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Hey LinkedIn: Your Mobile Experience SUCKS!

I am writing this post in hopes that somebody at LinkedIn will read about my frustrations with their mobile web experience and want to do something about it.  It should be no surprise to anyone at LinkedIn that they’re no longer the only kid on the online résumé and business networking block.  Companies like Viadeo are quickly gaining traction, and we are even seeing companies like Branchout utilizing the enormous power of the Facebook social graph to facilitate interaction between professionals around the world.  This means that, now more than ever, LinkedIn needs to work on differentiating itself from its competitors and delivering a truly one-of-a-kind experience.  One of the ways in which it has an opportunity to do that is via its mobile website.  Sadly, though, this is a huge missed opportunity.

Here, let me illustrate how utterly terrible the LinkedIn mobile web experience is.  First of all, whenever I visit LinkedIn from my iPhone, I am immediately redirected to a “touch” subdomain that’s specific to the iPhone:

Not bad, I guess, although I could do without the somewhat annoying load screen.  Moving on, though… we can plainly see that I’m logged into the website because I’m able to view my Inbox:

OK, so far so good.  Well, now I’m going to click on the link at the bottom of the page that says “Full Site”.  Now I should be on the same page that I was on before, but using the non-mobile site view.  Right?  Wrong.

You want me to log in AGAIN?! Now I’m starting to get ticked off.  My LinkedIn password is pretty long and hard to type on a mobile phone, so having to type this in a second time is beyond annoying.  But I’ll do it anyways.

Finally! Now we’re getting somewhere.  Well, except for the fact that I’m now on my default “home” page instead of the page I was trying to get to originally on the mobile site.  But I can live with that (I think to myself).  And then I tap on the link to take me to the page I was trying to get to.  And…

Are. You. F**king. SERIOUS?!  So even though I’ve explicitly selected the Full Site, and had to log in twice in order to get to the Full Site, you are going to ignore my preference and send me BACK to your crappy, barely functional “touch” experience after I’ve selected a link on the Full Site?

No, LinkedIn.  Just… no.  How did this even manage to get past QA?  Or product management?  More importantly, how is it that, after all this time, you haven’t managed to optimize an experience that I’m sure is frustrating a large percentage of your users (business professionals who own iPhones)?  I haven’t tested from an Android phone, but I’m guessing it’s a similar frustrating experience.  And let’s not even talk about your native smartphone apps.  They’re even more of a joke than the mobile website is.

So, in conclusion: These problems can be fixed, LinkedIn.  And I’m happy to help you do it.  (Seriously, I am.  Contact me.)  Let me be clear here: I am a fan of your site.  I have used and evangelized it for YEARS.  But an experience like this is inexcusable.  Something needs to be done.  And now that you know the problem, the ball is in your court.

Update: Thanks to everyone who has left their comments here.  I’m starting a new wave of efforts to get this post (and your comments) seen by the right people at LinkedIn.  8 months later and we’re no better off… something needs to be done.

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48 Comments

  1. DG DG

    This app is the WORST Mobile app I’ve EVER used. I agree with you. They don’t get it. Its not Facebook. I would rather suffer with the droid basic web interpretation of the APP and zoom than deal with this offal

    • sreed sreed

      Thanks, Thomas!

  2. Eric Eric

    Thank you for publicizing this issue. Linkedin’s mobile site via standard iPhone use is about as bad as it can get. As a fairly new user to their service, I’m already considering abandoning them.

    Well said, my friend!

  3. Lorrie Lorrie

    I was searching on google wondering if anyone’s frustrated by their LinkedIn experience like I did, and I found you. My problem is simpler but worse, when I open LinkedIn from on safari browser, it always asks you if you want to download their app, even I have their app. When I click No, thanks. The loading icon appears and that’s it. The page will never load.

    • eek eek

      This is my experience as well and it is BEYOND frustrating. Boggles my mind as to how ANY mobile app can expect to “function”‘ this way in this day and age and not also plan to whittle its user base to zero.

  4. JuggoPop JuggoPop

    I have to say a few things here.

    1) I was in preparation to write a very similar post online. This has been the number one worst iPhone user experience online for awhile now.

