LinkedIn - Project 3

LinkedIn

Project 3

By

James Reilley, Evon Tan & Tung Van Truong

Executive Summary

1. Project Brief

1.1 Problem Statement

1.2 Solution Statement

2. Discovery Phase

2.1 User Research

2.2 User Personas Method

2.2.1 Persona 1 - The recruiter

2.2.2 Persona 2 - The satisfied professionals

2.2.3 Persona 3 - The jobseekers

2.3 Competitor Analysis

2.3.1 Method

2.3.2 Results

2.3.3 Opportunities

Recommendations

2.4 Feature Validation

2.4.1 Feature 1

2.4.2 Feature 2

2.4.3 Feature 3

2.5 Storyboard

2.6 Scenario Mapping

2.7 Task Analysis

2.8 User Process Flow

2.8.1 User Process Flow 1

2.8.2 User Process Flow 2

2.9 Journey maps

3.Wireframes and designs

3.1 Sitemap

3.2 Annotated Wireframe

3.2.1 Annotated Menu Wireframe

3.2.2 Annotated AirConnect Wireframe

3.2.3 Annotated Create an Appointment Wireframe

4. Usability Testing

4.1 User Test report

4.1.1 User Participant Recruitment

4.1.2 Assigned Tasks

4.1.3 Key Findings

4.2 Summary of findings

5. Design solutions/suggestions

Appendix

A1 - Survey Questions

Executive Summary

LinkedIn wants to increase user engagement by making the mobile app a one-stop destination for contact management and networking. The team was engaged to perform an in-depth discovery to pinpoint the business opportunities available within the market for LinkedIn App's new business growth.

Based on the existing LinkedIn users, the team has conducted surveys on users’ demographics, behaviours, goals and needs. The team reviewed the results and extracted data based on power use (frequency of use), and the ways and reasons users are currently using LinkedIn functions. The survey data helped identified 3 significant groups of users; the recruiter, the satisfied professionals and the jobseekers. Based on the 3 identified groups, the team followed up with  phone interviews to understand and document each significant user group’s pain points. Based on qualitative and quantitative data collected, we created personas. The personas helped the team to focus and create user process flows on an empathic level through the personas’ perspectives. Competitive analysis was performed on 3 apps, which helped identify design opportunities available for LinkedIn App's new features. In order to validate the team's potential feature solutions, the team asked the users, which features would benefit them the most.

The report documents the detailed steps taken for the heuristic evaluation, quantitative and qualitative methods used to extract information from the significant user groups and LinkedIn competitors. These methods provided input into the designs of storyboarding, journey mapping, scenarios mapping and tasks analysis.

The conceptualization phase embarked after establishing a clear benchmark and ideation. A clear visualization of the app features are conveyed on the site map before the team started wireframing with low fidelity prototyping using paper prototype and latter using industry standard software Axure for high fidelity prototyping. Based on the cohesive evaluation, the team has designed new features based on the current LinkedIn app style guidelines to put out a consistent tone that will make sense to the current users and new users. The team created wireframes for the home page within LinkedIn app, menu page and the newly introduced features; AirConnect and  Schedule pages for the initial usability testing to commence. User participants were recruited based on their main characteristics similarity with the primary persona, tech savvy power LinkedIn user. Each user participant was advised on the test purpose and each test session were recorded for study purposes. The team performed three rounds of usability testing on 3 groups of user participants. The behaviours of the user’s interaction with the prototype and the way they carried out the specific tasks were recorded to allow the team to evaluate for problems and rapidly iterate on the low fidelity prototype for second round of usability testing. Once new set of key findings with minor iterations were found, allowing the team to be confident enough to move forward and build a high fidelity prototype using Axure.  

Overall the project proves that the new features proposal is viable. It is recommended for further usability testing to be performed based on

1. Project Brief

Professionals need to network with their peers in order to stay current, get jobs, and advance in their careers. Currently, a lot of this networking happens outside of the LinkedIn app and LinkedIn wants to change that. LinkedIn thinks that if they offer better ways to know who in your network to contact, when to contact them, and how effective your outreach is, you will use the app more often. They want to start with an MVP  - the smallest feature set that is valuable to users.

The user-centered design project was planned in 6 sections to meet the needs of the success-critical stakeholders.

1.1 Problem Statement

After assessing the interviews conducted with current LinkedIn users, we have extracted the pain points the current LinkedIn users are experiencing and will be focusing on them.

A large percentage of LinkedIn users prefer and are currently networking with potential business contacts over work conferences and professional events. They are currently manually transferring the business cards they have collected over these events on to LinkedIn, days after the event when they had the time which would delay in their follow-up process.

