Emojis, stickers & Reactions for kids in Live Chat
It’s 2020 & we all know how it’s going! Well at Byjus, we designers are working from home & since its an ed-tech Company, the growth has boosted, so does our work as Designers.
Three months of lockdown, I with my amazing team (Mohijeet Das, Akilan MR) collaborated & worked on this much important challenge of efficiently shifting the offline experience of school into a digital one for kids. In all the work we found our play when we worked on “Chat Feature” in our project, wherein the best part was to brainstorm on “Emojis, Stickers & Reactions ”.
We wanted to make our chat rich, dynamic, fun & Interactive because our users are KIDS, & we also want to provide them with some fun amidst long study sessions !!!
Our Chat feature had to be designed in a Mobile Landscape Webview. In the below Figure, Left Part Session(A) is where the tutor is taking the session and the Right part Chat (B) is where Kids can chat with peers & tutor.
The challenge was how can we make it more interactive and make our tutors more visible in a group of 20+ kids chatting.
We had a brief UX brainstorming on how to make our session interactive, where one idea was to include “Stickers, Reactions & Emojis”. They are all the ways to visually communicate feelings & Emotions in a digital platform & to connect well.
In this blog, we will primarily focus on how we chose Stickers, reactions and emojis for Kids and Tutors to increase Interactions during the class.
Before we move ahead, let’s quickly learn about Stickers, Reactions & Emojis.
The stickers provide the ability to express user’s emotions visually. This includes emotions that are expressed better visually
Example from Messenger:
Reactions are the ability to react to an individual message or live content/videos with specific reaction or emotion in a lightweight way. Emotions like appreciation, acknowledgement, happiness, confusion etc. can be expressed quickly through reactions
Example of Reactions from Linkedin:
Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages. Some examples of emoji are 😃, 🧘🏻♂️, 🌍, 🍞, 🚗, 📞, 🎉, ♥️, and 🏁.
Our Purpose was clear. We wanted to use Stickers, Emojis & Reactions in Chat screens keeping the following points in mind:
- Providing Stickers to students that can help communicate thoughts better in some specific situation like Good Morning, or Hello at the beginning of the class.
- For devices like Mobile, Chat Interface is not that easy to use since we have Live Class and chat happening simultaneously in a screen. We wanted to keep it as simple to use as possible.
- Reduce the Cognitive load where Student or Tutor have to read every text be it Good Morning/Hello/Very nice from 20+ students. Our brain processes visual at a much faster rate than text, as a matter of fact, it’s approximately 90% faster. Consuming visual info 60,000 times faster than text.
Collating & Grouping all User Emotions During an Ongoing Online Class
Step 1: Collating
To begin with, we brainstormed on all the Emotions a student can go throughout the class. How we did that in lockdown? Find any kid and talk to them about this, can be your siblings, neighbours etc. Believe me, they will love to tell you the feelings in there own ways. Also if you don’t find kids, Imagine yourself in a class & ask other people, and think of all the different feelings you or they had in own school times.
In a situation where your teacher is taking this long lecture, without a break or variation in her pitch and is going on and on, what did you feel? Lost, Confused, Angry, Happy?
Or in a situation, where a teacher appreciated you or you gave an answer first in a class, what emotions you felt? Cool, Proud, Excited or Nerdy?
Step 2: Grouping all above Emotions into Positive, Negative & Neutral Emotions
Below activity helped us identifying the student moods and in what mood they might share what emoji.
For example, Student feels proud because Teacher appreciated him/her, might share 😎 (proud, smart) emoji.
Or student wants to appreciate some other student’s idea, might share 👏🏼 (clap) emoji
So here we found all our emojis according to the moods of Students. We did not go forward with the Negative Moods Emojis, because these are kids, and we didn’t want them to learn or feel emotions like anger, disgust etc.
But still, we wanted them to share their disappointment, so we put forward neutral moods. For example, kids getting bored in class might feel a range of emotions like anger😡 or sad😢 but we give them neutral emoji such as sleepy😴🥱 which is ok to feel & they can share it and still say they are finding the class boring.
Brainstorming on User Emotions to find out Quick Reactions on Ongoing Class
Next was going through initial emotions and picking some quick reactions that Students can share during the ongoing class.
For example, In Instagram how in a live video, we can just share reactions which give a sense of participation & excitement.
In the above scenarios, we went forward with 1, 3,4 and 5.
The reason we left 6 (Confused/Doubt) was that this needed Doubt or Confusion on something to be more prominent to be shared and noticed by other students and Tutor. So we decided to make it a Sticker rather than just a Reaction.
The reason we left 2(Bored/Sleepy) was, it wasn't fulfilling the purpose to show interaction and excitement. We had that in Emojis where Students can still share their feelings in Chat.
Brainstorming on User Emotions to find out Stickers for Ongoing Class for both Student and Tutor
We wanted to reduce the time spent in typing every sentence. So stickers were one way to reduce some redundant texts and share the same just with one click. So, for us, first Stickers helped focus more time on class and second it’s more interactive & playful for Students to use.
Here we focused on how to chose Stickers for Kids and Tutors by brainstorming on the hypothetical scenarios, on when and why a Student or Tutor would be sharing a sticker for communication. Also, covering the scenarios where what would a Student do in case Stickers are not there.
What Can Be the Student Scenarios🤔
From the student side, we needed to decide on both what Stickers or Emojis to give them to use while keeping them interactive and maintaining the decorum of the class.
What Can Be the Tutor Scenarios🤔
Students need to be encouraged while in an online class. So to keep them motivated we chose Stickers from Tutor Side which can emotionally drive Students to be interactive in class. (The Statements in below figure convey the Sticker Text)
So finally the UX of Stickers and Emojis is done, and it in the Visual Design phase. A small UX process for small things even to decide a sticker or emoji goes a long way to help product experience get better, and that is what we aim for. For kids to have FUN while they are studying in these Covid Times 😊.
Thank you for Reading.