My characters are always up to something. Like this little guy, created as a vector graphic so that he can scale up and down without distortion, and transfer easily across different surfaces and screens.
But he and his cohorts are not just having fun. They’re hard at work, motivating people. When people interact with characters that exhibit human-like behaviour—gestures, expressions, reactions—they relate more easily and form an emotional bond. They also remember the experience a lot longer, and with genuine affection. This helps to counter the fear and intimidation that many users feel when dealing with technology, and ensures higher levels of engagement. Characters are very helpful for onboarding new users and retaining their interest and loyalty over time. They can make a faceless corporation or app feel like your new best friend. No matter what your age. This is known as Affective IxD Design. (Not to be confused with Effective…)
Over the past 17 years, I’ve designed many visual systems and a ton of brand identities. I’ve worked as an art director, a digital graphic designer, a web designer, and an illustrator. I started my own web/graphics company, Dolce Design, in my second year of college and just kept going. I also blog about wearables.
I also speak on the subject of digital design, wearables and character design at conferences and industry gatherings. Sometimes with unanticipated consequences. (See: The (Chocolate) Ripple Effect of Public Speaking.)