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LinkedIn’s Logical Fail

January 27, 2016

One reddit user writes: 

I just sent “Dear Guy,” as a message to a prospective employer… Thanks LinkedIn!

Crappy Design is one of my favourite subreddits. It’s a self-parodying homage to all poorly-conceived commercial design out there in wild. In case you’re not a design snob like myself, the subreddit itself is comprised of bad design practices like busy animated backgrounds, papyrus titles and the dreaded comic sans font (shudder). This user’s post is pointing out some bad UX, or User Experience, logic used for the LinkedIn InMail messaging form.

This particular feature highlights that even big companies like LinkedIn can fail to acknowledge logical user behavior when creating features and inadvertently give a poor user experience.

In this case it caused embarrassment during the fragile situation like job prospecting, simply because of a tiny logical flaw: they left a messaging text field defaulted to “pressing enter sends the message”.

Another Redditor goes on to explain why this is causes confusion, and leads to people scrambling to find if they can recall a message. BCSteve writes:

There need to be two very distinct modes of computer writing:

Is it like an [Instant Message], where most everything is a single line? Then enter-to-send. Is it like an email, where most messages will have multiple paragraphs?

Then enter-to-line-break.

LinkedIn should know that most people writing to employers will not be sending them IMs, they’ll be writing multi-paragraph cover letters.

In short, users have been conditioned to expect this:

  • professional communication = paragraph format
  • casual friendly communication = instant message format

LinkedIn is a professional Social Network, and users treat it as such. The breakdown here is that the InMail messenger hasn’t been built to accommodate this user behavior.

There is a reason that UX is one of the hottest fields of work in digital marketing, app design, web development and many other tech-related fields. It’s not easy.

Like, at all.

The old mode of thinking is that everyone uses a website (for instance) the same way.

 

path
Design vs. User Experience: The path you think they’ll take…. And the path they really take.

Good UX designers live by the mantra that assumption is the mother of all f*ck ups.

Marketers and designers discovered, since those dark days of the internet, that each type of user takes a different journey when utilising a website/app etc. How you facilitate and guide that journey will determine if they have a positive or negative experience when navigating the interface you’ve constructed.

If your entire strategy is to keep them using your services, complete an action or engage with the brand, then this will most likely determine the outcome of that too.

The only way to find out if something is a detractor to the user experience is to adopt the mindset of a product researcher, architect, psychologist and clairvoyant (or else just be empathetic). In other words, a good UX Designer on a project is potentially the most valuable component for the brand perception, and ultimately the success of your digital strategy.

Just something to consider when adding a feature into a project.

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