LinkedIn has just announced it’s launching new mobile applications for iOS and Android. The new apps are fully native and are expected to perform better and faster, with a new set of features that range from totally useful to simply delightful.
In a chat with LinkedIn mobile exec Kiran Prasad, we learned that right now, LinkedIn gets around 27 percent of all its traffic from mobile, and that number is only headed upward.
To keep pace with this growth and with the service’s rollout of new features, the LinkedIn mobile team has had to rethink a lot of its apps: How do you fit such a wealth of information on such a small screen?
“We’ve redesigned the entire UI to do a lot more actions and get a lot more data with one tap,” said Prasad in a phone interview with VentureBeat.
“The second thing we’ve tried to do is add a touch of delight … to make it feel good when you click things.” A big part of that, he continued, is putting in little design and interaction touches like animations. “All the little animations, little bounces and pops, it sort of leaves me with a happy feeling,” Prasad said.
And finally, the new apps will be personalized with different navigation menus for each person, all depending on what parts of LinkedIn you use most.
“We’re really taking on personalization for the first time,” said Prasad. “We’re [learning from and using] what you do on the site and who you are, based on the profile information we have.” All this machine learning took some heavy lifting on the engineering side, but the end result is an app that’s a lot simpler to get around, simply because it knows what you’re there to do.
For example, Prasad said, “If you go to jobs a lot because you’re a job seeker, jobs will show up in your nav. If you get a job and start reading the news section more, jobs will fade out of your nav. … I’m always kind of surprised when I start using a specific part of LinkedIn a lot and it takes three or four clicks, but after a few days it starts showing up in the nav at the top. It’s like, ‘Oh, they’re trying to help me.’”
This kind of data-based personalization will also show up more in the future in search results and profile display, he said.
Another little touch is something called reader pages. Prasad told us that for a subset of publishers partners with whom LinkedIn has established relationships, articles from those publishers won’t open in a web browser. Instead, they’ll show up inside the native app in a reader view. A small touch to the average user, but one that Prasad said “makes the reading experience very fast; it feels instant.”
Here’s a first look at the new LinkedIn apps:
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