LinkedIn recently moved it’s navigation bar up to the top of the page, where it now stays in place as you scroll down through peoples’ (or your own) profiles and news feed. They also made it black (an homage to Google?)
Now it seems that more changes are on their way. (Click the thumbnail for a screenshot.) I’ve provided quick descriptions of the main changes, below. These changes appears to be more than cosmetic: my guess is that they’re designed to impact the way people interact with the site.
The navigational elements at the top of the right column are going away (“Ask for recommendations,” “Create your profile in another language”). It looks like the “Improve your profile” box and completion bar are going away, too, though I’m not sure about that. With nothing taking the place of these links, the box ad in the right column now gets moved up to the top of the page, right beneath the “% completion” bar. When looking at someone else’s profile, the ad is all the way at the top.
“What ad,” you ask? That may have been the point… this change may be as much about improving click thru rates as anything else…
Profile Highlights Box
The box that provides highlights of a person’s background is getting streamlined, as well. A single “Edit profile” button now sits at the bottom of the box, in a more obvious position than it’s hidden place on the nav bar. A subtle drop-down arrow allows for more options, including
A second change to this box is the addition of a “Contact Info” tab. This tab opens to reveal information that used to be openly visible, including website links and Twitter handle, as well as information that used to be buried on the page: a person’s phone number and email. It seems from this design–putting contact information behind a click–that LinkedIn is pushing people to do more of their communicating through LinkedIn’s platform. Basically, they just subsumed the traditional business card into their platform!
With critical mass of professionals using it’s platform, (Assuming a worldwide population of 600 million professionals, then with over 150 million members, LinkedIn has captured over a quarter of the professional market already.) it appears that LinkedIn is now moving to change the way people use its site. Specifically, it seems to want more interactions happening–both amongst members and between members and advertisers. Strategically, this suggests that LinkedIn is embracing, technically, the idea that it can be a full business communication hub… much bigger ambitions than being just a recruiting tool. (Shameless plug: Ajax has been consulting to organizations on how to use LinkedIn this way for over two years now… it’s nice to see the tech catching up!)
We can’t be sure if these changes will be rolled out as we’ve seen them, or when… These changes appear to be part of an A/B test that included one of Ajax’s consultants… I guess we’ll know soon enough, though!
Jason Seiden is CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing. Ajax amplifies brands by aligning employees' online messaging.