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Streamlined Contractor Profiles

****Update as of 12/22/2011****

We've made several updates to the new contractor profile, based on the feedback we received. To see the list of updates, click here

Today we are really excited to announce a brand new design for contractor profile pages!

The contractor profile is at the heart of oDesk. Employers depend on it to assess the capabilities of any contractor, and contractors depend on it to attract employers and grow their careers.

Knowing how important the contractor profile is, we have redesigned it to be more useful and intuitive. The new design presents all key information in one clean, streamlined page; this makes it easier for employers to assess the capabilities of contractors, and for contractors to showcase information they want employers to see.

Here are some of the highlights of this new design:

  • No extra clicks. All key profile information is on one page.
  • Skills are at the top. Employers often look to the skills section first to determine if the contractor would be a good fit for the position. We are also standardizing skills across oDesk to make it even easier for employers to identify the right contractor for the job. Contractors: make sure to update your skills so you can get the most out of the new contractor profile design. Read more about transitioning your skills here.
  • Cleaner, modern design.  It’s easier to read, and we’ve removed extraneous information so employers can focus in on what’s most important to them.

Check out the new profile design today! Share your thoughts about it below.

Vote Result

Score: 2.6, Votes: 62
New Look Feedback

Honestly, I don't like the new look of the odesk profile. Please revert the old one. Top score are less visible to employers, we've worked hard for this and this is very important to attract prospect clients based on the flying colors. Before, my SEO test is on top, I've worked hard for it to reach on top and now it goes down to #6. It is very disappointing. Rank the test just like the previous one based on the percentage not the actual score. oDesk are easy to use previously and became successful as what it is previously. Several chages had made plenty of contractors uncomfortable and unhappy. So oDesk admin please listen to our feedbacks.

Please hire a usability specialist

It is so obvious that design took priority over usability that it's downright painful!

1. Why list the pre-made skills you just added with a hyphen? What do you think people look for project-manager or project manager?

2. The skills are at a top, which is good...but for some bizarre reason, they are a faded out gray that is very hard to read. Also, they are pretty cluttered in there. At least make it span of .left. In fact, the entire thing is done by somebody who just LOVES gray on gray. The sidebar is also pretty difficult to read as the writing on it is just 2 shades over the gray in the background. Seriously there are other colors in the world other that the range between #333 and #999.

3. The title is no longer visible in full. Do you think it's an enhancement having to mouse over it and wait until the tool-tip shows? I'll tell you a secret: it's not.

4. Also, don't show the whole objective. It's much more fun having the click to see it all. Make sure you have as much javascript in page as possible, the longer it takes for the page to load, the better! Let's make sure we crash Firefox as often as possible. Is there a reason it does not span the width of .left?

5. Having to click to see one more line in the History and Feedback section is another a winning idea. You have enough space to the left of job details or Job in Progress to put the link to the job ad. There is a totally unnecessary lightbox opening there.

6. The permalink is nearly invisible - is it supposed to be a stealth option?

7. The tests are no longer showing percentile but instead it says above average...because we know that ranking in the 56th percentile is exactly and absolutely the same with ranking in the 96th percentile. This in fact renders the tests section pretty much irrelevant unless I start comparing them one by one by score.

The rest of my feedback is here

One question: how long will it take to get Business Catalyst added as a skill?

In case you guys need something to do and you want to be usefull here are a few ideas:

1. Fix the contractor search
2. Fix the team viewing which right now it's not working. I am hiring manager and PM on my team and yet I cannot see any of the work diaries...
3. Escrow?
4. Better reporting?
5. Drop down menus on navigation so I don't have to do 5 clicks to get from one page to another
6. Hide the earnings and the rates on previous projects. It's not relevant, it's private information, displaying it is illegal in most of the civilized world and it really hurts both contractors and employers, not to mention YOU ARE HURTING YOURSELF by enforcing lowest rates.

Bad Idea = Full title not visible

Have to agree with Maria's comment, especially regarding the full title not being visible. What's the point of a "title" if you have to hover over it so you can see it whole? This new profile is just bizarre. The old one was very nice already - clean, easy, everything laid out clearly and concisely.


You've got a nutcase on board, making decisions : (((
Every major change I've seen implemented so far was for the worst:

- Limitation of the number of categories for contractors = arbitrary limitation of the range of jobs a contractor can apply to. Limiting and Counter-productive.

- New navigation: more clicks and more pages to load (!!!) before getting to the same information, in violation of the *most basic* rules of user-friendliness and efficiency. Countless other issues... Counter-productive.

