Designing a simpler, more inclusive Linkedin Home & Sharing

Take a look at some behind-the-scenes thinking of a re-imagined $26B social network.

Getting [in] — & finding my market fit

Linkedin is often known for being a bit on the corporate side. With lots of opportunities to humanize its UI, content, and interaction design, I saw all of this as a series of new challenges –– and wanted to contribute to it.

222 Second st office, 17th-floor terrace — San Francisco

Content experience — the core of our social network

A few onboarding detours placed me at the center of the consumer product (Content Experience Org), working within the Home and Sharing pillars and collaborating closely with Conversations, Infra, Live, Video, and Stories. These teams focused on content creation, as well as improving engagement and trust across Linkedin. Below is a bit of a broad stroke in terms of the work I focused on while there…

The Sharing & Conversations product, eng & design teams (I’m the one in the hat)

Learning to lower the barrier to sharing through research, collaboration & systems design

Members are afraid of putting their reputation at risk. How can clarity and confidence ease these fears?

Early planning days

Listening to users & scaling up — while creating a more flexible, accessible & warmer framework over time

Member

  • Warring and unclear, legacy design patterns erode focus and trust
  • Lack of guidance hinders overall confidence
  • Poor ADA compliance

Business

  • Standardization across design systems
  • Content creation and creators growth (content shared vs content sharers)
  • Sponsored revenue updates

What’s home and sharing?

  • Sharing is how that content gets there. This is where members set their audiences as well as share various forms of content eg photos, videos, jobs and much more. These two are closely coupled throughout every experience.

Design process

Double Diamond Process

Home feed redesign

With a simplified mobile-first approach, we were able to test, validate, and scale-out effectively. The Feed MVP team consisted of a small group of leads, engineers, and researchers focused on validating a new design language. You can think about the effort as an under the hood scaffolding and over the hood visual design refresh — starting with iOS.

Mercado MVP feed

MVP Strategy

Early thinking helping to influence strategy

How it started v. how it’s going

Warmth and Humanity, Inclusivity, and Community.

Art Deco to Mercado
  • Lead with humanized principles. Driven by research, we used the above principles to guide us through the process.
  • Warmth & humanity — focusing on a new color palette, illustrations, and humanized content design.
  • Inclusivity and community — focusing on cross-platform, accessible UI patterns while still elevating engaging, actionable content.
  • Simplify our stacks. Design and engineering could benefit from a simplified system, helping elevate content and recede unnecessary UI noise. No more custom components (shout out to Oscar for all his work on this too!).
  • Focus on top pain points. Support and stress test common feed cases and pain points — such as standardized UI, accessibility, and navigation patterns.
  • Ramp up, learn, scale-out. Use sponsored updates as ramp benchmark, and align with partners on planning. Let feed influence navigation, notifications, and jobs. Scale-out across Android and Web.
Converting an inaccessible feed into an accessible one

To streamline our iterative process, we developed tools & working Figma libraries.

Figma library & Atomic design

Validation through research and rapid prototyping

  • Look and feel. Prototyping with Principle, Figma, and production code ––reinforce brand through accents while elevating content. Have we achieved a warmer feel through revised color?
Exploring patterns and early Dark Mode

Participants felt the new feed design was warmer, simpler, and easier to digest content

Resulting feed cards & component library

Sharing — Improving usability, scalability & navigation

Cross-platform support (before & after)

Long-tail strategy

  • Guidance creates confidence. Infrequent and frequent members are often too scared to post something that could hurt their reputation. Working with content design to enhance copywriting across Sharing cases (e.g. visibility, content types, and edge cases).
  • Holistic picture. How do these data points affect other projects/pillars? What’s the end business and member goal for such a vision? How does this tie back to our strategies?
  • Leverage a vetted system. No more custom components. How can we leverage an incoming design system to top off these pain points, and for future work to tastefully take place? Since mobile market share was growing so quickly, we decided to lead with mobile and let it influence desktop.
  • Reflow & Orientation Support. Working within a standardized WGAC AA criteria and across pillars, how can sharing open up to more members with proper landscape and portrait functionality?
Milestones/experiments & strategy

Resulting in a cross-platform and scalable framework for new partners and content

Poll creation end to end flow

Improving guidance and spec work through pillar specific Figma libraries

Interactive variants & components

Research told us that clear content design and consistent, predictable UX aided in trust and confidence

Composing & selecting your audience

Takeaways, mentorship & more

As part of the Linkedin mentorship program, I enjoyed and found myself in between the daily hustle, and educating others. This wasn’t gated to just junior designers, but to lateral designers looking to expand their toolkits. This often included but was not limited to:

  • Process & product thinking
  • Communication & stakeholder management
  • File hygiene & library development
The design gang

Onward & upward 🚀

✌🏼

More Linkedin accomplishments, sitewide impact & targeting a wider audience

We grew content creation +XX% y/y via modernization of sharing and new content creation tools (introduction of LinkedIn polls, home feed redesign, re-imagined sharebox experience)

  • Reignited companies posting via an overhaul of sharebox, resulting in the exponential growth of a notoriously difficult metric
  • Spearheaded new pillar-level Figma Kits/libraries, utilized across my design org
  • Formally and casually mentor other designers on collaboration, infra & systems design, and product planning
  • Catering and listening to people with new working styles, disabilities, and interests.

Select Projects:

  • Sharebox guider
  • Visibility redesign
  • Main feed Page sharing
  • Web and Mobile Sharebox redesign
  • Feed & feed sharebox redesign
  • Polls
  • Comment controls
  • Sticky visibility
  • WGAC AA support

In the news

Thoughts from our engineering lead on building Mercado

USA Today Spotlight on Linkedin’s new design

Linkedin Polls on Tech Crunch

Designer, Xoogler, cat herder.