Five of the Most Annoying Things About the Linkedin Interface

Image credit: Linkedin.com
Let’s just get this out of the way. LinkedIn, as a company, is a success. LinkedIn, as a platform for connecting with professionals either for the purpose of networking or recruitment, is a success. Linkedin, as a product, an experience, is a complete and utter catastrophe. No, that is not an exaggeration—it is an understatement.

Before we jump into why LinkedIn is such a mess, let’s mention some positive aspects of the platform. In terms of finding professionals and any information about their experience, nothing beats it. In terms of engagement, sharing posts on LinkedIn is pretty lame and so is the engagement it drives. Joining discussions in LinkedIn groups and sharing content there as part of the discussion is exactly the opposite. It will not only drive you traffic in high quantities, the quality is also all the way up, as the people there joined the group for a reason and they are actually interested in the topic at hand.

Having said all that, every time I visit the site, I get a headache and that is only a slight exaggeration. The interface is painful and buggy, not to mention counter intuitive. Here are five examples.

5 Endorsements Are the New Viagra:

I got your attention there, didn’t I? No, but seriously, no matter how many times I unsubscribe from LinkedIn emails and specifically the endorsement emails, I wake up every morning with 50 emails from LinkedIn (ok, THAT is an exaggeration, but I get a lot. Too many.) I have tried 3rd party services to remove such emails; I have tried contacting support by email and on Twitter (where they are surprisingly responsive) and nothing. This is a strategic thing, not an accident and it has to stop. Email spam is so 2001.

4 Speaking of Brands…

I am going to make this one super short as there is nothing to add to the following statement. Managing a group on LinkedIn is a painful experience. Try finding a list of admins and adding or removing one. Yes, possible, but totally unintuitive. It should be something along the lines of Manage Group> Permissions >Add or Remove. Instead it is Manage> Participants> Members> Locate person> Change Role. Try changing the title of the group or the group photo if you are an admin. Not possible (only the owner?) Why, LinkedIn, why?

3 So, You Say You’re a Professional Network?

If LinkedIn was the professional network it claims to be, brands would be their primary target audience. Only maintaining a brand on LinkedIn is so inconvenient, most don’t bother. One example? Try reaching out to a person or posting in a group as a brand, not as someone who manages the brand. Not possible, as far as I know. But that is the whole point! LinkedIn is supposed to give brands a voice, isn’t it? More like a muzzle for brands, if you ask me.

2 Speaking of Going Away…

Perhaps this should have been number one on the list as it is by far, the most annoying thing about Linkedin. Now, there is much debate about the way one is “intended” to use the platform. Do you connect only with people that you know professionally or do you connect with people you WANT to know professionally? I am of the latter opinion and therefore, I sometimes find that I am connected with people on LinkedIn with whom I do not want to be connected. So I do the natural thing and click on their profile to remove them as a contact. Only there is no remove option on a person’s profile. There is on Facebook. There is on Twitter. LinkedIn? Nope. Of course it is possible to remove a contact, but from a UI perspective, that option is way too difficult to locate.

1 Notification, Go Away!

Whether it is the mobile app or the site itself, there is something seriously wrong with the notification system on LinkedIn. Besides the fact that the emails are annoying and apparently impossible to unsubscribe to (more on that later), when I access my messages, that annoying number showing me unread messages won’t go away. This happens a few times a day and I have read many complaints about this issue, so I know it is not me. If you, like me, are OCD about your unread notifications, LinkedIn messages can and will drive you mad.
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