The Director of Android Emojis at Google is Jennifer Daniel who decides how the emojis will look like and what can make it look more ‘Googley’.
Jennifer Daniel: Meet the master of Google’s emojis!
Jennifer Daniel is the Director of Android Emojis at the tech giant Google, or to be more accurate, the company’s emoji interpreter. However, she doesn’t actually come up with new emojis, but she designs the one’s that has been selected. She is the one who decides how the emojis will look like and what can make it look more ‘Googley’. She told CNBC, “I think every emoji is an extension of the brand.”
Jennifer’s design process is very detail-oriented and broad. The question of “what lines from a frisbee will make it feel like it’s spinning and moving forward?” specifies the highly detailed thought process that goes behind the emoji designs. A group that includes the biggest tech companies like Google, Facebook, Huawei, and Netflix known as ‘the Unicode Consortium’, chooses the actual content and then votes for the fresh emojis every year. You should know that anyone can submit an emoji proposal.
Same Emojis on Different Platforms
As per Jennifer, the confusion between the same emoji on different platforms occurs due to companies like Apple and Google hardly communicate on maintaining a standard interpretation. She said, “We’re both on the Unicode subcommittee for emoji, but those discussions are largely about content, experience, and file-size, not design.” For instance, the different rendition of the ‘dizzy eyes’ emoji creates a lot of confusion.
The Difference in Designs
Jennifer Daniel said, “Apple really fetishizes design so all of its emojis are highly rendered and feel like real objects. At Google, we want you to smile when you think of our products. Our emojis are more cartoonish. Samsung’s are more heavily influenced by anime.”
According to Jennifer, the users more than anything else, request biracial couple emoji. Although in theory, Unicode’s list has a gender-less ‘person’ emoji, platforms are not able to support it yet as if complex UX and file-size problems. However, it is possible to technically make every human emoji available in ‘man’, ‘woman’, and ‘person’ with customization skin tones, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t look clumsy without requiring huge memory space.
What is the future of Emojis?
Jennifer Daniel is very hopeful for the way emojis will customize in the future. In the future, users will be able to change the colour and direction of any emoji. For instance, the ‘ocean wave’ emoji could be turned red to signify menstruation. She said, “It won’t just be about creating new emojis, it will be about creating experiences about how to interact with those emojis.”
Previously, Jennifer was working as a graphics editor at New York Times. Her favorite emoji is the ‘cowboy’ and her least favorite is the ‘hug’ emoji as it is portrayed differently across platforms. In her words, “If the hands are too far then they look like feet. If they’re too close it looks like they’re going to grope you.”