Avatars: A How-Not-To Guide
The humble avatar; a thumbnail that reflects you or your brand online. It’s the perfect opportunity to create a lasting impression of your brand. So, why does everyone’s suck? In this article, I aim to show you how not to create the perfect avatar. Let’s start with #5.
#5: Eight-bit avatars
Reminiscing back to the ‘80s, we have this semi-accurate pixellated representation of your face. When I say “accurate”, I mean “unless your face is comprised of 90° angles, it’s about as accurate as using your arm as a ruler”, of course. Unfortunately, it’s been used and overused (and then some), and for that reason, it earns a place in my list.
#4: Group shots
Well hi there, old school friend. Although I do vaguely remember our wacky hijinks, I’m unable to place a face to your name. Not to worry, though; you’ve got a profile picture. I’ll identify you through that! Oh, wait. Which one are you? I don’t know, because you took a group photo. Thanks(!)
(For those wondering, the person in this offending profile is on the top right.)
#3: That damn Twitter egg
If you’re going to join a social network, the first thing you should do is make sure you have an avatar, otherwise the first thing I do when you follow me (and a few thousand others) is block you.
Seriously, it’s not hard. Just Photoshop things on your face.
#2: Filtered Beyond Oblivion
Loved by hipsters and amateur photographers, the
InstacrapInstagram app allows anyone to take a picture with their iPhone and pretend they know what those fancy buttons do. What really bugs me, though, is when the avatar isn’t a picture of them. The avatar on the right is for my hipster clock, so it’s okay.
Giving false hope to people everywhere, these spam accounts use scantily-clad women to sell their quacksalver—actually, I don’t have a problem with this.
(Photo credit: @healthrecipes2)