User hostile

Linkedin has made it easier to break a connection than to unfollow connections’ long form posts. Nice product design. Kudos.

It’s a toss-up between calling it ‘user hostile’ and a ‘dark pattern’. As I was searching for the controls to unsubscribe I realized how many profile (and post) impressions I was giving to the user who authored the post. Ewww… kind of slimy design practices.

Someone (a designer) made the decision to not allow this link to be an active unfollow:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.43.33 AM

This Following button does not toggle to unfollow.


Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.04.40 AM

Neither does this one.

From the help docs:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.45.38 AM

As a means to drive engagement, another design decision was made to automatically follow 1st-degree connections.  **The Unfollow button indicated in the above help text doesn’t actually work.

Increasing reach by authoring long-form posts is baked into the platform, but at the expense of spamming your 1st-degree contacts. In this case the decision was between allowing the user more clear controls over notifications (and following) or designing the system in such a way to make defaults to push engagement and impressions (which drive views on the post).

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