11 Scientific and Practical Reasons Why Emojis Make for Great Feedback Channels
Fun fact: Emojis were, actually, invented in 1999 by a Japanese engineer, Shigetaka Kurita, who was a team working on NTT DoCoMo's i-mode mobile Internet platform. Now almost two decades later, they've become a cornerstone of how we communicated in the digital age.
But, did you know that emojis represent one of the best, most effective feedback tools anyone—be it in marketing, engineering, or even the arts—can use? Well, this is absolutely true, and science is here to back it up.
Here are some reasons why people love emojis, and why they're so good to use as a means to garner feedback from.
1. People Like Faces
The perennial appeal of emojis is that they mirror us and our everyday doings and happenings. To anyone who's ever used one, this should come as no surprise.
Again, the fact of the matter is this: People prefer faces to text. This, too, has been scientifically backed time and time again. There's something about the human-quality of emojis that make people more keen on using them than, say, typing-out a whole sentence.
Next time you're considering doing a survey, public or otherwise, think about creating an emoji key for people to respond with.
2. A Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words
As the old adage goes: A Picture's worth a thousand words. And what more are emojis than tongue-in-cheek pictographs available to use at our fingertips?
Studies show that people are not only more drawn to visual representations than text ones, but they connect more deeply to them, as well. Also, for many people, it's easier to communicate using pictures than reaching for a pen.
This, among other reasons, is why using emojis for gathering feedback has such universal appeal.
3. They're Creative
People, by their very nature, are drawn toward creativity. For literally millions of people, emojis represent an outlet to express their creativity from.
Those who use emojis often times report feeling "creatively fulfilled" or "artistically engaged," to some degree. And, because of how easy they are to use, you don't have to be a world-class oil painter or PIXAR claymation artist to employ them. All you need is a computer or mobile device and opposable thumbs—and you can "paint" quite the scene in a text, email, what have you.
In regards to surveys, using emojis encourages people to engage with them more than usual, due to the fact that they have the opportunity to get creative with their response. This draw (no pun intended) is just another reason to consider using emojis on your next company survey.
4. Emojis Appeal to the Young and Old
Trying to get young ones, especially those under teenage years, participate in a survey isn't exactly easy. But using emojis appears to help.
Kids are naturally drawn to using pictures and more visual means to communicate, like picture books, whether it's at home or in the classroom. Even with friends, young children are shown to be more keen on draw their "feelings" than express them in written words. Children, too, usually begin drawing first, then later move on to the written word.
If you're trying to craft a survey that appeals to the kids out there, using emojis is a sure-fire way to boost response rates.
5. They're Simple to Use in a Key
Unlike with traditional surveys, emojis present an interesting opportunity: to create a simple, straightforward key.
No longer will you have to fuss with word counts, odd spacing, or concerns about whether or not the language used in a response key is too simple (or too advance) for your audience. With emojis, the response key it, literally, just filled with single-input pictures; there's little in the way to over complicate things.
Also, studies show that people admire and find joy in simplicity. (Just look at the growing trend of minimalism, if you need real-life proof of just that.) And, when forums and surveys are kept simple, people are much more likely to fill them out.
A pretty solid reason to use emojis to garner feedback, isn't it?
6. They're Easy to Quantify
Unlike text responses—which can be completely varied, across the board—there are only so many emojis one can use, making it easy to quantify the results in more direct, clear ways.
Emojis propose an incredibly beneficial insight into consumer insights because of how straightforward they are. These pictographs have little ambiguity, and it's clear as to what someone intends with their response.
Also, because of the fact that there are so many emojis to use, it's easy for you, the survey's conductor, to gather quantifiable data from them. These data points can then be later used to help appeal to consumers, honing in on their likes and dislikes.
7. Emojis are Inclusive
When you use emojis as a survey input tool, you can rest easy knowing that you're appealing to everyone under the sun. This level of representation, as well, will make people, no matter their background, more eager to respond. Forms and surveys that have language skewed, either accidentally or otherwise, toward a partial subset of people perform poorly in large poolings. People, frankly, like inclusivity.
So, if you're worried about your survey coming across as one-sided or not too encompassing, allowing people to respond via emojis is a great way to nip that problem right in the butt.
8. Emojis Look You in the Eye
Want to know another reason why we're so drawn to emojis, especially those that mimic our faces? Well, it's because they're making eye contact with you—albeit digitally...and from a cartoonish standpoint.
Countless studies and long-case-studied research experiments prove that people feel more connected when eye contact is made—even if it's between a painting, sculpture, or, yes, emoji. This very natural "pull" can be used for your advantage, helping you facilitate response on your survey, should you opt to use emojis
So, if you really want to ensure you get everyone's, well, eye, think about using only emojis with faces in the response key.
9. Like Us, Emojis Smile
People love a smile—that's just a proven, parenthetically-backed fact.
Ever wonder why you feel better when you're smiling? And, when someone else smiles back at you, a sense of joy rushes over your body? Well, you can thank biology for that feeling of contentment.
Smiling is one of our most primitive means of communicating happiness and overall joy in a moment or situation. It's so animalistic in fact, that it's one of the first facial expressions picked-up by newborns.
Now, regarding emojis, we're instantly drawn to the grinding ones because, whether we're aware of it or not, they appeal to a primal sense of joy. That's why if someone's ever texting good news and they use emojis regularly, odds are they'll throw a smiling one (or three) in the message.
To draw more actual smiling faces to your survey, think about leading with the smiling emojis to draw them in.
10. They Have Personality
Admittedly, it can be hard for some people to convey their personality via text. However, emojis open the floodgates wide open, allowing users to show their full selves in countless pictographs.
When people feel like they can express their full humanity and personality, they're far more likely to be engaged in that happening. And, with emojis, it's completely feasible (and easy) to do just that: be as crazy, witty, funny, strange, happy, you name it, as you want.
To make sure you're appealing to a wide range of personalities, try not to confine our survey by using just a few, single-note emojis. If possible, string in as many variations of subjects as you can. Don't be afraid to include mermaids, wine glasses, tents, etc. in your emoji survey key, if you think they have fit.
11. They're Fun to Use, Plane and Simple
If you're texting and using emojis, the chances are you enjoy using them. You may even go as far to say they're "fun" to use.
Another reason why emojis have gained so much traction in recent years boils down to a fairly simple characteristic of them: They're just fun to use.
In fact, many people who text using emojis say that theylend another entertaining level to their messages, a layer of humor and lightheartedness that wasn't previously available until now. And, as we all know, if you know you'll have fun doing something, odds are you'd be more inclined to do it.
The same thought carries over, too, when you craft a survey. If you can, in any way, make it remotely fun—then you're much more likely to have people engage with it. Suffice to say that using emojis would be a wise choice if you're at all concerned about your survey not being enjoyable.
Want to get started on using emojis for your next feedback generator? emojion.io is a simple software solution to help you do just that within minutes!