is one of the oldest social networks in existence (it was launched in 2003!) and focuses on business, employment and professional knowledge sharing. Until early 2017, LinkedIn had an extremely utilitarian, if not Web 1.0 design, similar to sites such as Craigslist and Reddit. LinkedIn has made a bold step forward with a new interface that simplifies the user experience and reduces clutter. But does it make the social network easier to use?
As LinkedIn grew, it rolled out new features such as the ability to publish articles and discover/curate topics of interest. As it added on more features, the site became increasingly harder to use because of its unwieldy design and less-than-optimal UX. As a result, many of LinkedIn’s advanced features remained out of sight and out of mind for casual users of the social network. Simply put, LinkedIn hadn’t been especially easy to use, or navigate, for a long time.
The new LinkedIn design is much more contemporary and streamlined. The new feed where your latest updates flow in is very reminiscent of the Google+ feed. It’s dead simple and clean as it should be. The navigation menu is also greatly simplified, with all of its primary activities very apparent.
Where did everything else go? Well, you’ll want to check under the “More” tab, where LinkedIn favorite Groups now reside along with Slideshare (which is an incredible resource for business knowledge in and of itself.) Hopefully, with the new design, these features will get more play due to better placement in the site navigation. The “More” tab is also home to where LinkedIn business services now reside and are where companies can post a job and advertise to acquire customers.
LinkedIn continues to offer “Premium” services for job seekers, which is ideal for those willing to plunk down $29.99 a month, but for the underemployed or recently laid off workers, the monthly membership fees may still be too much to bear. It’d be great to see these premium services available to all users, but it seems like LinkedIn’s subscription model won’t be going away anytime soon. That said, you can usually get a free 30-day trial to their premium services, which may be sufficient if your search is a short-term one; sadly these days that’s not always the case.
If you’re like most professionals, you’re probably too busy to learn all of the nuances of the new LinkedIn site redesign. In which case, you’ll want to check out this recap of LinkedIn changes from Social Media Examiner. While it’s intended for marketers, there are probably several takeaways for most people and novice LinkedIn users.