In such a time where people are distracted by constant newsfeed and new connections each day, professionals are losing valuable opportunities.

1.2 Solution Statement

1.

 Create a seamless way to connect and exchange details with new business contacts when meeting in person.

2. Create business opportunities immediately by scheduling in appointments within LinkedIn App.

Background research:

The team started of with the discovery stage where background research on the problems were retrieved via survey and contextual phone interview with LinkedIn’s current users for clarification on their behaviors - the ways and reasons they are currently using LinkedIn App functions. The personas needs and goals were identified and a detailed competitive analysis was performed with 3 competitors to identify the design strengths and weaknesses.

Proposed solution:

The proposed solution is to build an interactive prototype featuring the new design features based on:

Testing Findings:

Usability testing on the interactive prototype has been carried out on 3 user participants. Based on the paths taken by the user, the types of errors made, comments from the user (capture in video with real time actions) and observations made by the expert has provided qualitative data for usability of the prototype.

Proposed solution:

A few rounds of iteration were made based on the user feedback and expert’s evaluation are proposed for the fourth round of usability testing based on other task flows.

2. Discovery Phase

A series of user experience techniques have been performed during the discovery phase to determine the benchmark, opportunities and golden path.

Method

Why did we pick this method:

Surveys

To define our user groups

Contextual Interview

To clarify user groups needs/goals and pain points.

Features Validation

To validate our design features

Personas

To inform design feature decisions that were based on qualitative and quantitative data.

Scenarios

To create a user story that identifies the user and their need

Competitive Analysis

To create a benchmarks based on competitor’s strengths and weakness’.

Storyboard

To Illustrate interactions in a real situation to convey emotion, action and progression.

Task Analysis

To understand how users would perform specific tasks.

User Process Flow

To clearly states the decision points users make and bridges the gap between user research and the design.

Journey Mapping

Crucial to build the user’s emotional journey to highlight what their needs and wants from a series of interactions.


2.1 User Research - Survey

User research analysis is vital for the team to focus on user behaviours, needs, motivations and expectations. A series of questions were constructed in the form of a survey (refer to survey questions attached under Appendix) to retrieve user behavioral trends. The team reviewed the results based on the frequency of use, forming the power users; The ways and reasons users are currently utilizing LinkedIn functions which helped identified 3 significant groups of users; the recruiter, the satisfied professionals and the jobseekers. The team conducted contextual phone interview with LinkedIn’s current users to understand and document each significant user group’s pain points.    

2.2 User Personas Method

Based on qualitative and quantitative data collected through the survey and contextual phone interviews, the personas (the recruiter, the satisfied professionals and the jobseekers) were created. The primary persona was used throughout the creative process and design development to help the design team gain empathy and gain perspectives through the persona’s views of the world.

The power user, Richard Lorden was the power user the design team focused on. Through his perspective to the world, it provided a guide for our design team to stay focus on his needs and wants.

2.2.1 Persona 1 - The recruiter

Name:
Richard Lorden

Quote:
“I use LinkedIn recruiter to find candidates. Would be great if there was some consistency between that and the app”

Bio:

Male, 41, Married, 3 Children

Employed Full Time - Recruiter

Story:

Richard has lived in Melbourne all his life. He started his career in recruiting 20 years ago when started his first job as  an office junior.

Over his career journey, Richard has worked his way through the ranks to become a company director of a successful Australian based recruitment firm.

Behaviours:

Wakes early and his phone is the first thing he reaches for to read emails.

Replies to emails on the train on his way to work.

Attends meeting with internal staff, clients and potential candidates.

Needs:

Pain Points:

Key Attributes - Ranging from 1 (as bad) and 5 (as the best)

Knowledge 5

Tech Knowledge 4

Experience 4

Confidence 5

2.2.2 Persona 2 - The satisfied professionals

Name: Megan Anderson

Quote:

 “I’d love to keep in contact with new business contacts and my old colleagues.”

Bio:

Female, 34 years old, Single

Manager


Story:

Karen volunteers her time at Tedx Talk as she enjoys organizing and being at the forefront of meeting professionals. She loves the opportunities that presents itself when she meets these professionals from all the different industries who creates intelligent conversations that challenges her thinking, broadens her knowledge and spurs her interests.

She finds that it has established many good contacts that have led her to many collaborative projects outside of work. All these proofs to get overwhelming after events when the transfer of the business cards collected during offline networking event have to be added online on linkedin individually. She feels that it would have been so much easier if business contacts were exchanged seamlessly online at an offline meetup event.

