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Most of the messaging apps convert symbols into emoji's whenever user type symbols like this :) continuously, is this really a good practice or is considered as a bad user experience

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    Probably depends on the app. I find it immensely annoying when Skype for business does this! – TripeHound Jul 11 '18 at 8:27
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    Any unexpected behaviour regardless of the value is bad UX. I doubt that this behaviour is expected so probably testing is in order. – Okavango Jul 11 '18 at 8:39
  • I would suggest this is audience dependent. Younger/millennial generation probably wouldn't have a problem with this as it's now expected whereas the older generation and business users would find this poor UX. Testing of your target audience will help. – sclarke Jul 11 '18 at 10:33
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Bad UX in my experience if it is done on entry. Not so much because of being an unexpected behaviour but rather because of oftenly lacking error prevention.

For example you want to type :-) but instead tap on a closing bracket and end up with :-(

1) If auto converted in the input, when you recognize your error you hit backspace and the whole emoji is removed - forcing you to enter the whole 3 characters again.

2) If converted on send (when message appears in the public chat) at least user has an opportunity to review the input before posting, to fix the error. But in this way with complex emojis we loose ability of preview an validation before post.

Maybe this why more and more we are seeing emojis being entered using ":smile" with prediction & preview on entry.

It makes it easy to prevent errors, allows preview and moves away from mysterious, somewhat abstract characters to more descriptive words.

  • IIRC (away from PC so can't check), Outlook converts :-) to an emoji as you type the ) but if you backspace it "explodes" the emoji first leaving :- – TripeHound Jul 11 '18 at 15:46

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