Version 3.0.0


An avatar is a thumbnail representation of an entity, such as a user or an organization.

Example of two different avatars. One uses a photograph of a woman's face. The other uses a generic image of an abstract design in blue.


The avatar size scale, starting at the smallest size of avatar-size-50 and ending at the largest size of avatar-size-700.


Avatar sizes scale exponentially, based on the Spectrum type scale. These range from size-50 to size-700. An avatar can also be customized to fit appropriately for your context.

Examples of three avatars, each one using a photograph of different people's faces.


Avatars can have a defined image, which is usually uploaded by a user.

Example of an avatar in a disabled state, in grey and unable to be interacted with.


An avatar in a disabled state shows that an avatar exists, but is not available or a user is not active in that circumstance. This can be used to maintain layout continuity and communicate that an avatar may become available or active later.

Table of options#

From the design point of view, each component has a number of options. These options and their names are platform agnostic, and each implementation should adapt these to fit into their framework.

PropertyValuesDefault value
50 / 75 / 100 / 200 / 300 / 400 / 500 / 600 / 700 / custom
image / nothing
is disabled
yes / no


Example of an avatar showing a photograph of a woman's face, in keyboard focus state. There is a blue ring around the avatar.

Keyboard focus#

An avatar can be navigated using a keyboard. The keyboard focus state adds a blue ring to the avatar in focus.

Usage guidelines#

Use generic avatars when image is undefined#

Use branded generic avatars when a user has not set their avatar image. These images are designed to be abstracted from all genders, locales, and cultures.

Key example of how to design generic avatars. Four avatars showing images of abstract shapes, in blue, purple, green, and yellow.
Key example of how to not to design generic avatars. Two gendered silhouettes, one of a man's profile and one of a woman's profile.

Don’t make assumptions and use gendered placeholder avatars.


Apr 06, 20223.0.0
  • Updated all colors to 6.0.0
Apr 05, 20202.0.0
  • Updated size options
  • Added image option
  • Added disabled option
  • Added keyboard focus state
Feb 04, 20201.0.0
  • This component has been added to the website

Design checklist#

All interactive states

Includes all interactive states that are applicable (hover, down, focus, keyboard focus, disabled).

All color themes

Works properly across all four color themes (lightest, light, dark, darkest).

All platform scales

Includes a desktop scale (UWP, macOS, web desktop) and a mobile scale (iOS, Android, web mobile).


Accessible use of color

Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information (WCAG 2.0 1.4.1).


Accessible contrast for text

Text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for small text and at least 3:1 for large text (WCAG 2.0 1.4.3).

Accessible contrast for UI components

Visual information required to identify components and states (except inactive components) has a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 (WCAG 2.1 1.4.11).


Content design

UI language and information design considerations have been incorporated into component design.

Defined options

Includes relevant options (variant, style, size, orientation, optional iconography, decorations, selection, error state, etc.)

Defined behaviors

Includes guidelines for keyboard focus, layout (wrapping, truncation, overflow), animation, interactions, etc.

Usage guidelines

Includes a list of dos and don'ts that highlight best practices and common mistakes.


Writing guidelines

Includes content standards or usage guidelines for how to write or format in-product content for the component.

Internationalization guidelines

Works properly across various locales and includes guidelines for bi-directionality (RTL).

Keyboard interactions

Follows WCAG 2.0 standards for keyboard accessibility guidelines and includes a description of the keyboard interactions.

Design tokens

All design attributes (color, typography, layout, animation, etc.) are available as design tokens.

UI kit

Includes a downloadable XD file that shows multiple options, states, color themes, and platform scales.

Generated UI kit

Includes a downloadable XD file, generated by code using design tokens defined in Spectrum DNA, and shows multiple options, states, color themes, and platform scales.

In Spectrum for Adobe XD plugin

Component is included in the Spectrum for Adobe XD plugin.