LinkedIn on Thursday unveiled its biggest redesign since the site debuted nearly 15 years ago.
The new site — the result of both a front and back-end overhaul — dramatically reduces clutter, features new navigation tools and runs faster. The redesign gives both the mobile app and the site a consistent design and the same back-end architecture, which should enable the company to change the site much more quickly moving forward, the company said. LinkedIn’s main goal for the redesign was to make conversation and content a bigger part of the user experience, in addition to simplifying what many viewed as a clunky product experience. LinkedIn, which was recently acquired by Microsoft, used its mobile redesign, which launched in December 2015, as a model for the site. The new site begins rolling out on Thursday and will be available to users globally over the coming weeks.
“The biggest positive change is the simplicity and making it clearer what you can do on LinkedIn,” said LinkedIn’s director of engineering Chris Pruett in an interview. “Conversations are woven throughout the site now, as they are on mobile. And we have a foundation to move more quickly.”
The desktop design is important to the company because its most dedicated members use a combination of the website and the mobile app. Some key parts of the site that have been simplified are the search bar, navigation and notifications. The redesign makes desktop search sleeker by giving users a single search box for finding people, companies, jobs, groups and school, with options to add filters. And users will soon be able to search for posts. The navigation bar has also been overhauled and now features seven items: Home (the feed), Messaging, Jobs, Notifications, Me, My Network and Search. Other parts of the site such as “LinkedIn Learning,” which offers a broad range of online courses, can be accessed through a “more” icon.
Notifications have also been streamlined. Instead of seeing notifications separately for InMail or invitations to connect in the My Network tab, notifications have been consolidated into a single feed. Invitation notifications will also be more manageable. The site will now only show users invitations they haven’t seen since their last visit, instead of showing the total number of pending invitations.
To improve content curation, LinkedIn has updated its algorithm and expanded its team of human editors to focus on personalization based on what’s relevant and trending within the user’s company or industry or in the news more broadly. LinkedIn is giving users more control over content they see, for example, adding options to unfollow or hide a post. The redesign will also give desktop users more detailed stats on who is reading their posts, for example, information about the viewer’s company, job title and location, a tool that is already available on the app.
And to help spark more conversation — and engagement — LinkedIn launched a new “real-time” messaging interface that lets users contact a connection from any place on the site. LinkedIn has also added new conversation prompts on desktop. Looking at a job listing, for example, can trigger a recommendation to contact a specific connection who works at that company. Suggestions to “Say Happy Birthday,” “Say Congrats” and “View Jobs” are now also more prominent. And to make the site more valuable for members collectively, and to encourage users to share more about themselves, LinkedIn is adding automated feedback generated by artificial intelligence on how they can build out their profile to stand out. Another mobile app feature, curated endorsements, highlighting the most qualified and relevant recommenders, are also rolling out on desktop.
“The new design helps make the site more about advancing your career through content, conversations and your reputation on LinkedIn,” Pruett said.
This article was written by Kathleen Chaykowski from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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