Behind in-meeting emoji in Meet

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Carolien Postma is used to testing and retesting (and retesting) new features. She’s a user experience (UX) researcher at Google, a role she describes as “making sure that whatever we build and create, that it actually creates value for our users and that it actually does what our users need it to do.”

Over the past nine months, she’s been part of the team testing the upcoming emoji reactions for Google Meet. “This release was about giving people an easy way to express their feelings and feedback in a way that helped everyone in a call feel more connected,” Carolien says. “This was a fun one, too, because it’s something I can point to that makes my work tangible!”

While the work was certainly fun, it was also important: Emoji help teams celebrate wins and offer support, and it’s important they represent everyone. Because of this, there were plenty of research hours behind the project. Here are a few of the things Carolien and her fellow UX researchers on the team investigated, and how this work turned up in the final designs.

Emoji for all.

Carolien and her team worked hard to ensure choosing the right emoji was seamless. “We wanted to include emoji that are universally understood, and mean the same or similar things across cultures,” Carolien says. Because other Google products use emoji and emoji reactions, they were able to take a look at this research to inform the new feature. You’ll see that the experience is configured in a way that lets people easily give a thumbs up, clap or heart.

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