Visualizing Planetary's emoji usage

This Designer Made a Graph About Emoji: What Happened Next Was…

Published by Vince Joy on September 02, 2016

For one week in August I charted the way our team uses emoji in Slack.

Going in to the project, I had a handful of notions about what I might find: I figured we probably 👋 a few times a day, near the end and the beginning, especially on Monday and Friday. I thought there’d be a lot of 👍, which can be a quick way to approve small design changes. I wondered if we’d use 😄 more on Friday than on Monday.

Here are the top ten emojis used that week, arranged by hour from 8:00am EST, Monday, August 1st, through 8:00pm Friday, August 5th, 2016.

I certainly didn’t expect 🙂 to show up at № 1 — mostly because :slightly_smiling_face: is a long string to type, even when you’re trying to communicate a very specifically slight feeling of happiness — but it turns out that it’s the face that Slack generates when you type :).

The second big surprise was @josh running away with the № 3 most popular emoji by himself 😄.

As it always happens when the data starts coming in, the study of our behavior began to change our behavior. We began to become self-conscious about which emojis we used — had we used 👏 too many times? Was there a less-creepy smiling face? How come @valdis didn’t have any emojis in the top five? Did he only use too-cool-for-school hipster emojis? Shouldn’t we have more ❤️s?

In observing this, we’ve probably raised more questions than we’ve answered. For a full week we couldn’t help but think about how we used these tiny jaundiced faces (and hands) to communicate much more complex ideas.

And now we’re back to normal 🤓.

👋

Recent Posts

Bringing your remote team closer

Published by Joshua Gross on October 26, 2016

Airframe 2.x & Why We Open Source Our Tools

Published by Matthew Ström on October 20, 2016

Design Better Data Tables

Published by Matthew Ström on August 15, 2016

Want to read more? See all our posts on Medium →