What's the problem?

In the UK, there are currently more than two million people living with sight loss and they often struggle to use emojis due to their complex detail and the user interface when selecting them. So ahead of this year’s World Emoji Day (Wednesday 17th July), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and creative agency We Are Social, have announced a partnership that aims to make emojis more accessible to the visually impared.

Emojis are hard to use for blind people

Working it out

We Are Social and the RNIB kicked off the project with a one day workshop which helped both organisations understand the design elements of emojis and how they appear to those who are visually impared. As a result of the session, the joint creative teams looked to tackle these issues by designing a prototype for eight of the most-used emojis, along with a work-in-progress style guide to help address key issues such as colour, contrast and shading.

Workshop between We Are Social and the Royal National Institute of Blind People

What's next?

The newly designed set of new emojis will undergo user testing at the RNIB’s facility in Peterborough, with a view to evolving and improving the end designs based on user feedback. Once the designs have been tested and finalised, the RNIB and We Are Social will seek to expand the selection by petitioning tech developers and Unicode - the body responsible for overseeing emojis - to adopt the new designs into the emoji dictionary as standard, and reassess how emojis are categorised and searched for on their devices.

Example designs from the workshop

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