Could Avatars be useful in the business environment?
These representations allow for the user to create a sense of connection with the customer to provide better communication, feedback, and service in general. A business that has an avatar for example, can use it as a guide for its customers in a website. The customer might feel like there is some sort of interaction and customized assistance. Rather than reading instructions, the customer feels like he is being guided. I remember using avatars when working on Prezi, an open-source presentation software similar to PowerPoint. When using Prezi in a group project, we could work simultaneously on the same project with different computers. Each group-member would have an avatar and we were able to see on which part of the project each of us was working. In that sense, avatars also give a sense of shared space.
In the business environment, the sense of shared space can also be useful to create an effective virtual environment between customers and businesses, or even between employees. Having an avatar can be an expression of oneself that can be associated with a person’s preference for customization. The best example I can think of is when working in a project similar to the one I mentioned before. In a business it can give co-workers a sense of equality, interaction, shared space and a more realistic virtual working environment. This could be very effective for members of a team who are working from different locations. I think avatars humanize interactions and brings people together in the virtual world.
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