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Letters avatars for members without profile photo


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Hello, would like to suggest a feature for UX

The idea is to generate profiles photo for members who dont upload a photo (and they are maaaany), it generate simply based on their first and last name with a random background color. There is a nice plugin for wordpress and many other open source projets :



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We used that service with the coloured geometric shapes in an earlier version. The users really liked it and it just helps to keep track of who is saying something in a long discussion if every user has a distinct image. I wish everyone would upload a picture, but so many just don’t bother. 

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I like this idea.

On first glance, I will be the first to admit that this idea seems totally frivolous and entirely aesthetic in nature.  But .... I still like it.  For a lot of reasons:

  • It gives the user individuality and a unique avatar when they don't voluntarily choose one themselves.  I know that statement is blindingly obvious, but it's the consequences of the individuality (or lack thereof) that really matter: communities are fundamentally based upon people, and people express their "digital persona" in the community through their avatar.  Either they choose an avatar, or the software can pick one for them.  But in the end, it helps distinguish their uniqueness relative to everyone else.  And you're so very unique.  Just like everyone else :)
  • It can encourage users to pick their own avatars.  A lot of users are simply lazy and don't take the time, and some may not even think about it.  This can be a way of reminding them that uploading an avatar is possible and doable.  
  • Color.  Lots and lots of color, which - in its own right - can a metaphorical reflection of the color and breadth of personalities within the site.  Which, in turn, can be a very expressive way of letting new members know that the community includes all sorts of people.  

I'd like to point out that for a user not to upload an avatar, that's a trivial concern on it's own.  Really.  That one gray avatar won't change how members interact or connect on anyone's community.  But ... if you think about how many users and how many communities don't have users uploading avatars from all IPS communities and all IPS clients -- what was once a trivial concern becomes a very large concern.

Finally, I'd like to point out that allowing users to have a default gray avatar speaks to a larger problem of lurking, membership engagement, and new member retention.  I'm not saying that IPS can crack the secret to forum engagement with yellow and orange avatars (if only it were that easy - just imagine what "hot pink" and "sunset"-colored avatars might do!), but it's a colorful step in the right direction.  

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That thread alone made me get one. :)

I'm still using IPB 3.4, while to me uploading an avatar doesn't look like a tricky task at all, I've heard over and over again from members that they just don't know how. Some even send me files asking if I could do it for them. So, another reason why an idea such as this would be good.

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I quickly hacked it as JavaScript version into two of my sites. Here’s one. Just positive comments so far. Now all the users without an uploaded picture have a “face” and are easy to distinguish. And the new, more colorful appearance of the site is a nice addition. ;-) 

Would be nice to see a robust, built-in version in the future. 

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On 11/28/2016 at 8:10 AM, Janyour said:

Looks awesome!

Maybe it can generate a real PNG image instead of texte?

since version 2.0.0 it generates PNG files, they are stored in uploads/n2a. 


On 11/28/2016 at 0:14 PM, media said:

Good job man...

Is there anyway to make 2 letters? and Guest_username always puts number?

I've fixed that, it now will use G for guest. it doesn't do 2 letters either.

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6 hours ago, CodingJungle said:

I've fixed that, it now will use G for guest. it doesn't do 2 letters either.

I have just uploaded. Looks good...

I do not think it is using G for guest, but this is better than using G, the new version is ignoring Guest_ part and using the name that guest picked

Like for Guest_Wholesome using letter W. Like this way better

I have a little problem; my board is in different language and if I have a username start with none English Character, It turns into a broken profile image????
How can I fix those characters? Should I just add/upload a png image for it or something else?

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