When creating UI mock-ups or custom templates for my clients, I often need to portray users in form of avatars. This has always been a rather tedious task, because I find myself faced with the dilemma of either having to commit copyright infringement or handing in something, which I wouldn’t like to have myself.
I guess if UI Design is not your main gig, then you probably don’t own gigabytes worth of stock footage. That being said, cherry picking through Google Image Search for realistic looking profile pics, is one way to do it. Unfortunately, as Murphy’s Law would have it, the best images are often copyrighted to someone else.
A while ago I came across UI Faces, which is a nifty little online tool for creating avatars. The best thing about it is that all the avatars there are 100% real Twitter avatars and are authorized for usage. The tool itself is very easy to handle and gives you instant access to thousands of free realistic avatars for your UI project.
UI Faces also serves their avatars via an API, which can be uiFaces API. The uiFaces API is available for non-commercial use. All API access is over HTTP and all responses are returned as JSON.
So, if you are often finding yourself in the daily toil of finding sample avatars for UI mockups, give this tool a try. I bet you will end up bookmarking it as I have done!