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Character designer
Role: Project Lead and illustrator            Client: Entain            Project: Partypoker avatar design

work   -   

new avatars design


Spin Overdrive a new to play.

After being appointed as the Project Lead, I took on the responsibility of managing the avatar project for partypoker new Poker platform. My focus was to lead the team in designing new avatars. However, upon receiving the project, I realised that the company's avatar designs were based solely on internal assumptions and lacked user testing. It became apparent that our approach needed to shift towards a more user-centric model to ensure alignment with player preferences and enhance overall engagement. This necessitated a departure from the previous design direction, emphasising the importance of data-driven decision-making in our creative endeavours.

To gain insights into the existing avatar designs and player expectations, we launched a comprehensive user research initiative. The findings revealed significant differences between our internal assumptions and the actual preferences of our player base. This highlighted the need for a strategic shift in our design approach. By fostering a collaborative environment and leveraging user feedback, We have initiated a new phase to transform the avatars. Ultimately, we were able to enhance the player experience and reinforce the company's brand identity in the process.

My contribution

  • I led a team of five individuals in a project where we conducted thorough UX/UI research to understand player preferences. 

  • Based on our research findings, I led the creation of character personas, ensuring that the avatars were relatable and appealing to players.

  • We developed a holistic concept for the new avatars, focusing on striking a balance between realism and stylization to meet the brand's requirements. 

  • In addition, we redesigned the avatar lines to adopt a more serious tone, moving away from the previous cartoonish style.


Users lacked confidence in the platform and brand due to the playful avatars unsuitable for real-money betting.


Our objectives were to create new avatar designs and concepts that align with user preferences, improve overall user experience and reinforce the brand's identity.


The redesigned avatars received overwhelmingly positive feedback from players, who appreciated the improvement and associated the platform with professionalism and quality.

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work   -   

Based on user feedback, it was discovered that the users preferred avatars that were a mix of seriousness and playfulness. They did not like avatars that were too childlike or cartoonish. This feedback prompted a change in our design strategy, which focused on creating avatars that balanced the seriousness of the game with a touch of lightheartedness, to better resonate with our users.

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We found that combining our creative ideas with the knowledge of our users was crucial for our success. When we were developing a concept for each character, we aimed to unlock new storytelling opportunities within our product. After we presented the results to the product managers, we all agreed on the importance of using user insights and preferences to create avatars that deeply resonate with our audience.

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We conducted a user test on our first character, Hunter the Explorer, with the new design and the feedback was very positive. However, despite the initial user tests indicating a lack of enthusiasm for cartoonish avatars, I have decided to conduct one final user test to confirm our findings.

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We completed a final test on our avatars, this time with Hunter having exaggerated heads like those used by our competitors. The purpose of this test was to compare our unique avatar design, which was specifically created for our brand and product, to the traditional caricature style that is commonly used in the industry.

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After receiving positive feedback on our new design, we worked on improving the character illustrations. To achieve this, we used sharper lines and came up with a more mature and interesting concept.


Our goal was to bring in diversity and representativity, and we conducted tests to develop 20 new characters for the beta phase. Out of these 20 characters, 70% would be cool/serious characters, while the remaining 30% would be fun characters.

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Product Manager: Robert Burton
Manager: Luiz Kim

Project Lead: Carol Michelon (me)
Character designer and Illustrator: Carol Michelon (me) and Shyam Sund
Painting: Shyam Sunder and Nanda
UX/UI: Samantha Heller and Carol Michelon (me)

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