Does LinkedIn’s Recent Rebranding Indicate a Paradigm Shift in Website Design?
Networking giant LinkedIn recently launched a full-scale rebranding campaign to incorporate more warmth, humanity and inclusion on its website. The facelift was needed, according to LinkedIn, to address user perceptions that the site only addresses the needs of white-collar job seekers and members in upper management.
This move comes amid a push by other social media sites to promote greater inclusivity and more authentic user experiences. Startups and small to medium-sized business owners should pay close attention to this shifting site design landscape to capture the attention of new clients.
LinkedIn’s ReBranding Helps Craft a Warmer, More Authentic User Experience
Over its 16-year history, LinkedIn experienced explosive growth with more than 600 million users now accessing the site to network and locate rewarding career opportunities. Initially focused on connecting white collar, six-figure workers and management, LinkedIn now helps workers at all levels and with a diverse set of job skills network across sectors including:
- Retail and Marketing
- Food Service and Hospitality
- Manufacturing and more
While many of the changes to the site appear superficial at first glance, LinkedIn strategically planned this move over a two-year period. At its core, the rebranding campaign focuses on making the site warmer, more genuine and, ultimately, appeal to people across more diverse socio-economic levels. Some of the fundamental changes include:
- Incorporating real photos of people interacting in the workplace
- A redesigned logo which is more organic and rounded
- Warmer, more accessible, color palettes
- A customized new font incorporating elements of actual handwriting
Although LinkedIn plans to roll out these elements slowly for existing members, new users can access new features on the rebranded site now.
Key Takeaways for Startups and SMBs
Startups and SMBs planning a major redesign or launch of a new site should pay close attention to the key elements of LinkedIn’s branding overhaul. Today’s netizens can see through a poorly crafted sales pitch, an article stuffed with keywords and stock photos of smiling people high-fiving one another around a corporate boardroom table. Today’s users overwhelmingly crave an authentic, respectful experience when interacting with your site. Avoid bombarding them with elements including:
- Abrasive logos and color schemes
- Stock photos of people interacting in unnatural ways
- An overly salesy tone of voice
- Invasive popup windows or misleading links
- Poorly written site content offering no value to a user
If your site incorporates any of these elements, you may need to reconsider your design strategy and take a page out of LinkedIn’s book to engage users in a more genuine way.
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