Behaviours

Karen is a learner to life, information and people. She loves to network and meet new people from different industry. Being the administrator for her company, Karen uses LinkedIn during office hours posting information about appointments and news on her company page. Besides using LinkedIn for work purposes, Karen uses it to stay relevant to her contacts who are mostly ex-colleagues, colleagues and business contacts she has met at events.

Pain Points:

Key Attributes - Ranging from 1 (as bad) and 5 (as the best)

Knowledge 5

Tech Knowledge 5

Experience 3.5

Confidence 5


2.2.3 Persona 3 - The jobseekers

Name: Jenny Jacobs

Tagline: “It used to annoy me that most of the time the connection request is from random people working in similar jobs but not people who are recruiting.”

Bio:

Female, 29 years old, Single

Jobseeker

Story:

Jenny has been working offshore for 3 years and is too homesick to continue working in that harsh environment.

She needed a break and has recently moved back to Melbourne to be near her family. Mildred decided to use LinkedIn to search for the perfect job that can lead her to a career change or a similar industry that she can work in but nothing seems to come up except old outdated job postings. She has resorted to connect with people in similar groups to suss out for job opportunities.

She finds that endorsements search to find the right person to connect with is unavailable within LinkedIn and is leaving her frustrated.

Behaviours

Jenny loves adventure and sports. She is a go getter, does whatever it takes to lead her to her dream job. She has a double degree, a PHD and now she is at a cross road. She reaches a point where she does not know how to move forward.

Needs:

Ideal Feature

Pain Points:

Key Attributes - Ranging from 1 (as bad) and 5 (as the best)

Knowledge 5

2.3 Competitor Analysis

Competitive analysis was performed on three apps, which helped identify design opportunities available for LinkedIn App's new features.

This was performed so that we could understand the competitive landscape in which LinkedIn operated within. By understanding this and also using a consistent measure to evaluate against, we can see how well these user needs were being met.  This in turn, exposes opportunities to improve and leverage LinkedIn’s existing strengths to improve and retain loyalty from their users.

2.3.1 Method

A heuristic evaluation has been performed on Slip, JobAdder and Doodle App. The quantitative can be seen here under results section.

Competitive analysis was used to create a benchmark to set functions and discover business opportunities for which the new features within the existing LinkedIn app can be compared against.

In order to create a one-stop destination for contact management and networking within LinkedIn App, a breakdown of the specific tasks which complete a process provides an early indication of what a LinkedIn App user will need to perform.

Based on tasks, a consolidation of the functions have been tabulated below.

Task 1. Exchange contact details

Task 2. Schedule a follow-up meeting

Task 3. Search by skills rating

Based on these functions, the competitors’ apps were assessed.


2.3.2 Results

Each competitor’s performance was evaluated with the ranking from bad (1) to great (5).

2.3.3 Opportunities

From the competitive analysis, the team identified an opportunity to converge the set of activities within the app ecosystem for the busy networker.

Jakob Nielsen's 10 usability heuristics and the mobile apps’ overall rating.

Recommendations

LinkedIn has an amazing opportunity to offer enormous value by facilitating a breakthrough in networking as an activity.   The key outcomes  for the networkers would:

2.4 Feature Validation

In order to validate the team's potential feature solutions, the team asked the users, which features would benefit them the most.

2.4.1 Feature 1

Swap Contact Information via Air Connect

Air connect is a new feature within LinkedIn App that allows 2 users to exchange contact information by simply bumping each other’s mobile phones together. Think of it like a digital handshake.

2.4.2 Feature 2

Schedule Appointments - LinkedIn Meetings

LinkedIn Meetings is a new feature within LinkedIn App that allows you to create an appointment time that will automatically sync with your calendar.

 

2.4.3 Feature 3

Search by Skills - Skill Search

Skill search is a new feature within LinkedIn App that allows anyone to search for people with particular skill sets. This will also have a

Based on the 3 user groups feedback, it is evident that the power users and the satisfied professionals prefer feature 1 - AirConnect whereas the jobseeker users prefer feature 2 - Schedule Appointments. This data allowed the team to focus on these 2 main features for the ideation.

2.5 Storyboard

The storyboard technique was used to illustrate the persona’s interactions in a real situation to convey emotions, actions and progression.

2.6 Scenario Mapping

Scenario mapping is among one of the user experience analysis methods that we have performed under the discovery phase to help the team identify and understand on an emotional level, the needs and behaviour of our users.

2.7 Task Analysis

Task Analysis is among one of the user experience analysis methods that the team have performed under the discovery phase to help the team understand how users would perform specific tasks.


2.8 User Process Flow

The personas helped the team to focus and create user process flows on an empathic level through the personas’ perspectives.