- Now, this. I'm speechless. You suppressed some very valuable and useful information! Like, the portfolio part is made useless, you got rid of any explaining text, and now display just a picture. Useless : ((. What's important for employers is our feedback on each previous job. It used to be, conveniently, displayed on the profile and immediately visible. Someone actually decided it was better to not display that anymore?!? You need to change that person asap.

Guys, get yourself together. These changes are so bad they're ridiculous. For many people, this might be some kind of last straw, as it is for me. It's not just the changes for the worst, it's the trust we have in you that's eroding quickly because of the lousy decisions we see implemented. Where is this going?

At the very least, please do something smart, by offering a choice for displaying the profile, either classic view or streamlined. Classic view worked fine, it displayed relevant information in a convenient way, Ever heard of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it"? true..

Cyril B. wrote:
You've got a nutcase on board, making decisions : (((

Step away from the keyboard

A horrible though just crossed my mind that the next thing you'll...."streamline" is the job ad... so that everything useful is well hidden and it matches the new wonderful dark gray on light gray theme. Please DO NOT!

I'm speechless

This is just terrible Sad

Maria please refrain from

Maria please refrain from giving them bad ideas... Someone in there is going to like this one :>

Not this time

Actually , this time i dont think anyone will like this new look and horrible usability

I like the look and feel of

I like the look and feel of the new contractor profile in terms of layout and colour( although some greyness need to be adjusted- I feel). As the content-wise, I am not happy with the information where it is placed and how it is placed, need to be re-adjusted after feedback from other contractors. By the way old profile design was also good but bit colourful. I love the Local Time & Time UTC time difference you placed right on top-right(I always had to download clock or use some world clock online). Great oDesk! keep your good work!

What color?

It's light grey and the background is white. The other one was so nice.

Someone is getting payed to ruin oDesk Sad


do you think if we all chipped in $5 and pay him off, he will stop doing it?

Mays its a she?

Mays its a she?

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

It is a she

Mahesh Walatara wrote:
Mays its a she?

And she is getting paid for this mess.

I wonder who created the old navigation and profiles (great job!). If he/she could see for what it has been replaced for Sad..

By the way "payed" is not wrong, just obsolete. I was too disturbed when i i always use "Paid".

"Payed is now considered obsolete according to some dictionaries. However, it is in the Bible (both as paid and payed!), and may be the reason some still spell it the 'archaic' way."

How do you know??

How do you know??

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Well now i am not sure

Mahesh Walatara wrote:
How do you know??

Once i saw her posting saying she was the new designer but now i am not sure. Anyway it makes no difference. He or she has done a terrible job with the profiles.

New look is horrible. Earlier

New look is horrible. Earlier tab system was perfect.

Veni, Vidi, Vici.


New look is very confusing. The old tab system worked very well and was quick and easy to use.

I realise that the design might look more 'modern' now but it's not more usable. oDesk is known for a confusing GUI at the best of times, but at least once I figured out where everything was I could get my way around. New GUI is not good, with it's hidden information.

Previous job descriptions that contractors worked on has disappeared? It was very useful to see the job description that a contractor had previously worked on as it often gave good background information.

Ideally, oDesk will allow us to view the old system in parallel.

Not happening

Color Scheme is good but ALL INFORMATION IN ONE PAGE is not happening at all. Tabbed Navigation on previous profile page worked fine for me. Hoping for a fix soon.

+one unhappy contractor

I absolutely agree with Maria on this one. The way the information is organized is awful. No extra clicks? Then why do you have to search for a tiny tiny link 'more' at the bottom of each section to see everything relevant? This is especially annoying in the 'Work History' section, where if you have more jobs, you scroll down like mad to see them all/to get to the next section.

Also I very much doubt that the way the info in that section is presented is 'easier to assess' - it's clean, I give you that, but it's nowhere close to 'easier'. One of the great benefits of the old profile was the visual way of presenting all the finished jobs below those in progress. Now with my 5 long-term commitments I'll always have only 4 'in progress' jobs listed and none of the good feedback from the previous jobs will be visible unless someone goes searching for it with a hound dog.

Same with the portfolio :/

If it was that necessary to update your design, you could've done it with with minor revision of the working and efficient layout and without making it harder for people to see the relevant information :/

/// Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts.


i aggree, HORRIBLE

New Look

I also agreed its horrible.............Last one was toooooooooooo GOOOOOD.......


