Orkut Application Platform

Anatomy of an Orkut Application

WARNING: This article has been deprecated. Although it is still available for reference purposes, but most of its content is outdated and no longer applicable.

An Orkut application is comprised of several parts, all of which combine to form a structured user experience. As you develop your application, we recommend this guide as both a checklist of components which should be utilized, as well as a means to understand the relationship between these components:

  1. Application Directory
  2. Directory Listing
  3. My Applications
  4. Left Navbar Link
  5. Canvas View
  6. Showcase View
  7. Friend Updates

Application Directory

The Orkut application directory provides a listing of all applications, making it a primary starting point for a user to browse and add applications.



Directory Listing

The application directory contains directory listings for each application which provide a concise view of an application using a title, thumbnail image (120px wide, 60px tall) and brief text description (300 characters max). When a user clicks the "add application" button on a directory listing, the application is immediately added to the user's left navbar and profile page.



My Applications

The my applications page is used to manage a user's existing applications, as well as provide an entry point for the application directory. Through my applications, a user can add an application by its URL, remove an application, and access the application directory.



Left Navbar Link

Once an application is added, an icon and the first 13 characters of the application title appear in the user's left navbar. This links to the application's canvas view.



Canvas View

The application's canvas view is the full-page view of an application, framed by Orkut's top and left navigation elements. With the canvas view, you can take advantage of additional screen space to provide functionality beyond what a user might see in the showcase view. The canvas view can also span multiple pages, increasing the range and depth of features your application can provide.



Showcase View

The Orkut profile page is a representation of a user, summarizing a user's identity, friends, communities, photos and more. On this page, applications have a showcase view that is smaller than the canvas view, but still useful in summarizing application information and providing a means for users to complete simpler tasks.

Since a user's profile is visible to both the user and others, an application can have distinct views based on whether the viewer is the owner of the page. For all viewers, it is often good practice to allow your application's showcase view to serve as a means of self-expression for the user. When the viewer is a friend, the showcase view is an important place to market your application by outlining the core experience your application provides.



Friend Updates

Friend updates are a passive way for a user to view his/her friends' activities (i.e. Orkut's activity stream). As the user's friends update profile information, add videos and photos, or add new applications, the most recent updates appear in the "updates from your friends" section at the user's orkut homepage. Applications can utilize friend updates by posting information to a user's activity stream when a user adds or interacts with the application.



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