2.8.1 User Process Flow 1

Based on scenario mapping, task 1 user process flow has been created based on user exchanging electronic business card via LinkedIn AirConnect.


2.8.2 User Process Flow 2

Based on scenario mapping, user process flow has been created based on task 2 of scheduling an appointment with user’s new LinkedIn contact.

.

2.9 Journey maps

Based on scenario mapping, the journey map carefully documents the persona’s needs, the series of interactions to fulfil those needs, and the resulting emotional states the persona experiences throughout the process.

Generally, the persona emotional level is relatively average. It falls into a negative emotion during the traveling period which he has to do often as a job requirement. The persona gradually gravitate to the positive emotion when the discovery of LinkedIn App new features allows him to experience a seamless (no human error) quicker way to exchange business contact and create an efficient business opportunity immediately.  neutral


3.Wireframes and designs

3.1 Sitemap


3.2 Annotated Wireframe

3.2.1 Annotated Menu Wireframe


3.2.2 Annotated AirConnect Wireframe


3.2.3 Annotated Create an Appointment Wireframe

4. Usability Testing

4.1 User Test report

The purpose of the low fidelity paper prototype test is to test the usability of the new features and to understand the mental model of the users. Tasks were provided to 3 users to test out the functionality and the understandability of the implementation of the new icons; AirConnect business card exchange and appointment scheduling. Key findings were retrieved through assessing the users navigations through the path. The low fidelity paper prototype test allowed immediate improvements to be optimized for better user experience. Second iterations were made on the paper prototype before the team started high-level fidelity prototyping using industry standards software Axure.

Video highlight of High Fidelity Usability Testing: https://youtu.be/gAQH04xhofo

4.1.1 User Participant Recruitment

Based on the main user characteristic of the selected persona Richard London 41 year old Recruiting Specialist, a matrix is created to identify a preliminary list of users with (1) as bad and (5) as very good.

User Participants matrix for Usability Testing 1 on low fidelity.

User Groups

Tech Knowledge

LinkedIn App Knowledge

The Recruiter Persona

Richard London, 41

Recruiter Specialist

5

5

User Participant 1

Jeremy Reinmuth, 32

User Experience Consultant

5

5

User Participant 2

Alexandra Douglass-Bonner, 30

User Experience Consultant

5

5

User Participant 3

Daniel Setiawan, 31

User Experience Designer

5

1


                        

 familiarity

User Participant matrix for Usability Testing 2 on iterated low fidelity prototype.

User Groups

Tech Knowledge

LinkedIn App Knowledge

The Recruiter Persona

Richard London, 41

Recruiter Specialist

5

5

User Participant 1

Nik Fenech, 24

User Experience Designer

5

1

User Participant 2

Stephen Mobbs, 35

Exclusive Partner of Slow Cow

5

3

User Participant 3

Jackie Chang, 24

User Experience Designer

5

3

User Participant matrix for 3rd round of Usability Testing using industry standard high-level fidelity prototype Axure.

User Groups

Tech Knowledge

LinkedIn App Knowledge

The Recruiter Persona

Richard London, 41

Recruiter Specialist

5

5

User Participant 1

Leo Chan, 32

Chief Technology Officer

5

5

User Participant 2

Felicity Mulhall , 40

User Experience Designer

3

1

User Participant 3

Zara Akhtar, 25

Events Manager

4

5

4.1.2 Assigned Tasks assigned

Tasks assigned to the user participants were as follow:

  1. Exchange name card information.
  2. Schedule in an appointment with your new contact.

The tasks were chosen to test that the

  1. Icons and labels are not an issue for users.
  2. The new icons inserted within global navigation are not confusing the users.
  3. Navigation in general is not confusing.
  4. Language used in prompt is not confusing.
  5. Carrying out the tasks is smooth.

4.1.3 Key Findings

Low Fidelity Test 1:

Low Fidelity Test 2:

High Level Fidelity Test 3:


4.2 Summary of findings

Task 1 - Exchange contacts with a potential new business contact at a work conference.

Task 2 - Schedule in an                   appointment with your potential new business contact using LinkedIn App’s new features.

Low-Fidelity Test 1

Task

Aims

Result

Recommendations

Participant 1

Participant 2

Participant 3

1

To observe if user has difficulty navigating.

No issue

No issue

Did not realised that the contact’s information has been exchanged/saved.

Implement a pop up information of recipient’s contact exchanged.

To see if the task is completed

Yes

Yes

Yes

2

To observe if user follows the golden path.

User click on connections to search for contact’s portfolio first.

  1. User was looking through the secondary navigations and overlooking the icons/global navigations.
  2. User looked up contact’s profile first before scheduling in a meeting.

