When did it get so complicated?

This should be the logo for the new LinkedIn

In January LinkedIn released its new user interface. It’s now four months later and the user interface is still as shocking as its January release. Some of the best, unique, features of LinkedIn such as ‘who connects me to this person’ are hidden from view.

Do you want to refuse to link to someone because you don’t know them? The “I don’t know this person” notification appears out of immediate eye focus, so a. it’s hard to see and b. you need to either move the mouse (or your finger on the mobile version).

And the speed of the site is appallingly slow, with that irritating loading icon on every screen. LinkedIn owner’s, Microsoft, might as well show a rotating hourglass for nostalgia.

It feels like user experience is improving in some areas, such as ecommerce websites that I go to regularly, where I can search, pick and buy the product within seconds. But in other areas, such as LinkedIn and mobile, user experience has becoming much more complicated.

Mobile user experience is deteriorating too

A few years ago I had an iPhone 3, then moved to a Samsung (Android). I upgraded from that Samsung 5 to a 7 last year. Last week I’ve moved back to an iPhone 6S because I’m working on a project with an iPhone prototype.

iOS has changed a lot since that early 3. Some parts have improved a lot, such as iOS Maps and Siri. But lots of areas have become crazily complicated.

Apps have lost consistency with each other, and due to iPhone’s lack of a back button, apps seem to shoehorn it into their own user interfaces in different ways to each other. But even the apps themselves are inconsistent between operating systems.

Google apps (Inbox, maps, etc.) configure themselves to look exactly the same once you log into them, and in general they try to share log in details between each other – reducing the number of screens.

But WhatsApp… WhatsItPlayingAt? You can’t transfer conversations between Android and iOS. Is this Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) trying to steer WhatsApp users towards Messenger instead?

So I’m calling all user experience professionals to please re-simplify apps, and remember core principles. Otherwise we’ll end up with another LinkedIn.

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