I have never written on the forum, but had to this time. THIS IS NOT USER FRIENDLY. SO BAD . TERRIBLE, to be honest it is so bad that i am thinking of stop using odesk and look for other channels.
WHO OR WHAT are you guys thinking when making these BAD decisions ???

Please change back the Work History and Feedback

The Work History and Feedback is really hard to use now. I strongly dislike it. Please change it back Smile

Perfect Clean Contractor

Perfect Clean Contractor Profile Page. This is what i am hoping for. Good Work. It saves employers time...

You may be new comer on odesk

Sivakumar Ramamoorthy wrote:
Perfect Clean Contractor Profile Page. This is what i am hoping for. Good Work. It saves employers time...

You may be new comer on odesk, and do not know what was the previous features. OR you are a fake poster which was generated by "NEW RUBBISH DESIGNER" as because no one are leaving positive comments here for new design.

Arafat Jahan

Can you describe how this RUBBISH new design save time?

Can you describe how this RUBBISH new design save time?

Or what is the benefit between older and new one?

because 90% people here including me are searching for older design. Older was the professional, Odesk is a place for making money, work, all professional task. NOT for a Good looks design website which need a better design to show.

You know facebook? you know google? does their design is good??? honestly all their design are quite simple, only because of User-Friendly.



Arafat Jahan

This is just terrible

Every major change I've seen implemented so far was for the worst. This is just terrible.

If you're going to have the

If you're going to have the option to prioritize my skills numerically on my profile edit page, why are they in random order on my actual profile, even after I save?
What's the point? Yea, changing a tire is something I might want employers to know I can do it, I just don't want them seeing it as the FIRST thing I can do...sheesh...

Posted by a oDesk manager in

Posted by a oDesk manager in another related thread:

Sorry about the alphabetical display of skills - that's a bug that we're fixing ASAP. The skills will be displayed in the order you ranked them in.

Since it's a bug, maybe they

Since it's a bug, maybe they should revert back to the old (but more information-filled) working status and also hear the comments of contractors on this new feature.

Man... somebody..... somebody

Man... somebody..... somebody got to ask oDesk to explain their understanding of "stream lined". Whatever they do in the name of streamlined, it only ruins it.

I like the old format because

I like the old format because it looked professional and the colors are attractive. I also agree that income should not be posted and should be confidential. The number of hours on each job are enough I think for the prospective employer to evaluate the effectiveness of the contractor.

They may post those high earners(with permission, I hope) to attract more contractors, but leave the others on the confidential files.

I'm under no

I'm under no illusion that oDesk will ever consider our suggestions, but I echo the majority here: the new profile sucks. Washed out colors, truncated title, so many more clicks needed to see the work history, etc. etc.

Can you stop reinventing the wheel and address OUR complaints? Until now, there's still no option to hide our earnings, and there's still no badge for verified users. I mean, come on, implement USEFUL changes for once!

Suggestions for the New Layout

I’ve spent some time looking over the new profile layout and adapting my information to it, and I have a few suggestions I hope you’ll consider:

  • Allow more space for contractor titles. It takes a lot of words to describe our various positions here on oDesk, and cutting off the end of the title with an ellipsis makes us look careless.
  • List skills correctly. My potential clients may find it odd that I apply for proofreading jobs when I can’t even capitalize and punctuate my skills properly (i.e., “microsoft-word” for “Microsoft Word”).
  • Don’t show “no feedback given” as zero stars.
  • Portfolio items that rely on a URL rather than an attachment should prominently display the link. As it is, without clicking into the item all the employer sees is a big “no attachment” icon and the title of the project. I doubt many employers will take the time to click the project and discover that it includes a URL.
  • I hope you are also planning to improve the layout’s visual effect by adding some color and differentiating the sections more clearly. The white, black, and gray may look more professional, but it is painful to read.

Thanks, and best wishes.

Hi Corrie, Thanks for your

Hi Corrie,

Thanks for your comments.

1. We are showing full titles now.
2. The skills we are using are Tags that will make contractor search better. See John Horton's comments in the thread.
3. Agree - we will fix this.
4. Agree - we need to design this to fit portfolio items where the image is not a primary item of interest.
5. We will keep improving the visual design of the profile.

Thanks again.

I thought there would be no

I thought there would be no lower standard than the "New Navigation". I was wrong. The new profile page is worse than ever. Horrible design without creativity!

Implementation of a new skills style is a real bad solution

Implementation of a new skills style is a real bad solution.
Why I can't post a custom skills ?
Even if I'm going to add a skill 'playing on balalaika' - it should be added too.
After I changed to a new skills style, I missed out a bunch of skills that are not recognized...
This is absolutely unacceptable.

