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LinkedIn Exercise Overview

I was tasked to audit the flow on a user finding a connection and sending a request and propose an improvement to pain points. 

I designed a prototype for a couple of micro-interactions that might improve the visual cues provided for the user to make the experience overall more smooth and with less friction.

I interview three of my co-workers in order to gather insights as the foundation of my designs. They walked me through their “adding a connection” flow and they all had a premium account.


 

Research and Interviews

I started the audit by getting familiar with the flow for sending a connection request. I mapped it to a user journey of three stages, with their problems and opportunities.

I took notes of observations for things that I thought could have less friction or could be more playful.

  1. It takes time to find the right person when searching for a connection. Even in the search bar results information that should be more obvious is tucked away.

  2. Sending an Inmail is intimidating, writing and “networking” message might take time to prepare.

  3. There’s a lot of friction when it comes to retreating a request invitation, super hidden away.

  4. A new connection notification might get lost if there are many other notifications. Lost opportunity to initiate e new conversation

 

I talked with co-workers of mine that are active members of LinkedIn, and have a premium membership. I wanted to validate some of my assumptions and see if they resonated with their pain points or past experiences.

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Do you send messages whenever adding a connection? Have you ever withdraw a connection request?

One of the users said that she always sends a note along with the request. And another one said that she always uses auto-messages whenever she uses is using in the chat. When it came to withdrawing none of the users actually said that they’ve never needed it, but they weren’t able to locate the feature in the app.

 

Who do you add to your network in LinkedIn? What are your criteria when it comes to authenticating a user search profile?

Users said that they add co-workers, classmates, or industry influencers to their network. And that they look for either the school name or current job location to confirm their search result.

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The relationship tags are a visual cue for users to rapidly find coworkers and classmates. This looks to solve the pain point of not having enough information to identify the user that you want in the search field drop-down.

Relationship Tags

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I explored how could the tag appear in the initial search with some motion to see how far I could emphasize it without being disruptive. Especially toyed with the idea of using icons for “work” and “education” to have more real state.

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I think we could increase the number of messages sent if we borrowed the quick-messages options that there is currently for recruiters. It’s a good ice-breaker that helps remove friction for the user to get started.

Request Quick-Messages

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All interviewees said that they used the quick replies for recruiters. The idea is to bring that paradigm for messages sent in as part of a request, since it’s also most likely that people interact with a request that has a message in it. I also explored the ways we could make those messages less “generic” by playing with the microcopy.

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One of the feedback that I got all around from the interviews was that people use message under very specific circumstances. I believe that we could encourage users to start new conversations at the point that a new connection is made.

New Connection Messages

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I also explored how could the CTA reveal itself to really catch the user’s eye. I did two versions where it was only the icons in motion, and another that is only text. I wonder if maybe having copy here instead of the messenger icon would increase conversions.

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Contextual Withdraw Request

Since sending a connection request is in a way a social currency. The user should have the ability to easily withdraw a connection request. As of now the user need to manage the withdraws of requests in a specific section of the app. We could streamline this by adding a withdraw option that lives contextually to a user profile

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Next Steps

I shared my prototypes with the same co-workers I interviewed. And although they all reacted positively to the animations, I’d love to either test, or ask people with slightly different pain points what they think.

I'd explore further a lot of the concepts I played around with in my sketches and low-fidelity wireframes, as well as a more in-depth research. These recommendations are build around the idea of removing friction for key moments in the experience of the user.