A key design principle of the Oracle Alta UI is to engage users with more visual content. Oracle Alta UI designs use a sound usability principle called redundancy cue, in which a UI element repeats another on the page to help users recognize and process information more quickly. The Oracle Alta UI will often augment object information with an insignia as a redundancy cue. Examples of this appear in the Data Grids pattern, where an image signifies the object type, such as a PDF. The image is accompanied by descriptive information, such as a document name, author, file size, format, and so forth.

An avatar is used as a redundancy cue in the presentation of contact information for a person or a group representing persons. An avatar is typically a photograph of the person. Any service that supports a personalization feature could allow users to provide any personal representation as their avatar.


There is a set of industry practices for avatar use. Generally, the avatar is a personalized image. If the user chooses to not provide an image for the avatar, or one is not otherwise provided to the service, then the person's first and last name initials are used. In cases of other given names, the following heuristics are given.

First name, Last name First and last significant initial: FL
First name, Hyphenated-Last name First and last significant initial: FL
First name or Last name only First or last significant initial only: F or L
First name, Multiple Middle, Last name First and last significant initial: FL


The following image provides a depiction of avatars and initials used in a list.

Depiction of avatars used in a list

An avatar may also appear when contact information pertains to more than one person, such as a group, department, or organization. Either a custom image or a placeholder image is used.

The following heuristics are given for the use of a custom image or placeholder image for individuals and groups.

  Avatar Initials Placeholder Image
Person Image exists Yes No No
Person Image unavailable No Yes No
Group Image of persons exists Yes No No
Group Image of persons unavailable No No Yes

The following image shows examples of custom and placeholder avatars for a group.

Example usages of avatars throughout the UI


Avatars may appear in any number of places. The key is for the same image, initials, or placeholder to appear for a given object instance throughout the service. The size of the avatar may vary. The following images show example uses of avatars.

Example usages of avatars throughout the UI