Don’t ever get behind on your LinkedIn connection requests — erh, invitations — because the interface will rudely shove you away, screaming. (You’ll be screaming. Not your computer.)
And it would take only a teeny tiny change to reduce a significant portion of the friction.
You’ve received an invitation to connect from someone who seems only vaguely familiar.
When you mouseover the person’s name on the pending invitations page, LinkedIn generates a pop-up that shows you the second-degree connections. In this example, there are 19.
This visual reminder may be enough to trigger your memory. So you click “Connect” and prepare to move on to the next invitation.
But LinkedIn will not connect you.
It wanted you to select “Accept” from a drop down menu, a drop down that is not only relatively useless, it is invisible because this invitation was the first on the list. The popup covers the “Accept” option.
You’re presented with this:
This isn’t the only time that LI surprises.
Sometimes there is only one connection shown or maybe there are none. If you select “View Profile” in that circumstance, you are again in for a rude surprise if you decide to then accept the invitation.
Even though there are no shared connections, you can tell from the job title or description that you might have met this person. So you click “View Profile.” At this point, LinkedIn replaces your InBox page of invitations with that person’s profile.
Ah, you think. I do know this person! I met him at <blank> conference.
So you now click “Connect” — after all, you’re responding to his invitation. LinkedIn knows this; it just sent you to his profile page from his invitation to connect.
But LinkedIn’s website is stupid.
It doesn’t acknowledge that your click originated from an invitation, so it assumes you are the initiator.
This is an easy-to-solve UI/UX problem.
For scenario 1:simply make the choices on the popup reflect the state: change the “Connect” button to “Accept.”
For scenario 2: when the referrer to a profile comes from an invitation to connect, pass that information to the webpage and change the response options on the profile page. Again, change the “Connect” button to “Accept.”
To summarize, the LinkedIn website needs to do a better job of tracking the relationship between someone who has sent an invitation to connect and someone who has received said invitation.
Specifically, change the popup associated with the pending invitations: remove any reference to “connect” and replace it with “accept”.
This should be relatively straight forward to code: LinkedIn knows the relationship. However, it will not be enough to code this so that any request originating on the pending invitations page reflects this change. That’s because LinkedIn also includes recommendations (People you may know…) on the page.
This is an experiment in “just write it now, it will be good enough” UI critiques. Along with other UX/UI posts from WiredPen, it should be also be published at ux.kegill.com (but I’m woefully behind). Time start-to-finish: 61 minutes.