Linkedin – I don’t know!

Linkedin is designed quite nicely, and doesn’t have many loose ends. But like proofreading, nothing is 100% foolproof. I stumbled on a designers profile who was a freelancer and liked to travel. I wanted to add the user as a connection. Now linkedin puts a great deal of emphasis on trust, and as it says in the footnote:

Important: Only invite people you know well and who know you.

So linkedin wants you to know that person beforehand as a colleague, or a classmate or a friend. But one of the radio buttons is also:

I don’t know ‘the member’

The point to note here is that someone landed on this page because he wanted to add that person to his network. He may not know that person before hand, which will lead to the selecting of the ‘I don’t know ‘member’s name’ option. Then he would proceed to think of a nice personal note, and type it down in the note box. Then when he clicks on the send invitation button, what does he get? This :

A javascript popup message that says that you are not allowed to invite someone you do not know. All the trouble of writing the message could have been saved if the interaction worked the following way. Just as someone selects the ‘don’t know the member’ button, the javascript message should popup. It would look something like the following visual I prototyped. And it would save the user from a small disappointment.