    2) At least you actually get past the LinkedIn black mobile screen of death. I subscribe to a few groups on LinkedIn and get notices about topic conversations. When I find a topic I actually enjoy and want to a) get involved or b) just read the rest, you’d think I’d just follow the link in my email and go to some information. However, unless it is a link to off of LinkedIn, my experience is as follows:

    Click link. Mobile Safari loads the page. Redirects to the touch sub-domain. Shows a pretty picture with two buttons. “Get the app” and “No thanks”… Clicking no thanks takes me to the page (see your first image) that is black with the logo and loading image.

    At this point, I’m done. It NEVER changes. Just stuck there.

    Here’s the kicker… I have the damn app installed. They sent me the email. I’ve logged in with the app before. How about realizing that and launching my LinkedIn app instead of safari. (I have other apps that do that very thing)

    At least as a freaking minimum, don’t ask me to download the app when you know I have it. And/or get rid of the black loading screen of death. I don’t need to waste bandwidth on that anyway. Much less be stuck there.

    I have tried to read the email articles then manually open the app and find the same article. But however I can never seem to find them. So all I can do is read the teaser and think, I wonder what that thread is like…

    Because of this issue, I delete 90% of their email notices without even opening them because I know it will just piss me off.

    Whomever built this “process” for them should be fired. I build websites for a living and this kind of misapplied site structure is the worst thing a company could do to their visitors.

    3) I did try to “let them know” of the issue so they could fix it. After digging around on their customer support pages I found a notice that said something to the effect of “we do not provide any mobile experience support of any kind.” … So I thought, “wow, you’d think that they would care being who they are and the fact that within the next few years mobile (tablets, iDevices, phones, etc) will out number desktops in the way people access the Internet.

    Note to LinkedIn: (if you ever happen to read this) ditch the mobile touch bullcrap and then go google “responsive website development”… You can even keep your Plain-Jane look and feel… That design would be super easy to convert to responsive.

    Thanks for posting this article.

    • Shawn Reed Shawn Reed

      Yeah, it sucks that I can’t interact with the site the way I’d like to because, like you, the e-mail notifications are useless due to the links taking me to a black hole of nothingness.

      Glad to know I’m not the only one out there. Need to find a way to get this post (and all the awesome comments like yours) in front of the right people at LinkedIn so that this can get fixed once and for all. Thanks for the comment!

      • JuggoPop JuggoPop

        Yeah, I shared your post on my social network, including LinkedIn. Maybe they’ll eventually see it and reply.

    • Julzzz Julzzz

      I was searching for an answer to EXACT same issue Juggopop perfectly described on this very old thread and thanks to you Shawn Reed for attempting to draw attention to/improve their insanely frustrating mobile experience. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is still by far the most used employment networking service in my industry and I work free-lance so not being able to use it effectively in the field where in theory I should be setting up my next job (&where I only use my IOS devices) is kind of a big deal. 2 years later I’m experiencing the same maddening stuff, so clearly, LinkedIn hasn’t fixed it. Has anyone come up with a work around to at least get the app to open from email to the specific topic they notified you about??

      Also, for some reason LinkedIn is not listed among my apps in my settings to enable tweaking of any, ya know, settings! (Every other app I care about is listed there but that one)
      Annnd adding insult to injury the app itself constantly signs me out on my iPhone if I don’t open it for a week or so which also makes me completely mental. So yeah, the app still completely blows.
      OK so I guess I’m also wondering if any progress has been made…anywhere?

  5. David Latour David Latour

    I never post on stuff like this but my inability to login as me seeing red

  6. chris chris

    App is just as bad on android. Screeon of death usually or just constant redirects.

  7. gregory@aegisbrand.com gregory@aegisbrand.com

    The LinkedIn iPhone experience is pitiful. The app provides no value. I subscribe to group updates by email, if I were to follow any link, a web page opens with the LinkedIn logo and a perpetually rotating loading icon. That’s it. I can’t even open the full site, I am automatically directed to the perpetually rotating loading icon.

  8. Not to start a flame war, but I really like the mobile experience. I don’t have any problems with it. The email -> site links are an issue, but not too troubling. That said perhaps I’m not the typical case. I’m pretty simple in my use of LinkedIn. Responding to messages, adding coworkers, not much else. I love that they set a nice high bar for what’s achievable with html5 api’s, disproving Zuckerburg’s whining (in fairness UIWebView handcuffing does suck).

