There’s an on-going trend to simplify websites to make them more suitable for tablet-PCs and smartphones aka a mobile-first or tablet-first strategy. LinkedIn is also going this route and has made a few changes to the navigation bar. As I’m always one of the ‘lucky’ people to get the new releases first, I wanted to share my experience with the new LinkedIn navigation bar.
Search bar in center
The first thing you’ll notice that they’ve moved the search bar front and center to “make easier than ever to discover and find what you’re looking for on LinkedIn”. That’s a rather big statement for such a small change but it’s just a standard sentence and typical about their communication when they make any changes. Nothing has changed really but it is a bit better accessible on tablet-PCs.
I heard someone say that they removed searching in Updates (aka LinkedIn Signal) but that’s not the case. You can still filter your search on Updates in your network. However you cannot go directly to this page anymore.
Quick access to account options, language and settings
What has been improved is that your settings and other account options are a click away. Just hover over your profile picture in the upper right hand corner and the drop down menu gives you quick access to your account options, language and settings.
Simplified menu of tabs, not so easy for heavy users
And now the bad news. The simplified menu of tabs should “help you quickly and easily locate the features and content that are of most value to you”. But this promise will disappoint if you are a heavy user of Groups or Company Profiles (and updating these). In their efforts to simplify it I need an extra click to access my favourite groups. In the past I could just select one of my top 5 groups. I really dislike this as my groups have become more difficult to access. Not easier.
If you want to go to your current company profile, which you are managing, that you can no longer easily access it via a Companies tab. If you have only one to manage you can find it with an extra click via Interests – Companies. But I’m not able to go to my own company page any longer with a simple selection via the top-menu. If you manage other Company Pages too, the easiest route is now via the search bar.
What else is missing?
You’ll miss direct navigation in the topmenu to the following pages:
- Profile Organizer
- Groups You May Like
- Groups Directory
- Create a Group
- Accept Invitations
- Search Companies
- About Company Pages
- LinkedIn Today
- Saved Articles
- Help Center
- Skills & Expertise
The navigation bar disappears when you scroll down and appears again when you scroll up or hover with your mouse on it. This works fine in practice.
For tablet-PCs all these changes are just a small improvement. For rookies or users who don’t use LinkedIn often, they’ll like the new layout as they are not overwhelmed by all the ‘old’ tabs and hidden settings.
Here’s a quick guide to get started from LinkedIn
Over the next month, all English-speaking members around the world will get to experience the new navigation.