LinkedIn: Pollution Free • Case Study
(This was an educational design study not commissioned by LinkedIn).
Sunny, mild days are the most ambitious of days. The warmth of the day, the spirit of the environment – everything seems so much more happy – so much more alive. The flowers smell sweeter, even the reflecting “glitter" from the lake is so much more spectacular. The interaction of the environment is rich, easy and effortless. The word “Sun" alone can make someone smile. It just works.
That mood flips when Mother Nature flips. When her anger is no longer a whisper but a torrential down pour, we proceed with caution. When she commands the winds to howl from street to street, block to block, we proceed with caution. We are left with what remains – visual pollution. The experience scares us, closes us off - it confuses us. Some storms allow us to recover, some make us rebuild. Regardless of the outcome – we want things to be uncomplicated, uncluttered and simple. It allows us to enjoy the presented experience – simple and free. I set out to banish that same visual pollution- constantly hunting for that sun, from an experience I have everyday.
From inception, LinkedIn has been the staple for professional connection, and a powerful, professional vine on this social Earth. It just keeps growing. The experience has graduated from a simple, accessible resume to a content powerhouse. From marketing and advertising, to media rich content, personal posts and recommendations – LinkedIn is a content theme park for professionals. I walk this park on a daily basis and have realized the current information storm it’s in. I don’t know how to navigate safely anymore. I find myself wanting that free and simple experience. I find my self wanting to fan away the visual pollution. The following is my brief interpretation of that want – my way of searching for the sun.
An identity crisis no doubt. I’m not sure if this is a login page – or a lead gen page, or a website with 30+ links that greets you each time. Pending strategy on it’s identity – knowing the pop base, and data that reveals there are roughly 300 million registered users – I offer up a login page, free and clear. Like unlocking a door to your home – this should be easy. Keys in, turn and enter.
We are presented with copious amounts of noise. Notifications, ads, suggested content, articles of interest, search, email, account upgrade links - the list is emotional and exhausting. No one can be everything to everyone, design shouldn’t be either. There should be some compromise, strategy and focus around who, what, where and why. What if we were to keep content king, re-focus the center and true spine of the page to keep it all together.
Let’s clear out any visual pollution including link detours, and cluster them into strategized groups that make better sense for the user. Let’s help the page breath again.
With over 4+ “main”navigation groups (top bar, notification icons, profile details, profile actions) we must resort to ninja like skills to uncover a desired path. What if we moved that all (pending true importance) and re-clustered them in a view the user can be in control of. They should be able to control the noise levels – even further.