In 2006, I joined the Orkut team and my first foray into the world of social technology. It was also my first experience with an application with many millions of users and billions of page views each week.

Before Twitter or Facebook's wall, Orkut users were posting millions of messages to each other's scrapbooks. As the UX designer, my goals were to encourage new forms of communication and engagement for users around the world. I was responsible for the concept and design for homepage activity streams, feed aggregation, notifications, polls, video posting, enhanced scrapbooks, and many others.

Privacy was another area I where I advocated change. The network was so popular in Brazil that profiles were essentially public. Adding effective privacy controls was essential for network's future.

At the same time, I also engaged in a major visual redesign of the entire site with Cuban Council. It was a major feat to realize a new design with external vendors, many internal stakeholders, millions of passionate users, and a development team half the world away.

In UX, it's known that any major change to a beloved system brings the risk of a passionate response from users. We tested amongst three nationalities across three continents to find the most appropriate design. Personalized themes was an important component designed to make the change a positive experience.

Today, some of the concepts around activity streams and feeds we pioneered in Orkut have influenced a more advanced, refined Google Buzz.