  1. User was confused with the icons on the global navigation.
  2. Prefers the ability to set reminders within the App.

To create a secondary pathway from our golden path.

To see if the task is completed

Yes

Yes

Yes

Low-Fidelity Test 2

Task

Aims

Result

Recommendations

Participant 1

Participant 2

Participant 3

1

To observe if user has difficulty navigating after iterating the design.

No issue even though User commented that he is confused with the icon.

  1. No issue but wonders about technical issue (if wireless network might be lost within a building during the work conference).
  2. User prefers an option to edit the information to exchange.

No issue.

Found it simple and easy to use and thinks that it is a great activity to engage and talk to the contact.

To discuss with client regarding their decision about 4G technical issues.

To see if the task is completed

Yes

Yes

Yes

2

To observe which path the user would take after implementing a secondary navigation.

  1. User followed the golden path and found it self explanatory.
  2. Found the label “Invitees” too technical.
  3. Prefers the ability to set reminders within the App.

No issue.

Would prefer the LinkedIn App appointment scheduler is integrated with the mobile calendar so it can tentatively block scheduled dates and does not cause a confusion of overbooked schedules.

  1. User clicked on “recent activity” instead of “Create an Appointment” or “Connections”.
  2. Did not see “Create an appointment” as User did not scan the page.
  3. Prefer a better time format at appointment confirmation pop up.

To make changes to label “Invitee” to “Meeting with” and changes to the format of the appointment date and time reflected on the appointment created pop up.

To see if the task is completed

Yes

Yes

Yes

High-Fidelity Test 1

Ta

s

k

Aims

Result

Recommendations

Participant 1

Participant 2

Participant 3

1

To see if user has difficulty navigating.

User uses the search function to connect with business contacts rather than go through the trouble of turning on bluetooth settings.

User assumed device is already connected via bluetooth and business contact card has been exchanged.

Overall thought that the feature reduces errors in exchanging details and speed up the process.

User assumed business contact card has been exchanged.

To test feature with two users at the same time, exchanging business contact cards.

To see if the task is completed

Yes

No

No

2

To observe how users will be carrying out the task.

(Which path they will take.)

User click right to Create an Appointment page but click on searching for contacts before setting in the details for the appointment.

User was confused with the design elements as it was not displaying and reflecting as well it should be (there was a lag).

User click on search bar to search for contacts before creating an appointment.

User followed the golden path but was confused with the connections page that was displayed when trying to set in who she likes to set the meeting with.

The functions were straight forward and user found feature useful to create a bond with the contact.

To ensure that prototype can be created with a web developer for a better usability testing result.

To see if the task is completed

Yes

Yes

Yes

5. Design solutions/suggestions

5.1 Suggestions after each usability testings

After the first low fidelity paper prototype testing 1, the team has made the following changes:

Task Flow 1

Task Flow 2

Based on the recommendations, the team optimized the low-fidelity paper prototype for rapid iteration cycle. Second round of usability testing with the iterated low-fidelity paper prototype was performed accordingly with the same scenarios (same task flows) on a new recruited user participants. The team evaluated the users behavior towards the iterated design functions. E.g. if there the issues from the first round of usability testing have been eliminated.

The following changes were made after the second usability testing (using low fidelity paper prototype):

Task Flow 1

Task Flow 2

After multiple iterations on low-fidelity paper prototype and two rounds of usability testing, the team was confident to move forward in the project and build high-level fidelity interactive prototype using Axure. The 3rd round of usability testing was performed with a new group of user participants.

5.2 Recommendations

Overall the project proves that the new features proposal are viable. The team recommends that more usability testing has to be performed based on the followings:

Appendix

A1 - Survey Questions

NETWORKING HABITS

How do you use LinkedIn?

  1. recruiting
  2. looking for work
  3. read articles

How often do use LinkedIn?

  1. once a day
  2. once a week
  3. once a month
  4. other

What is the size of your LinkedIn network?

How often do communicate with you network in LinkedIn

Do you use a similar service to Linkedin?


How do you normally network?

What is the size of your professional network?

DEMOGRAPHICS

What age range are you?

What gender?

Which city do you live in?
What best describes your industry?

What best describes your title/role?

How long have you been your current role?

msg vs post updates?

What device do you use most often?

What operating systems do you use the most?

What improvements do you suggest for Linkedin

How many networking events do you attend a year?

What time of the day you access LinkedIn

EXPERIENCE LVL

What level of technical competency do you rate yourself?

PARTICIPANT

Would you be open to  a phone interview

PHONE QNS

How often do use LinkedIn and for how long each time?

By James Reilley, Evon Tan & Tung Van Trung