In my job, I travel around the world a lot, and I’ve found a huge variety in the design of various things that are pretty uniform throughout NZ (e.g., taps, light switches, toilets, showers). The difficulty I often have in turning on a tap overseas comes to mind when I think about User Experience (UX), as many foreign taps have a bad UX for someone from NZ. The same is true for websites, and a successful international social-media driven website must have UX which transcends national boundaries- what makes sense to a New Zealander must make sense to an Indian.
LinkedIn is a business-orientated social networking website which keeps you in touch with your professional contacts, and provides a profile that can be searched for networking and recruitment purposes. It’s a worldwide success with over 50 million users (50 percent of whom are from outside the States), and they released a new design at the end of last year after analyzing how people use the site. I don’t use LinkedIn often but I think it has a pretty good UX, because even with my limited experience of the site I can easily work out where things are/how they work. I’ve put some examples below.
The style suits the professional audience- the public profile page is clean and uncluttered, which is important for a professional image.
Because this is a business-orientated website, I think it’s important to know exactly how your information appears to people. LinkedIn understand this, and make it easy to find the link to your public profile.
It’s also easy to find your friends (or ‘contacts’ in LinkedIn). It’s not social networking without friends, and LinkedIn makes it easy to find them in several different places (some circled below). I find it freakishly accurate in suggesting people you may know, too!