The first impression of Linkedin starts with a cluttered navigation with tight spacing. The varied colors, gradients and shadows add visual stripes across the page that distract the eye.
The circular profile photo breaks the pattern of square profile photos throughout the site. The personal profile data is significant info, but it gets lost and feels out of place.
Sharing and posting options are treated with equal visual hierarchy, even though their actions do very different things. The styling does not distinguish them as buttons from the other content. The icons feel juvenile among the professional nature of the site.
The overall layout, shifting alignments and uniform content containers in addition to the inconsistent gutter widths add to the visual clutter on the page.
While search is probably a key feature of the site, it’s not given the importance it deserves. It’s also cluttered with “Advanced” which should be a secondary action within search results.
Advertising links are arbitrarily added and given the same visual styling as other more important sub-navigation items.
While the idea of staying in touch is a good one, this user experience of clicking cards one by one feels very archaic and “caveman-like”.
Some self-imposed guidelines
This is a large brand with millions of users, so the changes should be thoughtful and treated with respect.
Show restraint when it comes to the navigation. It’s more challenging to address current issues than to adopt an entirely new side navigation trend.
It must be a realistic user experience that allows for things like advertisements, and not just slick design.