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.