April 9, 2015

LinkedIn Jobs App

When you're looking for a new job you will probably start to hate applying and look for easier methods. According to linkedin: "applicants who apply to job opportunities on the first day they’re posted are 10% more likely to land the job." The Jobs app is their take on solving some of those problems and help job seekers stay on top of their employment search. While my general review is that it works as a decent minimum viable product; I think it still has some problems to tackle. I guess the app has interesting challenges for the LinkedIn designers who are (hopefully happily) employed and have to try to put themselves in the mindset of someone looking for a new position.

I'll start with the basic user experience from entering the app. I signed in with my LinkedIn Account, and then have to type in a search parameter of some sort. But there's this "Discovery" section (that I found later) that already has pre-populated suggestions based on my LinkedIn account information. So why not show me those up front... with an option to search too? You have blank space baby, please pre-populate my name, jobs I'm looking for, and other things interesting to me. 

While the search field is simple enough and has a nice big blue (perhaps it should be LinkedIn brand blue?) search button, the input areas seem unnecessarily small. The blurred background image also isn't clear enough to be motivationally relevant and ends up being distracting. In an entertainment app, for example, where you want to add color or try to set a certain mood that would be fine, but I'm looking for a job, I don't need pretty pictures.

Home screen issues: 
• Background flavor image.
• Form fields are to small.
• Error message when you first use that app, telling you you have no recent searches.
• General page hierarchy.Brand consistency.
• Settings gear icon seems misaligned/ floating out there for no specific reason.

Let's move forward with a job search. In this case I searched for Design Consultant in San Francisco, California (SEO that). Starting at the top. Ok, cool there's what I searched for with a back arrow. But then there's a star and a funnel icon. I had to test the star icon to have any idea about what it does. And after seeing that it saves a search it seems redundant with the recent searches list from the previous screen. The funnel which gives me a filters page seems basically functional for the options it gives. These icons feel out of scale and have a different visual design than the other icons in the app. While we're on the subject of icons, the bottom tab bar needs some work, and could probably be completely removed.

When filtering searches, I would think "most recent" should be default considering the quote from the launch of the Jobs app. The location slide bar isn't particularly useful; perhaps adding other locations for people who want to search in NYC, SF, and London at the same time. Being able to remove a company from the listings seems more useful than selecting from a list of five and a plus button. Like when a search gives you 17 jobs from the same company in the first five pages, being able to remove a company from your searches or flag the job listing would be great. Another good addition to sorting would be by method of application. I might apply that in a basic hierarchy like: Apply with LinkedIn, trusted off site that can be used easily on mobile, everyone else.

linkedin jobs app

Umm, kinda. But not really.
- from linkedin's app launch blog post.

I realize there's the Track section with a list of jobs that have been applied to, but this only covers the limited number of jobs that you can apply with your profile. So, again, a flagging method the set a job as applied to if the application process is off app.

linkedin jobs app search results

linkedin jobs app search results - click for full image denoting some of these issues

Search/filter issues: 
• Non-intuitive icons. Scale/style of these icons also seems off.
• Mark as applied to / remove from search.
• Various filter options.
• "new" listing indicator is aligned differently than date stamp.
• Adhering to filters and location choices. 

That's probably a good start for search, so let's tap into one of these job listings to see what's going on there. The top section takes up a lot of space with nothing really going on. It appears to be a tiny version of the posting company's logo and then a larger version of the same thing in the background except to blurred to be useful. Looks like all kinds of space to add a feature to mark it as applied to or flag it as a bad job (like design jobs that are really looking for a developer). The job title gets cut off after two lines, and the company name again feels redundant. Maybe consider a different order of content items.

When you try to apply to a job off LinkedIn the app reminds you that you can save it for later to apply on the desktop version. One would think those saved jobs would be easy to find when you log into the desktop version. But, not really. They are under the jobs tab and stuck in an ugly sidebar box between ads telling me to post a job and to pay to move to the top of the application list (which you could possibly convince me of paying for if it was a one time payment only and you guaranteed a job within three months or you would give a full refund). Oh, and the company logo and associated images seems to change sometimes, bug?

So we come back to the individual job listing to actually read the description to see if it's worth the hour long disaster of working through some new unknown recruiter tracking software. Everything is going well until we get to the read more button and tap through. The formatting, even the font, has changed. Yikes.

linkedin submit application

linkedin jobs app submit application page. Mockup? from their launch blog post and actual.

Alright, I shouldn't be to picky. But there's one more little thing that needs to be looked at. The submit application page content needs some alignment help (some of this seems to be a dev implementation issue) and the profile photo also doesn't need a blurry background version of itself. Seriously, I don't want to see that much of my own face.

 

Looking forward to seeing a new version and maybe an Android version?

linkedin android apps

linkedin android apps - launcher icon inconsistencies.