Colorado’s online health-care exchange makes buying insurance convenient—but not necessarily easier. For that, Connect for Health Colorado tapped CodeBaby. The Colorado Springs startup develops online avatars that guide consumers around websites. But this is no generic body; CodeBaby tailors avatars so they match websites’ demographics. How does it work? To find out, we asked CodeBaby to explain how it would build an avatar for 5280 readers. Let us introduce you to Ana.

  • Our avatar is a woman, not only because our readers are 66 percent female, but also because women are considered to be more appealing and credible than men—except when it comes to technical info.
  • Large eyes evoke a stronger connection and, therefore, increase likability. She’s awake and alert; a tired demeanor creates a negative connection.
  • Ana’s voice is light, happy, and confident—but not aggressive. Research and past experience show that aggressiveness in women is viewed as overbearing. In men, though, it’s associated with confidence.
  • Nice clothing suggests “concierge” without making Ana look like a concierge; an avatar’s appearance conveys its expertise while trying to seem approachable.
  • 5280 is funny and engaging, so Ana needs to be funny and engaging. (Yes, we know that sounds cocky—as does using our name in the third person.)