Hip emojis, for HipChatters

Atlassian - HipChat

In an age of 140 character message limits, and chat bots for everything, emojis have become an integral part of daily lexicon. From casual texts, to business communication, emojis have been blazing a trail into all messaging platforms. And Atlassian’s HipChat users love emojis. People using the app have made memes, slang phrases, memorable sayings, jokes, and even the faces of famous people and media characters into bite-sized pictograms to use in their daily communication. So when Atlasssian asked First Person to help them not only refresh their emoji library, but also create new ones, we were excited to take on the task.

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User Experience Research

So who exactly are these hip chatters?

Emojis are a great form of communication, but to be successful, people must be not only be able to instantly understand them, but also want to use them. In order to figure out how to improve and create new emojis, we had to learn about HipChat and its users, asking questions like: Who are the HipChat users? What do they use HipChat for? What do they say to each other? And what do they want in order to be a able to communicate more effectively? We conducted a brief survey to find these answers.

We also conducted a heuristic assessment of the HipChat app, where we found specific types of emojis already formed natural groups such as cartoons, memes, and floating heads. We also noticed that searching for an appropriate emoji to use was difficult due to lack of categorization within the app. The biggest observation was noticing an opportunity to introduce the idea of team-based groupings, so the people who use HipChat the most could find and use emojis specific to their needs. With results of the survey and assessment in hand, we worked with Atlassian to define five key user groups to create new icons for: DevOps, Finance, HR, Legal, and IT. But we also created some fun, general emojis for everyday conversation so that the new library wasn’t completely work specific.

The Results

Over 100 new emojis

Using all our gathered knowledge, the First Person team brainstormed puns and sketched out emoji ideas to test with the Atlassian team. We wanted to make sure the emojis we designed were still fun, useable, and personal. We wanted to make sure they were still Hip!

In total, we created over 100 emojis—ranging from work specific, to puns that made people smile. We’re excited to see how more users will respond to them and integrate them into their daily communications on HipChat.

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