These characters were a collaborative project between a talented illustrator, a talented designer, and our team.Select a color
Anonymity is paramount to what we do at Invisible Network, both to protect job seeker's privacy, and also to reduce bias. We never display names or photos, and do our best to remove anything that could be personally identifiable from job seeker profiles.
In the early days, we had trouble communicating that it was a list of people, not jobs, that users were looking at. To alleviate this, we used a stripped down default avatar, representing that there was a person behind each profile, and little else. It wasn't perfect.
About the project
The goal was to create fun and unique characters to represent the individuals on our site, without implying gender, age, race/ethnicitiy, or anything else that could trigger unconscious bias.
We enlisted the help of two talented designers, and started with explorations into non-distinct shapes, office ghosts, and business casual monsters. After a few iterations, we settled upon a mix of monsters, aliens, and other creatures. We think they're just delightful.
To see them in the wild, head on over to the Job Seekers List.
Meet the designers
This was a fun project and a great character design challenge. In the brief, we talked about creating a cast of characters that feel unique but also relatable to the audience. For me, I drew inspiration from some of my favorite video games and childhood toys where I could look at a little avatar and say, "that one's me!" without having to assign gender stereotypes.
Replacing the sterile, default avatar with a series of customizable characters represented an interesting design challenge. We wanted to allow job seekers to express themselves without betraying their identities, and I couldn't be happier with the result; a delightful set of "creatures" that injects some much-needed personality into the site.