It was recently announced that in 2020 another 117 new emoji will be added to our keyboard, including a man in veil, a woman in tuxedo, extinct animals such as a mammoth and a dodo, and some ordinary household goods like a bucket and a mousetrap. Emojis have become a vital part of our discourse, revolutionising how we communicate along the way. Do we scroll through too many symbols? How can we prevent the keyboard from becoming pointless? Share your thoughts and join the conversation!
In November 2019, emoji-expert Lilian Stolk launched the app Emoji Voter. During her research on emoji, she discovered that this widely used visual language is created by only a handful of people from The Unicode Consortium. The team make the final decision with employees from companies like Apple, Google and Facebook. Companies that already determine so much of our digital life. Imagine Big Tech companies deciding which language we should use: we would find that a ridiculous idea. However with emoji, that’s the case. In an attempt to democratize emoji, Lilian designed Emoji Voter, an app that lets all users vote on which new emoji should be added.
Over the past four months, more than 13,000 people from around the world have made their voices heard. Tonight Lilian presents the results from the Emoji Voter and compares this with the recently announced final choice of The Unicode Consortium. During an interactive session with participants, we look at whether and how we can redesign the keyboard. Would the emoji collection be different if not companies, but users had the choice? And what should the future of the keyboard look like? Let your voice be heard!