Linkedin settings are verbose

Problem

Linkedin is a professional social network which is quite popular. Unfortunately the settings of this website seems to be too verbose and it’s unnecessarily time consuming to find and set relevant options. For example let’s see the options for emails:

1. Is it the settings page, the verb “set” or “select” or “turn on/off” can be dropped from every link and still the user will get them. A link that says “Email Frequency” or “Receiving Invitations” or “Linkedin Announcements” is much shorter and the users don’t need to consume time reading the entire sentence. We are not talking about milliseconds here. People whose native language is not English read much slower. For them a minimalistic design saves even more time as long as it is not cryptic.

2. Let’s assume you receive too many emails from Linkedin and you want to change the settings. Confusingly there are two settings for how often you may receive emails from Linkedin:

  • Set the frequency of emails
  • Set the frequency of group digest emails

You may also consider “Select the types of messages you’re willing to receive” or even “Select who can send you invitations”. Oh wait, “Turn on/off Linked in announcements”? What are announcements? Are those the emails I receive?

Unfortunately there is no way to know which one is the right option until you try them one by one. In my opinion the option grouping needs to be reconsidered.

Solution

1. I suggest a minimalist approach for copy writing the settings page: remove every word that doesn’t directly add value for the users. I would design this particular page like this:

 

The colored tiles on the left are placeholders for some icons. There are basically 3 settings in this page:

  • Invitations: who can send you an invitation, and if you want to receive invitations for participating in research.
  • Email types: various types of messages that may end up in your mailbox. Here you can decide if you want to receive an email or just a digest at the end of the day, week or month (see image below)
  • InMail: it’s just a premium service from Linkedin that allows you to connect anyone even outside your network. Not very useful for the majority of Linkedin users (free users).

As the most important part of this setting page here is how I would design the Email setting dialogue:

It took like half an hour to prepare that muckup in Photoshop. So I quickly go through the changes:

  • Every type of message that can be sent as an email has these settings: “No Email”, “Daily Digest”, “Weekly Digest” and “Monthly Digest”. No need to say that “No Email” means that the user doesn’t want that type of email.
  • Emails from groups are separated by a title but they are still emails and use the same system. This design joins two dialogues from the current Linkedin settings page: “Set the frequency of emails” and “Set the frequency of group digest emails”.
  • The cancel button is now a button. It’s not an style to use a link for one type of action and a button for another! For the sake of consistency let both of them be buttons. Cancel is red to indicate a warning that the changes will be lost of cancel is pressed.

There are many other things that I’d like to improve about this settings page. But this post already took more time than I intended to put on it. I hope it’s useful anyway.

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