Linkedin : Impressing from the off

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A home page that encourages you to be impressed.

The Site

Linkedin, a networking site for experienced professionals which claims 12 million members worldwide, has a starkly focused home page that simultaneously draws in new users and reinforces its proposition.

The main headline on the home page is an invitation to ‘Find the people you know from:’ either Your company or Your school [college or university]. Each of the options is represented by a picture box (briefcase and mortar-board hat respectively) beneath which are search panels for Your company name and Your school name. Entering details in a panel changes the content of the picture box to show the number of Linkedin users who have worked or studied at the company/school. A prominent yellow button exhorts searchers to ‘Join now and connect with them’. The page also has a second search facility, allowing users to look for an individual by first+last name or from an alphabetical index.

The Takeaway

Some of the numbers generated by Linkedin’s company/school search can be mightily impressive: 120,500+ at IBM, for example; 12,500+ at the University of Oxford. And that – allied to an equally notable range of matches – is the point and beauty of the home page. Straight off you know this is a network with a lot of members in a lot of prestigious places, precisely the kind of credentials that quickly determine its likely value and are certainly enough to trigger more research on the site if not an immediate sign up. What’s more, thanks to a simple bit of interactivity, you’ve been able to demonstrate it to yourself rather than just accept what it says in the brochure.

Of course, the main search is also a fiendishly engaging – verging on addictive – device. Hard to resist seeing how other companies and schools stack up in the numbers game or testing the limits of its address book. And the more you search, the more impressed you are likely to be.

First published on 31 July, 2007