Chloe Negron 

2015 was largely my personal year of emoji. I find the pictorial form of communication to be untapped and fascinating. I am in love with how simply and powerfully a pictogram can convey tone, emotion, and connection within content, and I believe it's largely a poorly utilized engagement tool in the digital landscape, given that people can identify with and communicate through pictograms at a person-to-person level, and even when consuming content and interacting with big brands.

In exploring new ways to further engage with The Post's younger audiences, I worked with Senior Front-End Developer and general badass Devin Castro to come up with possible solutions that would empower users to communicate briefly and profoundly about Washington Post content. In iterating on the parameters we set for ourselves with the Emoji keyboard and Postmoji product suite, we realized that some users just wanted their internet experience to be fun. Thus, the Obamify! Chrome extension was born.

When enabled, the extension replaces all references of "President Obama," "Barack Obama," "President Barack Obama" and the like to one of three possible hand-drawn emoji of President Obama, each with a different facial expression, from the sassy wink to the unimpressed to the generally smiling. A single user's browsing experience appears entirely different from another's, and the insertion of a political caricature within a static line of HTML text, in thematically serious content, provides some unexpected levity and humor in the user's internet browsing experience. When enabled, the content on the user's browser takes on a whole new meaning!

Possible future iterations of the extension include additional phrasing exceptions, to ensure that users will only see the emoji in text when the content is appropriate and thematically jovial, so as to not undermine the significance of emotionally upsetting content the user may encounter. Using the same Javascript functions, we can easily control and update the effect in the browser, to create a Bidenify! Hillify! or, perhaps even a Trumpify! extension, which would replace all references of each respective public figure, with the appropriate the Biden, Hillary, or Trump hand-drawn vector illustrations.

Obamify! is currently available by invitation only.

Obamify in-browser example.

Obamify in-browser example.

Copyright 2018, Chloe Negron