Also I don't think a 'Profile' tab should be under a 'Find Job' tab.
The correct place is under a dropdown menu of account's name (near to messages icons block).

Hey, what do you expect on ?
You think a people will obey your new caprices ?

You think we need follow a new technologies of web2.0 ? Prove it. Make it easy to understand, lightweight for browsers and human's mind. Don't complicate it by every day!!!

I think 80% (maybe even more) of contractors and employers are don't like a functionality of a current oDesk look. Sometimes a new look looks better, somethimes is worse than was before. It's ok but a functionality is going bad...

I'm totally agree with that post.

Remember, you can lose a good reputation and it will be hard to obtain it again...

Why we're doing what we're doing with skills

Thanks for the feedback.

A few comments:

1) If you've got skills we don't have, suggest them. We want to make the dictionary as complete as possible.

2) You've got plenty of real-estate on your profile to describe any skills that you think are relevant that we don't add---use the overview. It's still indexed in search and discoverable.

3) The reason we are forcing both contractors and employers to use the skill dictionary is quite simple: without any enforcement, there was enormous variation in how the two sides labeled their skills (I think I've seen every possible way someone could write "Microsoft Powerpoint"). The table containing skills added had 250K entries---of which only 16%(!) were used more than once by anyone in the marketplace. This made it virtually impossible to build useful tools for matching & recommendations. It made search (which overwhelmingly consists of queries that are lists of skills) far less useful than it could be. It made it impossible to give solid data to both sides on what skills were in demand and what skills were fading.

I know it seems like we are taking away an important freedom---but I think (and I think most people will eventually come around when they see what becomes possible with standardization) that this freedom was like the freedom to drive on whatever side of the road you like---it doesn't actually make you any better off.

I'm asking everyone to give us some time - I think you'll like where we are going. We all know that contractors are the heart of oDesk and we're doing these things with a very sharp focus on making the contractor's life easier & their time on oDesk more productive.

How long will it take for a skill to be added

How long will it take for a skill to be added? More specifically I am referring to Business Catalyst, which is the second most used platform in Australia and 5th in US.

As for enforcing a dictionary that is a bush league solution, John! You could have done that in the back-end by adding a second attribute called meta and assigning a single meta value to the entire group of terms...aka %like%powerpoint would select powerpoint expert, Power Point 2010, PowerpoinT, etc. and assign a single meta/category/keyword (or whatever else you want to call it) value of Powerpoint. You could do this upon form submission from the action script or running a cron once a day to do the conversion to new submissions and append the secondary value...or run it on a slave every few hours and then included in the next round of propagation. You could then use the secondary value for matching.

Instead of this pretty easy solution, Odesk went with the lazy man's way out: let's just force the * to use our limited dictionary.

1) On business catalyst -

1) On business catalyst - it's in the queue. I can't say when it will be released, but should be less than a week.

2) I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound any simpler---it sounds much more complex & error prone than simply having everyone use the same terms for the same thing. Your %like% solution gets some---but not even a majority of cases. Trust me - I tried. We *are* going to do back-end matching using meta-data (particularly for search), but this only augments---it is not a substitute for getting high-quality inputs initially.

My worst fears

So you just confirmed my worst fears. Adding an element to the dictionary takes a long time to implement and roll out. This is a pretty big limitation on your system: you will not be able to keep up with the skill market and diversity out there. What's next? It's much more error prone to allow people to use their own words in overviews so we will provide a one-size-fits-all solution?

Secondly, it will keep out buyers who will not be able to locate here contractors with more exotic skills or working on exotic technologies because it will not return relevant search results and will not allow people to market those skills. In the end, this translates to a decrease in income. In fact, you are not getting high-quality inputs, because in this business high quality means finding what you need.

Please, give me one example that cannot be captured and paired by an automated crawler.

You can keep part of the current system by displaying suggestions (either as you type or as a second step to adding skills), but no by enforcing what is an extremely limited dictionary. In the end, you could use a 2 step search to accommodate custom skills: search the dictionary, if no results, search custom skills set. From time to time you can even run a %like% on the custom skills to root out and move skills that are in fact part of the dictionary. But this will solve both situations, while your solution solves a total of none. In the end, if you don't trust the technology, hire 3 data entry people and have them run through the new custom skills added and do the matching.

