Sunday 27 May 2012

In Praise of: The new LinkedIn App for the iPad

Many web applications for tablet or handheld devices are simple replications of the main website. However, the new LinkedIn iPad app is really quite nice. I have been playing around with it and it has impressed me enough to write a short blog about it. (For larger images in a slideshow - click on any of the images below).
Fig 1 - Simple welcome page
To quote Senior Product Manager Manish Sharma:
"The new experience re-imagines LinkedIn for the iPad, taking full advantage of Multi-touch and the new Retina display. We aspire to be the place where every professional comes throughout the day. A place where members come to gather important business intelligence and insights to be great at what they do."

The most impressive pages for me are within the "Updates" area of the site. This lays out a combination of stories from the web you may be interested in with stories your connections have "liked" or actively promoted. This is presented in a two column magazine style format that you can simply flick through by swiping across the tablet. There is just enough information to give you an overview and tease you in to read more. Fig 2 below shows articles on the Government Constriction Summit, Green Roofs and BIM Objects. As LinkedIn knows what subjects I am interested in and what my connections promote - it is all relevant to me.

It must be said, that the presentation of this information is completely different to what you see on your PC or Mac - it is perfect for a tablet device - and that's what makes it special.
Fig 2 - New articles you like and your connections like - newspaper style
Within the "Group" area the page design follows the same principles: Two columns in a magazine format; good use of images and author pen-pics. You can flick through the summaries and then read what is of interest in more depth.
Fig 3 - The LinkedIn Groups are a pleasure to browse
The discussions within the groups are also easy to scroll through and read opinions. This is shown in Fig 4 below...
Fig 4 - The discussion threads are laid out nice and clearly
But what LinkedIn is built on is the ability to make connections with people in your area of interest. The "connections" and "people you may know" areas are really well laid-out. Like mini-business-cards on a table that you can scan through.
Fig 5 -  Potential connections are presented like a desktop of business cards
Selecting a person will give you a nice little overview of their activities and your connections in common. The messaging system is simple too. So overall, very, very nice.
Fig 6 - The personal page gives a clear overview of any connection
So a big "well done" to the team at LinkedIn. It'll be interesting to see if Twitter, Facebook, Google+ react. All of the big social media platforms have unrivalled potential content that people want to see. It would be fantastic to see each of their design teams provide in it in the most appropriate media - whether you are viewing it on a traditional computer, smart phone or a tablet.

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1 comment:

  1. PRO insights on blackberry playbook is a fantastic alternative to view linkedin information as well. I dropped the official linkedin application and use products insights instead now!