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So one thing I always see is a big difference in the size of avatars everywhere. I remember when there was a day, long before mini-profiles and all that jazz, that there was a standard size to avatars. Hell, I remember the size it was 150x200. Now avatars have no standard size and it bloody-well drives me NUTS! Something that I like to do is make avatars and donate them for others to use but with non-standard avatar sizes this has become impossible.

 

Here on the Initiative we have a size that sticks, 250x250. We only changed this from the rectangle version we had before because it was no longer support (however I have figured out a way to get it to work we just aren't going back). That being said, square avatars are only common on resource sites.

 

This thread is primarily to talk about how you feel about avatars, what is your preferred avatar size and how you feel about the increasing size of avatars when mobile devices are becoming more common.

 

Give me your feedback.

 

I don't like the larger sized avatars, 250x250 is even on the larger size but I know it works for this site and I was reclaiming the lost pixels in width by adding them there. I find mini-profiles a little daunting but I will use them with necessary as they are pretty they just feel needlessly complicated for a player to add a place for details that can be better displayed in a different manner.

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I dislike small sized avatars.  On my site the size is 250x400 and that is mostly due to the mini profile we use but it also happens to be a size I like.

 

For the whole months of June and July I was using my iPad to visit sites because I didn't have a computer that worked and the large size of the avatar on my site wasn't a problem.  Even on my phone it wasn't a problem because I was never on the full version of the site on my phone, I was always on the mobile version of the site.  And the mini profile and stuff doesn't show on the mobile version of jcink.  A tiny version of the avatar and the account name do but not like what would show on a computer.

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I have a love/hate relationship with avatars! On one hand, I really don't mind them so long as they are clean and not overly flashy. If that is the case, then the size doesn't seem to phase me too much.

 

But if they're big with lots of movement, then I don't like them. I also don't like them if they become too much of a focus on the site as well, as in "I can't post unless I have the right avatar." Okay. I get that it helps to have a visual, but your post is what is most important to me so hearing that overmuch grates on my nerves. I also don't want to hear a bunch of comments and talk about how attractive your playby is because that's just not something I can really get on board with. That's not the point of the RP.

 

On my sites, the avatars tend to remain a width of 250 pixels. The height as varied from 250 pixels to 400 pixels. I also like having different ways to display the mini-profile- either on top of the post, or on the side of it. In that case, two different avatar sizes are used. (Usually square for on top, rectangular on the side.)

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I really don't like and find them almost migraine inducing when they are animated (main avatar image) and the speed of the frames is super fast.

The same goes for signatures too. Lots of movement and the signature is three times bigger than the written post... AND especially when it's on every post in the thread >.<  

 

Having said that, I've had 200 x 250 to 250 x 400. Anything wider than 250px tends to intrude into the actual post.

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The size I am used to is 100 x 100px, or smaller, in some cases. This large avatar trend kind of crept up on me. I don't see the point in having complicated mini profiles which have hidden stuff beneath them when you hover on them. I find such things tend to confuse people who don't know a lot about code. A site I was on years ago had avatars where you could stack three on top of each other. That was quite fun, but there was a tendency for people on the site to get larger and larger signatures which would stretch the screen and slow down loading time. (Given that was in the days before broad band was common and dial up was what most internet access used, it did get excessive.) I like signatures because they personalize your post, and the same with avatars but if they are too big it starts to be a distraction. Moving gifs are an annoyance and I won't have them on board. They can trigger epilepsy so people shouldn't really use them and they draw your eye away from the text. One site I was on was a social network type of website and I wish there'd been a mute button when loads of people started using animated avatars and pictures.

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On my site our avatars are 120x120. I think that's a comfortable size that allows people to show off cool stuff without being too massive. 

