So it's official, it's finally arrived. Well, at least LinkedIn's blog is announcing it's imminent arrival to your computer soon - the New Desktop Redesign. You can watch the promo video here that shows you some of the features;
If you have been following this news it was back in the fall last year that the desktop redesign was first announced, to great fanfare. After several missteps and, as is common for LinkedIn, a number of glaring glitches and errors picked up by some early users, it seems that finally, the look for your profile on your computer will be changing. If you are one of the 10-20% of users so far, perhaps it has already changed. Of course, you could be one of the 65% or so of mobile users that maybe never uses the desktop version, in which case "Carry On!"
The hope it to see everyone switched over in the next few weeks.
There has been plenty of criticism of the new design, complaints about disappearing features and threats of departure from the platform. At the end of the day none of us really like change, yet if we embrace it and more importantly look for the positives then there are always upsides and it makes for a much better experience.
Now, if you are like me and use the desktop version to access your LinkedIn account the majority of the time, then you may want to note 3 critical aspects of the new design that will impact how your personal brand can be featured on the platform.
It always amazes me how many profiles I come across that either have no professional summary completed or have minimal information. As I say to people who's profiles I review, your big opportunity to communicate your personal brand is in the Summary. You have up to 2,000 characters to do this and can add visual media to make your profile 3D.
Having a professional summary that speaks to your personal brand is going to be even more critical with the LinkedIn redesignClick to tweet
With the new look this may not immediately be as relevant, but having a professional summary that speaks to your personal brand is going to be even more critical with the redesign because the first two to three sentences appear as an integral part at the top of your profile - see below
This means that very quickly you need to be able to clearly explain, what you do, who you do it for and why they should be interested enough to click on the 'See more' link to read your full summary.
The way that LinkedIn works and how you get more from the platform in terms of visibility is through how interesting you are. This 'interest' factor is measured in a number of ways and a big part is your interactions with others. The new desktop design has a very clear tab for notifications (as the old one did), but when you click on that tab you get a nice clean view of all the different types of activities happening in relation to you, your network and your profile - see below
This will help you to stay on top of your LinkedIn activity and also react directly to the various comments, likes, shares and endorsements you receive, recognizing and engaging with others in your network.
3. Relevant Info
Changes last year to the publishing elements of LinkedIn made for a 'disappearing' and reduction in engagement on long form posts. The return of hashtags more recently was a welcome one and now with the new search feature, the picture becomes clear and full. The cleaner navigation allows for an easy look across to find the most relevant section that you want to dive deeper on the subject - see below
This should both encourage more use of the platform versus going elsewhere for information, as well as push more people to post relevant and useful content.
LinkedIn post at the end of their video that the goal of this redesign was to be "More intuitive and focused to bring conversations and content to the forefront." It is certainly needed when you have a user engagement running at under 25% of the 450 million plus members of LinkedIn which relates practically to well under 200 million, which is still huge. This redesign coupled with the look and feel similar to mobile should help. At the end of the
At the end of the day, though it is still going to require you to do it, after all;
It's up to you to own the definition of who you are.
Other related posts that might be useful;
UPDATE: There was a post on the LinkedIn blog that appeared a day after this article which is also worth checking out - Three Tips to Make the Most of the Linkedin Desktop Redesign