LinkedIn is popular among users to keep track of and expand business contacts and networks. Having just moved to San Francisco, I wanted to see if there were any hacks that people were using to expand their networks, which led to me analyzing situations in where you'd use the app.
I started by developing a persona to document my assumptions and develop the user journey to see where there might be potential pain points within the app.
Conduct a guerrilla usability test at a local coffee shop to determine if users were able to perform network-building tasks identified in the user journey analysis.
Guerrilla usability testing is a powerful technique in which you get a fast and low cost way to gain sufficient insights to make informed decisions.
Parameters were set to find the most unsuspecting potential candidates.
What: LinkedIn Mobile on iOS and Android
Who: Existing LinkedIn Users in San Francisco
Where: Coffee Shop in Civic Center
Tasks were phrased as open ended scenarios in order to garner better insights.
Adding a new connection
Publishing a post to news feed
Inviting connections to groups
usability test key findings
Connection search results were unclear
"I'm pretty sure I did this right, but he's not here." - User 4
Adding a connection seemed to be a straight forward task, however major doubt was cast when the inputted name did not show up or didn't produce relevant results.
Navigating through the app was difficult
"Why are there so many of the same things...?" - User 5
The amount of information to digest in the navigation menu was overwhelming which lead to rampant and undirected tapping to search for other information.
Posting updates and news was hard.
"I need ANOTHER app for this?" - User 2
Users seemed surprised that the News option on the navigation took you to a landing page to download LinkedIn Pulse, instead of bringing up another new feed.
I plotted all the pain points observed during the testing to determine if there were features I could improve.
Then bucketed the pain points together by feature and plotted them on an affinity map to prioritize the prototyping process.
QR CODE CARDS TO FIND CONTACTS
Since finding connections has the biggest impact on LinkedIn's business as well as the customer's needs, QR Codes should be implemented as methods of data exchanges. Currently, QR Codes are used in a variety of different environments for quick data exchange. (Food Trucks, Logistical Deliveries, Banks, International Apps)
Easy access from connections screen
Desired share action, so that should be the icon
QR codes lead directly to that connections profile
- Swipe back and forth between integrated scanner
iOS has QR Code scanning built in from Wallet
Android has a variety of apps with existing integration
Doing guerrilla testing provided some invaluable insight to users' demographics, needs, and mental models for the cost of just a cup of coffee. It's important to know that not everyone will fit into your target audience and that if you're bootstrapped, testing is still readily available. In turn, this helped me design a better data-driven approach to build better experiences for the users.
After prototyping all these improvements, I would have to validate the changes and iterate based on the feedback. Then repeat for the next feature!
I am not an employee of LinkedIn nor am I in anyway affiliated with the company. I am a big fan of the app so I wanted it to be more efficient and it was a pleasure exploring ways that I think LinkedIn mobile could be improved.