In late January (2015) I heard that there’s a new service available. Branded.me converts your Linked In profile to a mobile-friendly website at the push of a button.

So I checked it out and gave it a shot.

The result: jcvtcs.branded.me

Note:  “branded.me” is now re-branded as remote.com.  Such is the nature of theWeb.  The links here still work.

What branded.me does

Automatically imports some of your LinkedIn Profile into a pre-formatted “flat”, simple/simplistic layout&structure template that is oriented towards mobile display.

Default Imports from you LinkedIn Profile:

  • Bio
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Testimonials
  • and adds a nice little “Contact Me” app

Fairly simple entry path and good “traction to action”.

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branded.me : Thumbnail Analysis

Positives:

  • Migrates pretty smoothly
  • It’s certainly easy. Pushbutton. Literally.
  • It’s free… at least the “non-Premium” version
  • Attractive minimalist templates
  • Delivers a polished UI as a simple site
  • “full service” website startup for noobies

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t really scale in the sense of providing a sense of how much info is NOT on-screen
  • Doesn’t import my Profile hyperlinks
  • Doesn’t import some images (esp. my portfolio screenshots)
  • Doesn’t import “Pulse” POSTS or otherwise integrate w/ LinkedIn
  • Doesn’t import Endorsements data
  • Editing tools not consistent across the infterface
  • Doesn’t offer seamless integration of your LinkedIn yet if you already have an existing website, like me

On-the-One-Hand / On-the-Other

  • Flat structure is simple / It’s also kinda simplistic
  • Delivers the migrated site as a neat package / Misses a bunch of good stuff
  • Simple customization tools / Limited design capabilities

Glitches

  • It didn’t import all of the graphic logos from the “Experience” section of my LI profile (It got most of them, though)
  • Online editing can be “iffy” and cumbersome, which is not unusual for online tools (Linked In itself can be a problematic)

Based on my experience, I would suggest staying with default functionality and modest stylistic editing as much as possible. But you can’t beat it at the price.

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Net/net: Thumbs up

branded.me delivers a nice, concise 5-section resume-oriented site, quickly and fairly accurately. If you’re looking for more than the out-of-the-box capabilities, then let’s just say that:

This is a new product, and the hood is still open. It’s got potential. This should be interesting…

I’m still playing with it. You should, too.

but … Play Safe

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Editing Guide

Here’s some observations & advice – based on my experience:

  • The online Editing mode takes 20+ seconds to boot up. Just wait it out…
  • Save often (a good principle generally). Editing on branded.me is a minefield.
  • Be very careful when working with imagesNever drag & drop.

My Updates to jcvtcs.branded.me

Editorial Analysis as of 02/08/2015:

  1. I removed the layout template (the third one, with 2 columns) which caused data display problems – and went with the default “mobile layout”. Stick with the default.
  2. Edited the title for the first section from “John’s Bio” to “John Vaughan”. This worked okay, but did not change the label of the navigation tab, which remained as “John’s Bio”. This is a discontinuity problem.
  3. Edited the “intro” textual content for each of the sections. This worked okay, but …
  4. I was able to style the text only in the “bio” section. Good. Not able to style the text in any of the other text sections. Discontinuity
  5. I was able to add hypertext links to the text only in the “bio” section. Good. Not able to do this in any of the other text sections. Discontinuity.
  6. I was able to add a custom background image (to the Skills section). Good. But not able to re-size it. Not so good.
  7. The online help section implies that you have the content editing functionality that I described above across the board. Not so. Deceptive. Not helpful.

The Design Takeaway

This is a consumer-oriented service for people who don’t already have a website, not a professional editing platform. At this early stage in the market, branded.me should focus on offering simple, prepackaged, useful tools, consistently across the interface. Fewer buttons, less complexity, greater functionality. It’s still a good product – which might become great.

© The Communication Studio LLC

 

Published in LinkedIn on January 31, 2015

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