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  • Writer's pictureCydney Phan

UMOJI Case Study


Digitize yourself and make your text messages more personalized with UMOJI. Pronounced “yo͞o–mōjē”, UMOJI is allowing android users to step up their emoji game! Recently started in 2017, MOJ has already started to establish themselves as an app based tech company, with a purpose to humanizing our digital connections to one another. Their first product (UMOJI) will be launching November 12, 2018 on the android market with much anticipation and curiosity.

Press Release can be found here.


An imagined market audience that embodies who would potentially be using the app, is not yet validated by data and evolves over span of the research process.

Proto-persona of Tessa Jones: a high schooler who would use the UMOJI app.

Usability Research Highlights

For the user usability research, six participants from the age of 19 to 35 were asked to test and complete four tests. These tests are created to show the basic functions of the app and how to operate it within a limited scope. Using the TryMyUI software, each testing session was recorded via vocal instructions and desktop monitoring. The participants are restricted to finish their test within 20 minutes, however everyone was able to finish all tasks successfully in less than 10 minutes. When finished, participants were asked to finish a four question survey, based off the System Usability Scale, regarding their experiences.

From the research I was able to synthesize that:


The static camera images were hard to understand and hindered some users from quickly completing the tasks.A few design elements were a bit smaller than it should be for easy readability and touch response for an android phone.Some pages could be collapsed or removed. There were a few pages that didn't need to be there and distracted from the user the overall function of the app.


The overall logo and aesthetic of the app is very pleasing and playful. A user noted how well suited the overall design elements relate to the app function.A lot of the users agreed that the app is very easy to use and intuitive for even first time usersUsers agreed that they could see the app being successful especially amongst younger people who are active on social media.

Watch my User Usability Highlight Reel below:

Complete Usability Report write up can be found here.

High Fidelity Designs

The app designs were created with simplicity in mind. Paring down only what was necessary for a emoji creation app, UMOJI wanted to appear minimalistic and only houses functions that is necessary to characterize yourself. Getting rid of unnecessary elements, makes the navigational much more direct and less problematic.

Switching the designs from phone to tablet was definitely a little difficult since most emoji creation processes are done on phone. However, the main drive of the design choices was to be cognizant about where the users' hands would be during certain functions and tablet orientation.

Three images of what UMOJI would look like in tablet form.
Screens displayed for Samsung - Galaxy Tab A 8.0" (1280 x 800)


The prototype version below has been updated from the tested prototype. Certain pages were replaced with animations to properly show functionality that would've been too hard to show with static images.

Project Retrospective


Creating and designing an app predominately for android softwares was immensely troublesome and tedious. It has been a few years since I've owned and was familiar with the android design elements so following the Google Design Format Guideline was a bit of a headache. There were design elements and color choices that seemed extremely colorful; if I had wanted to create a minimal design experience with low color impact, the color guidelines would've made that extremely difficult. With my app and how I wanted to navigate the user, it was tricky to plan out how each element was supposed to look and whether the static images would relay the same type of feeling when used in lieu of motion graphics. Instead I decided to bite the bullet and invest some quality time into rendering some gifs that would make prototyping the app easier.

Valuable Lessons:

This project really elaborated on the necessity of user testings and research.  Admittedly, student work is often times done with little to no testing stages planned from start to finish (especially for works in younger students). However with this project, the learning experience and testing process was mandatory. Gathering participants and having each one of them run through your app while attempting to give valued feedback, echoes an all to real scenario that would occur when in a real work environment. Because there were so many flaws that were brought up to my attention from TryMyUI, I was able to truly see that any initial UX/ UI designs aren't truly finished until they've gone through some serious stages of testing and redesigns.

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