I suspect the reason behind this solution has less to do with the quality of the search and more to do with db performance and reducing the processing cost...also, with a lower development cost.

Re: speed. We're working on

Re: speed. We're working on it. It's less than ideal right now, but eventually it will be same-day or faster.

Re: standardizing other parts of the profile. You're using a slippery slope argument. Having one part of the profile standardized does not imply we'd want to do that for the other parts. We clearly would not.

Re: accommodating change---that's why we are putting suggests into the product, checking against other sites, scanning job posts that don't get tagged etc.

Re: An example - here's one: PPT- a very common abbreviation for PowerPoint that was used extensively in profiles that will not get found w/ like.

On your other points: I think your making it seem much simpler than it is. Managing a folksonomy is non-trivial. Don't take my word for it---

Re: your suspicions. You're wrong. It had nothing to do with performance or cost & everything to do with improving matching & making it easier to push recommendations to contractors.

So what was the rush if this was not ready?

Why not leave the option to show the old nice the mean time at least Sad

Speed: ...and eventually the search...

Speed: ...and eventually the search will work correctly so as to replace the need for sorting, another winning idea from the Odesk team. That is eventually going to happen too. Please, tell me, is eventually code word for never ever?

Re: slippery slope argument? John, the slope you guys are on is so slippery that if you bottled it and sold it in erotic shops you would make a fortune. With the exception of separating activities per contract (which came as part of the new navigation) every single other change made in the last year has made things worse. I call that a behavioral pattern. Based on this pattern I cannot put any bizarre / strange / downright stupid decision past your brilliant minds.

Re: accommodating change - what you are saying is not change. It's ripping of other websites. And funny enough, not even ripping off the good parts, but instead zeroing in on all the bad ones. But that is not what I meant when I suggested a 2-step search. The 2-step search will give you flexibility to allow custom skills.

You give me a link to stack-overflow whose solution you guys choose to ignore. Says Jeff Atwood: "It’s been clear for a very long time now that we needed some kind of tag synonym system, one that the community itself could maintain and control without having to bend the ear of a moderator." Where is the synonym definition in your situation? Where is the community control? Even more so, the implementation of the tag system on stack-overflow took nearly a year. That if a hobby website. You did it in a day. This is a professional website where people come to earn money. Do the math! Also, you will find hilarious the way they came up with the original dictionary. Hint hint: it's 90% of what I suggested. That's where I learned about it too.

Re: your example of PPT -> but you know about it. It's not a surprise to you. You can still include it in the dictionary...or even do the community driven synonym system. I can guarantee that several of us here would be more than happy to help.

Re: my suspicions. So you didn't even have a business reason behind this? It was just a bad interpretation of the facts? I cringe to think how the matching system will work. I have the weird feeling that I will not see another invite again.

Right Of Vote

I agree with you even though I cannot fully understand those technical explanations. What I would suggest, if oDesk care for user opinion as they claim doing all for users, conduct a poll, send mail to all users and display result in public, if oDesk management believe in democracy let user decide if they want this new look and feel, (Which is definitely making things going to negative side rather then to positive side as being claimed) or if oDesk is going to impose all these changes anyway then don't ask for feedback do what you want, at least that would be very much less pain full.

I second this

I second this


After trying to publish an job today, I have to ask: how was the current dictionary defined? Adwords is missing as well. This means you don't even cover all the tests you have with keywords...

adwords added

Thanks - we've added adwords to list of skills. There is google-adsense keyword and several other related keywords that might be useful, but there should have been an adwords keyword as well. This is one of about 350 skills that will be pushed to the database this week. The process is not as fast as we'd like, but it will definitely get better. In the interim, if the skill is added to the title or job description, it's still discoverable via job search.


John Horton wrote:
Thanks for the feedback.
. You obviously don't give a * about the feedback you're receiving, or you'd take it into account, and quit implementing changes that make our life and work more difficult.

John Horton wrote:

I'm asking everyone to give us some time - I think you'll like where we are going. We all know that contractors are the heart of oDesk and we're doing these things with a very sharp focus on making the contractor's life easier & their time on oDesk more productive.

We obviously don't like where you're going, and you're not making our life easier, quite the contrary. The negative feedback you're receiving is around 90%, that should tell you something but it doesn't. Like we're 90% morons incapable of knowing what's good for us?

You keep pushing changes that make it more difficult for us to land a job, and for employers to find the right candidate for their task. Thank you oh so much! NOT.

You're going to lose a lot of business, both contractors and employers, with this incredibly ridiculous move. Happy?


*removed by admin