I have an anonymous thread/comment system. Each user is assigned an avatar unique to that thread, and each comment by the same user will have the same avatar. Since each user can be part of multiple threads, it gets difficult when scrolling through to remember which posts were yours.

sample comments screenshot

I am using the red bar on the left at the moment to show that I am the one who began the thread. From there I can deduce that I would be the cyan truck. On other posts, however, there would be no red bar, and no consistent reliable way to know which posts were mine.

How can I make a system where the user can easily spot his/her own posts amid a sea of anonymity?

  • 1
    Make my avatar always have an overlay that says YOU or ME. It's important to still show the truck or whatever under it, because other people might refer to me as the truck and I need to know I'm a truck.
    – Rotem
    Jul 24, 2015 at 10:08

4 Answers 4


If you only want to portray to the user which posts are theirs - the best way to do it would be to stand out against the 'sea of anonymity', by presenting the user with a completely different avatar/icon.

The app "Yik Yak" does this very well. All of the user's posts are highlighted in cyan with an "OP" avatar; whilst everyone else remains anonymous with other random icons assigned to their comments in the thread:

YikYak Anonymous Messageboard App

This means that across different threads, the primary user will always be "OP", whilst everyone else remains anonymous - but their comments can be followed on a thread by following the avatar.


I suggest you don't rely on avatars only to differentiate the users. This is not very reliable and certainly not informative. Maybe you could add the actual username to the second line? Like this:

I am a building
6 minutes ago by you

This might work even if you're looking for complete anonymity, then just add "by you" and don't add names for other entries.

In addition, you could accentuate (put it in bright or bold) or deaccentuate (50% opacity) one's own posts — depending on the context.

  • I quite like the for you idea, that works great Jul 27, 2015 at 1:54

I opted for colour coding the posts using my colour as the background colour and a white avatar, while the rest of the posts remained the inverse. Jane Portman's idea for the 'for you' being appended to my own timestamps was excellent as well.

Comments sample 1

Comments sample 2


It will require a some understanding about the app and time to actually answer this question but I will just try to give some options which might work for you..


  1. Consider the size/color of Icon to differentiate.

  2. Placement of icon can be different for you and for others like in chat apps it's on the opposite side(don't know how your app actually works)

    1. Options like Edit/Delete will be applicable to posts from you only so, you can highlight these in some form (color/icon)
  3. Consider color again, but keep everything in two colors, your color and other's. You're anyway differentiating other users by Icon so color can be same, I guess.

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