LinkedIn Design Exercise
LinkedIn Student: helping college students make meaningful and reliable connections with their classmates
Product Design / User Experience Design
LinkedIn is a place where people can connect to people they know, in order to share professional experience and opportunities. Professional networking can begin at any point, even in school. Increasingly, students are relying on their mobile address book, and not their email address book, to manage their contacts.
As a part of my interview process with LinkedIn, I was challenged to design an experience that helps college students to discover and connect to their classmates.
The friend referral function helps students make more reliable, trustworthy connections. Users can send their classmate’s information to each other in a referral card format. If an invitation is sent through a referral card, the invitation will be marked as a referred request.
2. Feed Filter and Project/ Experience/ Event Page
There are mainly three types of posts on the homepage feed: projects, experiences, events. Users may filter their feeds by feed type, department that the post is related to, and any tabs that the content creator identified.
Under each post, users can easily see everyone who is involved in the subject matter, as well as some related projects.
3. Network Filter
Similar to the feed, there is also a filter system under network highlighting categories that are more appropriate for a campus setting.
I spent half of my time conducting generative and evaluative research, and spent the other half for iterative design as well as building the final documentations.
For my interview, I wanted to find out
how people make connections
why people make connections and what do people look for
Then, I asked them to evaluate the effectiveness and the depth of connection for the situations that they recalled for making connections with their classmates.
Situations that were identified as deeper connections were when users are recruiting classmates for student organizations or seeking collaboration. And when users want to make deep connections, they reply on friend recommendations and doing a lot of research in their network.
Based on my research findings, I have decided to nail down my project scope into designing an experience that helps students make effective and reliable connections. Therefore, I developed this persona that would help me focus on a specific scenario:
Storyboard & Speed Dating
For the next step, I diverged into storyboarding some possible features that I could quickly test some users on whether the need was met and if there are any feature that my target users specifically like.
Need 1: know what you are in common right away
Need 3: find classmates with similar interest
Need 2: mutual friend referral
Need 4: find classmates with different skillset
For the first iteration, I just focused on laying out the general structure of the experience and how the features can be represented with UI elements.
Takeaways and Next Steps
Since I had such a tight time frame, I learned a lot by executing quick design decisions. Although I gave up some quantitative research, I still had a lot of findings from the qualitative research as well as quick evaluative research methods.
If I were given more time in this exercise, I would
explore more on the experience of making a post, which I imagine would be a little different for project posts, experience posts, and event posts
explore a bit more on the onboarding process to help students get familiar with the features and make meaningful connections
polish the visuals a bit more