LinkedIn has become an indispensable professional resource for most industries, life science and healthcare included. The site’s redesign that’s been long rumored has finally taken shape with picture led company profiles and improved career search tools. In an interview with Wired magazine, Steve Johnson, LinkedIn’s director of design and web development chalked up the makeover to pop idol Katy Perry.
“Fashion changes, people’s perception of value changes, people’s ideas of what’s useful and what’s not changes,’ Johnson says. “There’s normally an icon in there that we can all think about ’ when someone says to me ‘Madonna,’ I remember how significant that was when I was a teenage boy and what the meant ’ the sights, the sounds, the fashion. That’s why I’m hinging it on Katy.”
The company embarked on many of the changes when it was designing an iPhone app in 2011, a project that focused the company on creating a more aesthetically pleasing website.
The idea is to encourage engagement using everything from jobs users might be interested in, to notifications that will pop up when new comments appear in a discussion group.
“If you look at the average user today, she’s getting a lot more sophisticated, she’s using a lot more tools both for productivity and entertainment,” says Deep Nishar, senior VP of products and user experience. “At some level, we are becoming generation ADD, so we don’t have that much time to focus and spend on things’. At the end of the day, if we have fewer things across which to make decisions, we end up making choices and taking action.”
Taking action indeed. One of the great things about LinkedIn is its ability to engage professionals on common ground like career issues faced by people in the same industry. In an interview with MedCity News in July, industry experts Wayne Barz of Pennsylvania-based Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Steven Barz, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology executive recruiter, recommended that individuals maintain a high level of activity on LinkedIn by joining and engaging with discussion groups and adding new contacts frequently. LinkedIn’s developers are just making that easier.
For company pages, updates will now come first and foremost, providing room to add details on new staff and other relevant news and pushing summaries to the bottom. Job advertisements can be flagged up on the margin. There’s more room to use pictures to illustrate businesses and their products. The roll out of new features for personal and company profiles is expected to continue through the end of the year, according to the article.