Emojis have made messaging and reading text just on the internet or in apps more humanistic, emotional, and effective, which is in line with the formalization of our workplace communication language. The nicest thing about them may simply be their capacity to communicate emotions and feelings. So instead of discussing how awesome emojis are, We’re here to discuss how we can effectively employ emojis in product design to make it more inclusive.
1. Avoid substituting words with emojis
Emojis should never be used in place of words, regardless of how clear or illustrative they may be. Although they greatly improve the experience, words still rule. Emoji alone will completely change the narrative because screen readers only read the alt detailed description of each emoji. This makes it more likely that people will interpret the emoji otherwise than you intended and significantly increases cognitive load because there is no text for them to use as a base message
2. Avoid using emojis too frequently or repeatedly
When there are so many emojis available, we can definitely go overboard with their use. But let’s keep things simple by only utilizing one emoji per text or avoiding them altogether. Keep in mind that screen readers will read out the alt text descriptions that are contained in emojis. Make sure you understand how your text will be read using a screen reader before adding any emojis.
3. Text should always come first, not emojis, before any crucial messages or calls to action
Emoji never appears before a text, always after. Since that words are supreme, they ought to always come first. First, we desire folks to understand the message. Emojis used before any text will make it difficult for screen reader users to read the text. Emojis have been incorporated into various productivity apps, which is entirely OK, however, there may be a problem if the emoji appears before the text. We should approach emojis and symbols differently because of how they function slightly differently.
4. Avoid using emojis in the middle of a phrase
Emojis should only be used at the end of sentences, which is related to the points made above and previously. Screen reader users will be greatly confused if an emoji is placed directly in the center of the message because they will interpret the emoji’s alt text description as a component of the message. Emojis work best to clarify meaning near the conclusion of a statement.
5. Employ emojis that are easy to understand by all audience members
Since not all emojis are created equal in terms of clarity, avoid using confusing ones that can cause people to perceive them differently. Keep in mind that we are working to be as varied and inclusive as we can be and that our users may come from a variety of backgrounds, including those related to age, culture, religion, nationality, and so on. An emoji’s meaning could be very different from what you thought it meant depending on the reader’s background, which could make your message unclear.
Don’t leave it up to your audience to determine which emoji you picked to convey your message. When people don’t have to guess any emojis, they will read your information more quickly.
6. Avoid using emojis
Emojis are fantastic because they have an alt text description included in them that can be read as text by a screen reader, as opposed to emoticons, which are essentially symbols and punctuation that have been altered to read as punctuation. Users of screen readers can interpret these as typos or grammatical problems in your communication. Those who are less accustomed to texting might not instantly recognize “colon right parenthesis” as a smiley face, however, certain blind and low-vision users will undoubtedly recognize it as such.
7. Employ emojis that look good on both light and dark backgrounds
Here, the accessibility rule contrast still holds true. Make sure to evaluate your emojis on both light and dark backgrounds. If an emoji has several different shades, select the color that usually works on both light and dark backgrounds. Avoid using light emojis on light backgrounds, and the opposite is true if an emoji has a light shade. Between the hundreds of thousands of emojis, there ought to be sufficient options for you to pick from if your preferred emoji doesn’t look good on a bright or dark background.
Emojis are a great pleasure to employ in writing; We do it frequently. But, we must consider the users of the product while including emojis in product design. Because they don’t process images and emojis the same way as non-blind users, blind and low visual acuity users depend heavily on the texts and alt text descriptions we include in our products. At this point, we draw the line against using emojis in our products to prevent poor user experiences for a particular group of users. While designing a product, designers must make sure that perhaps the default position is as accessible as feasible and that ALL users have been taken into account.