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I'm currently polishing an application I have built using fontawesome. Due to fontawesome's pretty huge (nearly 2 MB with the more accessible SVG + JS Version) footprint, I'm considering to utilize emoji instead. These are already on every machine and users should be used to them.

I think it might be a good idea since using icons the users already associate with their meaning might make it easier for them to quickly understand what a button does, even without reading the associated text. This would be especially good for illiterate, visually impaired or dyslexic users.

There still is the text for screen reader users and the icons are wrapped inside elements that are hidden from them.

The only caveat I can come up with is that Apple doesn't allow apps that use emoji in their interface sometimes. However this application is company internal and will never show up on any app store so I don't think this would be an issue.

As far as I can tell, all users have OSes that support emoji.

Is there anything I'm missing?

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    It is my belief that the quiet among us consider emojis to be the product of a childish generation and look upon such apps with disdain. – Rob Apr 18 at 11:06
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    @Rob You are correct in that belief. I have a huge dislike against emoji. However, in the company I work for, emojis are used super commonly and I think I'm alone in being one of the quiet few. – DysphoricUnicorn Apr 18 at 11:19
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    I feel that emoji's can be a good alternative for icons if the application allows it. A business application with emoji-icons will look childish, but a game for example can make it work in some cases. – Martijn Vissers Apr 18 at 13:46
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    Tempted to type my answer in emojis... 🧐🤓🤔 – aly.i.ux Apr 18 at 14:33
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    Plus using emojis in place of icons is actually quite complicated from a technical standpoint and might actually represent a much larger payload size than FA at the end of the day. If performance is your main concern find a way to only include a subset of FA. – Bryce Howitson Apr 20 at 4:05
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It just is ❌ a 👍️ 💡. 👀 👇️:

  • your application will 👀 unprofessional ➕, as someone 👈️ out, 🧒-ish;
  • consider users with older systems or machines - they will ❌ be able to 👀 your emojis ➕ might get 😕;
  • often 👥 will misinterpret emojis that their peers 📦️➡️ to ➡️👥. ➡️👤 do ❌ 🙏 to have a sudden misunderstanding between 🆗 ➕ apparently also 🆗 emoji like this: 🙆;
  • some emojis take a 🥈 to guess the meaning of, as opposed to the actual text which users 🥫 just 👤📖;
  • ➕ finally, they are just annoying to 👤📖 in a non-informal text message environment.

🔮 this helps. 😄

PS: here is the actual text without emojis:

It just is not a good idea. See below:

  • your application will look unprofessional and, as someone pointed out, child-ish;
  • consider users with older systems or machines - they will not be able to see your emojis and might get confused;
  • often people will misinterpret emojis that their peers send to them. You do not want to have a sudden misunderstanding between OK and apparently also OK emoji like this: Face with OK Gesture;
  • some emojis take a second to guess the meaning of, as opposed to the actual text which users can just read;
  • and finally, they are just annoying to read in a non-informal text message environment.

Hope this helps. smile

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