Writing about Avatars

For Wednesday’s class, I’ve asked everyone to read three pieces about avatars: “Professional protocol when choosing a Skype avatar“; Chad Renando’s “An avatar analysis: Choosing your profile picture“; and Michelle Venetucci Harvey’s “Design avatars that make sense — and be more inclusive in the process.” These are different types of readings, from message board to researched article. What ideas stand out to you? Think about this both from the point of view of someone choosing an avatar as well as from the point of view of a design student.

To complete the written portion of the homework assignment, add comments to this post that respond to this question: What ideas from these readings stand out to you as you consider choosing an avatar that represents you on the OpenLab, and as you are now officially Communication Design students. Choose two ideas to write about in a comment, and if someone has already written about the idea you wanted to write about, find something to say that adds to what that classmate (or those classmates) have written, rather than just repeating. You can use the @ to refer to someone else in the class ( e.g. you can mention @jrrosen when asking me a question), so please use that feature to refer to previous points or to bring someone back into the conversation. That means that you should expect to come back into the conversation, commenting on at least 2-3 classmates’ ideas.

We haven’t yet discussed our blogging guidelines and goals, which means we also haven’t set when work for our class is due online. Let’s say for this time, you should add your comment with enough time for classmates to comment back by the start of our class–we will adjust that deadline in the near future for upcoming work.


10 Replies to “Writing about Avatars”

  1. The first impression made can disclose information about oneself to the other person in unintentional ways if there is no preparation or standard already set. Hence it is important to put to thought toward the avatar that is placed for the account. For example, in a professional environment, there is a normally an approach of simplicity like displaying your face (Real deal) or initials. Compared to a design student they may choose to represent themselves through interests in art, metaphors or their work such as logos and other graphic design mediums.

  2. Choosing your profile picture is what draws my attention and I think it’s very important for people to know their connections between their avatar and themselves. For instance, for a profession art design, people would pick a image that they like, redesign it and using it as their avatar. This proves that he/she is demonstrating their taste of creativity, art style, prefection and interests. Comparing to a design student, they would choose a avatar that represents their creativity, interest, connection or themselves.

  3. Choosing your avatar is very important. Your avatar will be representing for you online. For example, for professionals, one would pick a businesslike image. This proves that he or she is very serious about their job. For a design student, they would choose an avatar that represents their own interests. For example, I chose a giraffe as my avatar because it’s one of my favorite animals.

  4. Choosing an avatar is important in my opinion. I don’t think an avatar has to be just any character chosen just beacause it has to be. An avatar Has to relate to the type of person you are. I haven’t chosen my avatar officially yet but I know my avatar will most likely correspond with my personality and physical features. Who knows I might even post a picture of myself just to show the resemblance.

  5. I think choosing an avatar is important, it just really depends on the setting. Like if you’re choosing an avatar for a professional setting than maybe choose one that’s appropriate. However, if you really want to express something about you through your avatar then I think you should choose what you want.

    1. Adding to @bribrianna‘s idea that an avatar can indirectly express something about you, any student may choose an avatar with the combination of images and color to represent themselves. However, a design student is able to manipulate images and colors to create themselves an avatar placing both their aesthetics and ideas on display simultaneously.

  6. When choosing an avatar I would agree with @airy it gives a person an idea of who the person that the avatar belongs to is like, however, while in a business or professional profile one would keep either a picture of themselves or an image of something, and this can be different things, for example, lets say a picture is of a bird. The person could like birds, or it’s their pet or specifically just enjoyed the picture of a beautiful bird. An avatar can narrow things down but it can still have many meaning and impressions of a person that one can not guess. This brings to what caught my attention in Chad Renando’s article “An Avatar Analysis: Choosing your profile picture” Where in the ‘How to choose your profile picture’ section of the article he includes the metaphor type of picture, where it can mean many things all at once and still have a person guessing.
    I think that from the point of view of a design student something around these lines would fit for an avatar, I think its because it’s like a game, a person could think one way about you and another can have a different thought, all these ideas are testing a creativity of a person based on a single image.

    1. I agree about how an avatar can have multiple interpretations. I would like to add on to @rcortes that yes it is testing a creativity of a person based off of an image, but it can also impact the way you feel about someone. For example, the person using a small animal like a bird could make them seem more approachable/friendly. In the article “Design avatars that make sense — and be more inclusive in the process” it states using an animal avatar is a “playful element”. As the author writes, animal icons serve its purpose as an avatar (being able to distinguish between other users) while revealing minimal information about the owner’s identity. I find that part of the text interesting and somewhat relevant to why I chose an animal as an avatar.

  7. Choosing an avatar is important because it is the first thing that people will see when viewing someone’s profile. First impressions are very important and this will give people an idea of what you might be like. The avatar should represent you and how you would like to be perceived.

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