The Old and New default avatars


I’ve been using Twitter for about a year and a half now, and one thing that has always bugged me was the gruesome default avatar assigned to people who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to upload a photo. I have remarked that they shouldn’t let you send any tweets until you upload some kind of avatar.

The old one was obviously just a lowercase o and a zero, separated by an underscore, which form a sort of creepy ASCII face, maybe squinting. The new is a lovely bird, Twitter’s brand mascot and symbol.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I’m a total sucker for icons, symbols, avatars, and marks. Although I generally don’t have the patience to design desktop icons, I appreciate how they can change the entire mood or feeling about an application or document with just a subtle glance. And I’m not the only one; we, as humans, recognise shape and colour well before we actually put together text and numerals. In other words, I know a bird means Twitter, I know that Illustrator is yellow, and I know Safari is round.

On a side note, Twitter has been dramatically improving their interface in recent months and although I use Tweetie for my desktop tweeting, I have to give props to their design team for cleaning up that mess.

via Mashable »