  9. Phil777 Phil777

    I’ve long had the same experience JuggoPop and others above have reported. But I just had a breakthrough that may help while we hold our breath waiting for LinkedIn to fix its mobile delivery. Do you have private browsing turned on for Safari on your iPhone? If so, try turning it off. When I did that, I could finally click on a link in a group email digest, log in, and view the content. Don’t know if this will work for everyone, but it did for me.

  10. Ken Ken

    You should recreate this discussion on a linkedin comment… I’d like it and people could add comments… May get management’s attention. Mobile experience is atrocious and i’m a monthly subsriber. I’m pissed.

    • Shawn Reed Shawn Reed

      That’s a good point, and I had considered doing that as well. I will update this post with a link if I end up doing that so that you can go there and comment.

  11. Ross Foard Ross Foard

    Touch sucks and it is simply impossible to keep being redirected to it even on my tablet which renders full sites perfectly.

  12. Wow. I can’t believe this thread had been live for almost a year with no resolution. Epic fail. I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Malawi and like a few others have the blank screen of death and there’s no way I’m going to waste my
    prepaid data time and lack of electricity here to dl a standalone app. Not sure how much of the developing world would care about LinkedIn but I know at this point ifthere where trying to access it on a mobile platforms they’ed be out of
    luck. PS I’m using an IPhone 3G iOS 3.1.3.

  13. Aleeda Aleeda

    I can’t agree more. It totally sucks! What the hell are they doing over there?

  14. you atre right you atre right

    I’m on Android. Same experience. Not happy with linked in experience.

  15. +1 .. Ehr, well … +100 🙂 … Also iPad is not in their preferred agent platform. I hear ya!!

    Regards,

    Gerard.

  16. Vikas Vikas

    Absolutely…hands down the worst app from a mainstream online enterprise… I’m on Android.. And while many Android apps are sub standard… This one takes the cake. Every time I click on any email link..it asks me to download the app..when I click no thanks it just doesn’t move forward, keeps reloading the same page…as a result I can’t use the service at all. Seems pretty obvious that the company isn’t interested in tapping this user base..

  17. Dave Roberts Dave Roberts

    It’s April 2013 and it still sucks. Get with it, LinkedIn! Or, other companies: please replace Linkedin. The desktop experience has improved, but overall the site still sucks.

  18. alan alan

    +1 really frustrated that I cannot have the option of seeing the standard site on my SG3.

  19. Jim Kidd Jim Kidd

    The app is as useless as tits on a boar hog. It would notify me of a new link request but wouldn’t let me accept it. I deleted the app. The puzzling thing for me is how do they get away with this poor customer service?

  20. I HATE the mobile version of LinkedIn. I don’t even go on LinkedIn anymore because of that. It’s just too frustrating.

  21. Curt Flood, Jr. Curt Flood, Jr.

    Thought it was me. Seriously. Dumped the app because, well, it sucks, and thought THAT would allow me to CLICK on FULL SITE and take me there. Nope. Back to touch site. With a stock price at $215 bucks a share, and after the hacking fiasco, one would think they’re board, c-suite, and major sharholders would be concerned about reputation, image, and the user experience. Guess not.

  22. Kevin Mitchell Kevin Mitchell

    I agree with you 100%. How is it that when I respond to a LinkedIn mail notification, the POS android app that I’ve had installed since day fscking ONE takes me to a load screen offering to install the android app. WTF?! And why can’t I get to my sent messages on the app? Post either of these questions to LinkedIn and your response will be crickets.

  23. FrustratedUser FrustratedUser

    It is Dec 2013, and the issue still remains! This is beyond annoying! I use a Samsung on eclair. Shawn, let us know if you post your write-up elsewhere (maybe as a linkedIn thread. Bet its going to gather a huge comment base in next to no time)

  24. Ali Lux Ali Lux

    Goodness me! i really HATE linkedin touch and their pathetic android app. In fact, it so annoyed me that i eventually deleted my linkedin account and uninstalled the app.

    I used to use both the stock android browser and opera mini, none of them worked!

