Just listened to Dave Winer’s recent podcast about Guy Kawasaki considering LinkedIn as a replacement for Twitter. I agree with pretty much everything Dave says on why moving to Mastodon is better, particularly in terms of interoperability. But I must add, as someone who uses LinkedIn to maintain professional contacts, there’s another reason why I cannot for the life of me see myself choosing to use LinkedIn for my social contacts, and it has to do with the user experience.

I don’t use Facebook so maybe my tolerance for sub-par UIs is lower than most1 but LinkedIn doesn’t strike me as having a UI that is pleasant to use. The whole thing is so busy and in your face. Each nav tab has an unread indicator, which really degrades the effect of that indicator when there’s something that does need your attention (take note, Apple). Random chat windows with messages from recruiters and “promoted content” popup when I open the page, getting in the way of what I was actually there to do. It’s overwhelming.

I’m sorry for anyone that works at LinkedIn, but the UI needs a huge overhaul. And don’t take this as any indication that I get no value from the service: it has lead me to new jobs and I’ve used it to get jobs for my contacts. So I do use it for my professional life.

But the prospect of using it for fun? No, thank you. I’ll pass.

  1. I had to use Facebook once for work (it was to integrate with Facebooks messaging platform) so I did log in a few times, using an account with completely fake profile information. And I don’t know if it’s because I never used it at a time when the service itself was smaller and simpler, but the whole thing felt really busy and unintuitive. I found myself getting loss and not knowing where to go in order to do something. It certainly didn’t feel like a product that was conducive to posting or connecting with friends (although I know that’s no longer the goal of Facebook). ↩︎