People are not buying devices just because they are shiny, it’s all about the experience. How the apps make us feel and how convenient they are. For example, I write a ten lines comment and, as I hide the keyboard to check the previous post I’m answering to, my sentences are…all…gone…disappeared. Oh no! Don’t make me start it all over again! I’m sure the same thing happened to you. Did you find yourself selecting all your comment, hit copy and repeat the same process to every five or ten words you add?
There are 5 things that, according to me, make LinkedIn a painful experience on mobile and tablet:
Updates issues (tablet)
If you want to post an update on your time line, you have to go to the “Home” section -or hit the LinkedIn logo- and you’ll find a speech bubble (tablet) or a pen surrounded by a square (smartphone). Why are they different? I don’t know. Here’s another problem, you can’t attach a picture to your post (tablet) -as if tablets didn’t sport a camera nowadays -you can’t copy and paste in a pic from your camera roll as well-. Let’s say you lack of inspiration, and maybe want to save an update as a draft, and come back at it later. You can’t.
Messaging issues (tablet / smartphone)
It would be really nice to see the previous messages sent to a contact displayed in a different section. Actually, when you respond you can see the messages you sent earlier -like in an email conversation-. But what if the conversation’s subject has changed? The ability to search through your entire messaging system is gone, on both platform. This is handy when you only remember a word – or a chain of words- you’ve sent previously to a contact whom you don’t remember the name-or vice versa-.
Sharing issues (tablet / smartphone)
Discussions and debate are the heart of LinkedIn. A topic is great when its comments keep coming even months after its publication. Sometimes they are so good that you wish you shared them to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ friends as well. Unfortunately, you can only like or comment a group’s discussion. Maybe this is why debates in general have have a short life span on LinkedIn. Debating is sharing.
Following and Mentioning issues (tablet / smartphone)
You can follow a discussion on LinkedIn’s website, but only there. How to unfollow it on your smartphone or tablet? Furthermore, here are the instructions if you want to mention properly someone on LinkedIn website:
- Begin by typing the name of a connection or a company in your status update box or a comment field on the Homepage.
- Select someone from the list of your connections that appear in the drop-down, complete your status or comment and post it.
- The person or company* you mentioned will receive a notification alerting them that they have been mentioned.
Dear LinkedIn, the persons I’m interacting with in a group are not in my connections and no drop-down will pop out as a result. Plus, how do I let them know that I’m talking to them and that they just have to touch a notification alert to fall directly on it?
Invitation issues (tablet)
Somebody has viewed your profile and you want to -have to- make a connection. It is politeness. Bad news: you can’t send a customized invitation to him/her. You just hit the “connect” button and that’s it. We know how important invitations are on LinkedIn, and people are more inclined to respond -positively- when they feel they are approached in a more human way.
In conclusion, I think that this is maybe the reason why few people are commenting on the time line’s posts, responding to the messages: LinkedIn mobile interface is complicated! It hurts and left so many users sorry and frustrated. Furthermore, the tablet and phone interfaces are on the opposite side of the street. It seems like someone didn’t think about tablet users at all! If I had to choose, I’d take the smartphone -and would write very long comments on it with my thumbs-. Tablets are wonderful and powerful tools for writing and catching ideas on the fly: don’t have to wait minutes for apps to start, it’s all up and running. Plus we can link Bluetooth keyboards up to them.
I wish I could save the most interesting posts of my connexions to my Pocket application for a later reading. Save a discussion to my Evernote, without bothering asking myself: “Hmm what was this conversation about again? A specific comment caught my interest! Where is it? Do I need to flip trough all the notifications archives to find it? We are not only using LinkedIn, we use the social media venue we are most comfortable with. Facebook felt the need to imitate LinkedIn by launching groups features, Twitter did the same and now you can send messages to group members and they don’t even have to follow you or likewise.
Don’t you think that if the tablets sales figures are plummeting, isn’t it because their apps are getting more and more sophisticated, complicated? What are the features you’d like to see on your LinkedIn app, and which will change the experience for the better?
Update: I’ve noticed today that LinkedIn has redesigned its website UI, and that’s a good news. Can we get some mobile enhancements as well please?