LinkedIn Redesigns User Profiles To Foster Relationship Building

The revamped profile gives users an at-a-glance view, with the option to expand into career details.

Earlier this month, LinkedIn pushed out a new mobile app to help workers stay in touch with their networks, even when they aren’t job hunting. The social network for professionals has six apps total, which cater to various segments of its user base: job seekers, workers, recruiters, poll creators, news readers, presentation deck clickers, and more. On Tuesday, the Mountain View, Calif., company brought the focus back to its flagship LinkedIn app with a brand-new profile view.

The new LinkedIn profile on mobileImage courtesy of LinkedIn

“[The profile] is the heart of the experience for you. It’s the heart of LinkedIn for us,” head of mobile product Tomer Cohen tells Fast Company. “Playing with it is almost like tinkering with the engine room. With this new experience, you’ll be able to put your best self on mobile.”

The revamped profile–available on iOS, Android, and the mobile web Tuesday–focuses on streamlining the at-a-glance view of people’s profiles, while giving users the option to delve more deeply. The company decided to roll out the feature on mobile first because 43% of its users access the network from smartphones and tablets, and it expects that figure to hit 50% later this year.

A new card at the top of the profile view surfaces more contextual information above the fold, including name, education, job title, and mutual connections. The mutual connections feature has also been retooled so the strongest shared contacts (determined primarily by the number of mutual connections as well as other profile information) are highlighted first.

That top card is what Cohen calls the five-second view. If users have a minute to spare (say, because their next coffee meeting is running late), they can scroll down to skim a person’s job history, groups, blog posts on LinkedIn, and more. Designed to help foster relationship building, the app also provides little icebreakers by highlighting commonalities, such as if two people attended the same alma mater or worked at the same company, as well as any overlapped years. If users have five minutes, they can expand the experience section to learn more details of a person’s career trajectory.

A comparison of LinkedIn’s old profile on mobile, left, and redesigned profile

The card is also the place where LinkedIn will remind users to endorse their connections for different skills or for users to further fill out their profiles. Along with repackaging profile information so it’s easier to digest, LinkedIn also ported over its guided edit feature from desktop. “Editing your profile on mobile is not easy,” Cohen says. “The keyboard is small. The screen is small. If you have a lot to fill out, it can be daunting.”

Instead, the app tries to keep things simple by asking users one question at a time, prioritized by what it deems the most important missing information from their profiles. Product manager Charlton Soesanto demonstrated this by entering in education information on his otherwise complete profile. “When he saved his education, that was one tap, but that meant a ton for his identity,” Cohen says, noting profiles with schools can get a tenfold boost in views.


LinkedIn also redesigned Who’s Viewed Your Profile, one of the most popular features on its site. Whereas the previous version showed only a list of names and titles, the new version on mobile will also highlight the strongest mutual connections as well as how a viewer landed on the user’s profile (e.g., via a LinkedIn blog post, LinkedIn search, Google search, or through Who’s Viewed Your Profile).

Though Cohen isn’t able to offer a timeline for when the new profiles will roll onto desktop, he says elements of this new design will slowly make their way there and across its other apps. “You’ll start seeing cues of it coming in, depending on how it performs,” he says.


About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.