Concept Interface Design
Why Concept Challenges?
Design exercises, large or small, are challenges I frequently take on to keep myself up-to-date with design trends and tools. As designers, we don't always get to work on projects that speak to our passions, which is true for myself as well, despite the opportunities I've had to work with a variety of clients across a variety of industries. This particular design challenge served as a way for me to display strategic decisions backed by research as well as my visual design acumen.
What is LinkedUp?
With over 300 million active users per month, LinkedIn lets users showcase their skillsets, connect with other industry professionals, and discover job opportunities. While this application has incredible value, canned messages from recruiters, padded connection numbers, and sponsored posts have led to an experience that can feel loud and impersonal. This concept was designed to showcase an idea of a more substantive, more personally connected experience called LinkedUp.
Showcase of various screens of a conceptual messaging feature of LinkedIn

Research & Evaluation

Project Tasks
  • Evaluate value proposition
  • Identify pain points
  • Develop personas and user stories
The Values... and the issues
I chose LinkedIn because of its intrinsic value, providing a platform for networkers to connect. Job seekers can connect to companies and recruiters (and vice versa). Professionals can establish themselves as industry leaders. Businesses can promote their brand to potential and existing customers.

Unfortunately, due to an abundance of canned, impersonal messages from recruiters; networkers playing numbers games by connecting with people they do not intend to interact with; and sponsored posts clogging the news feed, LinkedIn can often feel as if its filled with noise and lacks substance.
“[T]he site has become bogged down with spam connection requests and users’ attempts to market products versus building relationships, as it was intended for.

“The site can also encourage posturing. It’s disingenuous to accept every request to connect and then brag about your vast business networks when those networks actually yield little activity and few interactions.”
Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time?

The Wall Street Journal

“With an enormous collection of friends or followers on a network, you lose the benefits of intimacy, discoverability, and trust, all of which can work better when you have fewer connections.”
The More People We Connect with on LinkedIn, the Less Valuable It Becomes

Harvard Business Review


The drive to add large quantities of connections diminishes the true value and quality of connections.

Understanding the Goal


Facilitate the power of networking through stronger, more meaningful connections. What is a meaningful connection? If you’ve made a connection to someone without knowing them or having a conversation, what is truly accomplished?


By helping users establish and maintain more meaningful connections, users can feel more connected to their industry and their community.


Users can enhance their productivity with tailored advice from colleagues and industry leaders and be more successful in finding jobs that match their interests and values and feeling more in-tuned with their industry and community.

Defining the Audience

LinkedIn is used by a wide variety of user types including, but not limited to networkers, job seekers, recruiters, and businesses. For the purposes of this exercise, I will be focusing on the networker and job seeker experiences, specifically those in the tech and design industry.

NOTE: I understand that the that way I use LinkedIn may not match the way other users use LinkedIn. In addition, I acknowledge that the way people in my industry use LinkedIn may not match the way users in other industries use LinkedIn.


Persona for Eva the Networker

What are Networkers Motivated by?

  • Showcasing professional skill sets
  • Connecting with industry-minded professionals to grow their professional network
  • Establishing themselves as thought leaders in their industry
  • Discovering content relevant to their industry
Persona for Alex the Job Seeker

What are Job Seekers Motivated by?

  • Similar, if not the same as networker motivations. Plus!
  • Researching companies of interest
  • Connecting with people currently or previously employed at companies of interest
  • Utilizing LinkedIn’s extensive collection of job listings

User Stories

Eva The Networker

As a leader at my company, I want to share my expertise with the community so that I can establish myself as a leader in the industry.

Alex The Job Seeker

As a newcomer to the industry, I want to learn from the experts so that I can strengthen my skills and land a job.

Photo of notebook with project research notes
Photo of notebook with interface sketches and notes

Ideation & Design

Project Tasks
  • Evaluate effort over impact
  • Iterate ideas from low-fidelity sketches to high-fidelity mockups
  • Define measurements for success
What could Linkedin Build to Fulfill Customer’s Needs?
  • Boost meaningful connection suggestions by allowing users to set statuses such as ‘seeking/available for mentorship,’ ‘seeking speaking opportunities’, etc.
  • Prioritize connection-to-connection communication by giving users the ability to filter and sort their inbox and feed by relevance, importance, etc.
  • Facilitate connection inside and outside of the app by introducing interactive scheduling functionality
Two mockups showing a sample event in a LInkedIn inspired chat-focused application
The LinkedUp solution involves a dedicated area, disconnected from the classic LinkedIn experience, focused solely on events and conversation. Users will have as few distractions as possible while working on what matters most: cultivating meaningful connections.
Two mockups showing a sample event in a LInkedIn inspired chat-focused application


  • Reduces the noise of the traditional news feed by focusing on conversation versus content
  • Strips away follower and connection count to facilitate quality of connections over quantity of connections
  • Emphasizes events to foster real-life connection
  • Integrates with Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook for connection management outside of the app

Measuring Success

A/B Testing and Engagement

Test user preferences and measure how often users interact with the redesigned product vs. the classic LinkedIn experience.

Net Promoter Score

Customer satisfaction measured through their willingness to recommend the redesigned product to others. The hope is that more meaningful connections will result in an increase in customer satisfaction and an increase in the score.

How Might We...?

Use success metrics to further demonstrate the power of LinkedIn’s Brand?

LinkedIn could promote stories of users who have successfully made connections that enhanced their work and/or their lives

Expand this research and solution to include users in other industries?

How does a doctor utilize LinkedIn’s capabilities? An accountant? etc.

Further Considerations

People are busy. A solution like this may facilitate more conversation for some but be too time consuming for others. How might we ensure that meaningful connections are made without overwhelming the end user?

Finally, acknowledging time constraints and biases: If given more time, I’d like to expand this research to encompass a larger base of people. Personas were created based on assumptions of potential users that have similar expertise and/or interests. Regardless, this was a fun exercise in rapid research gathering and high-fidelity design.