This blog post is about using emojis in designing user interfaces, I know it’s a bit off topic for this publication, but I just thought I will share my experience with using emojis in some of the designs that we did for Zagl.
The first experience I had with using emojis in user interface design is when I was designing the first version of the app, basically it was the product tour pages which will be displayed when the user first opens the app, kind of explaining what the app is all about.
It’s a set of three screens and I used an emoji as the hero element in each of these screens. I kind of liked the outcome but unfortunately I had to remove it for two different reasons:
- when we submitted it to the App Store, the review team rejected it stating that the emojis are Apple’s copyrighted material and we are not supposed to use it in the preview screenshots.
- On Android, the emojis were not looking as good as we wanted them to be. The emojis were looking too washed out and terrible.
These factors are something to be aware of when you’re using emojis in your design, but you will probably be fine if you’re using them on print media, but still remember it’s Apple’s copyrighted material.
Another experienced I had with using emojis for design was in the latest version of the website, it is live at the moment and you can see the emojis in action at www.zagl.io. I’ll remove them soon, but you can checkout the screenshot below:
The problem with this is pretty much the same as above, in addition to the fact that as this is a website you have also got Windows in the mix alongside Apple and Android devices.
I have to admit that the emojis are totally unsexy in Windows. I have attached a screenshot of how it looks on Windows and as you could guess it’s not pretty.
Emojis are really cool and I totally believe that they have got a place in designing modern interfaces. They are extremely convenient and you don’t really have to attach any type of additional assets as they are rendered natively by the operating system.
While I have suggested the difference in appearance in different operating systems as a downside, it could also be an advantage if you would like to bring the native feel of the user’s operating system. Right now the only problem is that Android and Windows have done a lousy job of designing these emojis.
Before I wrap this up, I would also like to remind you that it’s not just Apple, Android and Windows, different spin-ups of Android have got their own emoji designs. For example, the emojis look different on Samsung and LG devices as well.
To summarise, emojis are not usable as design elements yet, let’s see what the future holds for them