Sunrise is an app that emails you a daily digest of your upcoming day. The team is a couple of ex-Foursquarers and were inspired by Timehop, both of which I love for their attention to small design details. One thing I appreciated from their emails on the first morning was their use of an avatar to bring attention to their email:

I emailed the team and it turns out this avatar is supplied from Gravatar. This is how Sparrow works on both iOS and OS X. That’s cool, for the extremely small, yet probably influential user-base Sparrow has, but what about other email clients?

Gmail uses avatars too, but not in the list view, just in the email detail. If you use Google Apps to manage your email account, just open up Gmail, head to Settings > General > My Picture. There you can set your avatar for all other Gmail users to see.

Take a look through your email and some big brands have these set correctly, but a shocking amount don’t. Neither of these are likely to dramatically increase engagement, but are nice polish touches that can give a little extra push to help strengthen your brand.

  • Todd Peterson

    Hi Matt,

    I can’t seem to find a your “contact us” or email address on here.

    My name is Todd Peterson. I’d like to contact you about your design work.

    If you could email me at:

    Thanks a bunch!