    Another thing that annoyed me is the fact that the second time i re-registered i specifically unselected all contacts so that i can at a later stage select who i want to connect with. Guess what?! My ENTIRE contacts were selected and a connect email sent on my behalf without any f**ing warning!!

    I have now deleted the account, permanently, and looking for good alternatives!!

  25. Angela Angela

    Their app is absolutely the most useless thing ever, and the “touch” site that it so conveniently redirects you to if you try to see your profile via the web is only good if you really enjoy reading “an error occurred, please try again later” every time you click on ANYTHING.

    USELESS.

  26. A friend wanted me to join. Without checking, I did. After seeing what it is I found I have no need for the program. I have been trying since January to unsubscribe. Linked in is one way—-out.About as futile as pouring sand down a rat hole. I’m running out of patience. I’ve been retired longer the they have been in business. Turn me loose. Next thing is to turn in as nuisance.

  27. Amit Amit

    On my mobile, the touch interface is not even working at all. It doesn’t load even.

  28. Scott Scott

    My biggest beefs are the lack of integration between links in safari/ios email and the linked-in app. And the loss if context between before/after login. Lame and frustrating.

  29. Dominic Dominic

    Terrible. When I saw that this thread was started about two years ago, I assumed there would be a resolution for iPhone users. Nope . Aside from the annoyances of the touch version, I think that some important functionalities are not available. I’m going to chicago for a business trip and would like to search and pin down who among my 500 connections works in the Chicago area. Don’t think you can do this in the touch version.

  30. Eric Eric

    The mobile experience on a iPhone is inexcusable. It’s the worst mobile site for a reputable company I’ve ever experienced

  31. Eric Eric

    Also – could the mail system be worse. It doesn’t keep threads – incoming mail and sent mail are separate. Worst enterprise application ever

  32. You’re lucky. I think I never even got past their initial “Loading” wheel. (iPhone 5s, stock Safari)

  33. September 13 and it still is as disfunctional as when this post was first written. Are the people at LinkedIn even listening to their users? Clearly not.

  34. Ola Ola

    Still sucks…..love the idea of LinkedIn but the mobile version is a terrible experience

  35. dave dave

    Well it’s now 2015 and the Linkedin app for android crashes at least once a day for me. No sense in reporting something falling on deaf ears.

  36. Stephanie Stephanie

    March 2015 and still as awful as ever. Sad.

  37. Ken Hymes Ken Hymes

    I despise LinkedIn with a passion. Everything about it is stupid and pointless. You can’t request a connection with anyone who is not already a contact, or at least I have consistently gotten that pop up when I have tried. So what’s the point… A bunch of my email contacts who already know me can see the jobs they already know I have had? I assume there is someone out there who has benefited from using this app, but I have never met anyone who has anything but derision for it. As everyone here has noted, the site and app are like a sloppy dysfunctional mashup of Facebook and a piss poor email server. It seems that the only reason any one I know has it is that a friend invited them, and they didn’t want to be rude. I would be very interested to know the numbers with regard to actual employment resulting from the use of this so called service. Why do I still have an account? Because I can’t get rid of it. It’s like some nightmare Russian porn site… no one responds, it never goes away, it’s just a smelly embarrassing zombie.

  38. karen anne kramer karen anne kramer

    This is the sorst. I have an android and it’s a work in progress just trying to get the linkedin logo on my hompage. I gave up.

  39. Nicklas Nicklas

    yup Android still crap. In particular that when you want to comment you no longer see what you are replying on and only the new comment is up the top of the screen, but worst is that suddenly while you are writing, sometimes flicking to chrome to look something up but even while just letting phone rest for a few seconds, it just decides times up, goes back to home page and the post you were replying on may never be shown again!!!

  40. Karenanne Kramer Karenanne Kramer

    They both suck.

  41. esther esther

    I can’t believe I’m reading this more then 5 years after publishing and LinkedIn on mobile is STILL crap. Pure crap. Don’t know how else to call it. Rubbish maybe. A gigantic embarrassment for the company. Btw I use Android, and on the tablet, big fat screen, you can’t even get to the save-button properly when changing your profile. Let alone the constant delays, overlaps of text and image and oh well, pretty much everything.

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