Orkut – Social Networking

Software Application

Project details

Client: Google
Project: Orkut
Services: Mobile Application Design, Web Application Design, UX Strategy

Orkut photos

Photos are an integral part of the social experience and the ability to share and get feedback on photos is an important part of making you feel a part of the social network. One of the main goals of the redesign was to make the photo experience faster and more also to provide more privacy. The first part of the goal was achieved in two parts. Till then photos on Orkut used to be uploaded at full size but resized to the display size. With the improvements in camera megapixels, there were larger image files being uploaded. The decision was made to upload the images at the same size it would be displayed and the resizing was done automatically so the user felt that there was a huge improvement in speeds of photo upload process. Secondly while the upload was in process the interface did not stop the user from making further changes to the album. Both these features together worked to create an experience which was perceived by users to be much faster than the earlier one.

The solution

A special uploader was created for working with low bandwidth locations like India and Brazil which allowed the whole upload process to be reduced by over 70%. While this was an engineering solution, it came about from a result of design suggestions. Further, the new images module was incorporated into the feed, making it one of the most popular features of the relaunch.


Overall, Orkut did not perform well and there were a number of reasons for this. I’ve outlined the learning in this post on Quora.