 

I'll also admit I'm not super fond of the massive avatar trend. It's almost always coupled with a use of hover (because they can't fit the important details in easily otherwise). And to me it says people are way more focused on graphics than the actual writing. Plus I find in many cases the wider avatars cuts into actual post space so instead of having 150px width for postbit, they have 260px. Then they need to drop the post space from say 800px to 700px to accommodate the wider avatars. (I'm basing this on skin creation for a 1024px screen width. It'd be slightly different if they designed for a 1366px or larger width. But then that gets into knowing which screen sizes are most commonly used.) 

 

Like Gotham's Reckoning mentioned, I'm really don't like hearing people say they need the perfect avatar (or playby in many cases) to post. If they can't post because they don't have a pretty picture to look at then they're in this for the wrong reason. It isn't about the graphics. If this has become about the graphics (and they can't post without the picture of their character) then is someone really writing a character or are they writing that actor/actress/model (playing a role) instead? 

 

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On my site, we enforce a 250 x 250 standard, mostly because we have the avatars coded to appear as circles. The uploaded avatar has to be a perfect square in order to appear not-wonky. If someone uploads a non-250x250 av, myself or my co-admin will find the same image used and crop it to be a square and replace the current avatar. Or I'll just be he sly dog I am and make them a brand new one at the right size. #sorrynotsorry lol 

 

There's no hover effects on our avs (ew hover effect) and there's not a heavy graphics presence; we just like how the size works with our layout. 

Edited by Gina
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@RPGWriter It's not a firefox issue as I use Firefox pretty much exclusively. If you continue to have problems let me know in the Staff Contact Center. It does load a lot of stuff via Ajax and JQuery though so you may want to check your settings.

 

Back on topic. I'm still in love with avatars of the 250x250 size. I think it's my perfect size at this point.

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I'm a fan of the long rectangular avs. 200x400 is my preferred avatar size. But, that said, I'm more of a visual person. I can work without an image if I need to, or even a small one, but I guess that makes me pretty shallow in that I find it easier to write my character if there's a solid visual of them staring me in the face as I'm writing a post. Though, once I've got that image up there, I rarely, if ever, end up changing it out.

 

And I LOVE avatars with hovers. Nothing super complex, where important info is hidden underneath the hover, but a fun little blurb or quote or stats or whatnot in a cute effect? That's my jam. I think a lot of that gets overdone, though. Keep it simple, keep it discreet, and don't hide important information under the hover and you're fine.

 

I don't like large gifs in avatars, though. A small one that's out of the way in the mini profile is fine - we use them on my site at the top of the mini profile. But I've seen sites where they have 3+ gif avatars floating around each of their posts and it drives me nuts. It's unnecessary. 

 

In regards to mobile viewing, I pretty much only rp on my computer. I have sausage fingers and terrible eyes, so I hate looking at things or writing them on my phone. And my tablet is usually large enough so that it's a non-issue, and includes an actual keyboard. That said, I am interested in seeing how other sites tackle the avatar issue on mobile now and will probably look into it in my spare time. Many of my members probably do stuff on mobile, so it's an issue I'll have to start thinking about!

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I personally like the hover avatars between the sizes of 200x300 and 250x350. I don't like animated gifs for the large image, but I don't mind them for a smaller (150x150 max) image inside the hover. I also don't like avatars that are made up of more than 2 images. It's unnecessary to have more than 2 images, and, as a few people have mentioned, is not the point of a role-playing game. Sure, graphics are nice and pretty to look at, but they shouldn't be the focus. The writing should.

 

I generally like to put a medium amount of info inside the hover. A character quote or something similar, their age, marital status, authored by, and linkage to at least their character's application and plotter/shipper. The most fields I've had inside a hover avatar were 12, including the number of posts and points boxes.

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With signatures being less common nowadays, I like my avatars large. That and, at least on my own site, they have to be large enough to hide some information behind them for the mini-profile. I don't have a preference though - I'll use 100x100 if I have to. It really depends on the vibe of the site, too, because sometimes 150x150 avatars look great, especially with signatures, and other times they feel too small if they're the sole image on your post. But then I've just gotten used to the large ones, so maybe they're not too small and I just like a lot of colors everywhere lol.

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