jQuery Emoji Picker

While at Wedgies last year, my team decided that we wanted to hop on the April Fools Day bandwagon and release something to hopefully garner a little press. But rather than creating something silly and useless, we thought it would be more fun to create something that people would actually use. And that’s how the jQuery Emoji Picker was born.

Quickly after being hired at Wedgies, my team learned about my love and adoration for emojis. This led to us discussing adding emojis to Wedgies polls, however, I wasn’t able to find a plugin that I liked enough or which had the features I felt would lead to a comfortable experience for the user, namely:

  • Search by shortcode
  • Recently used
  • Easy-to-understand taxonomy/sorting
  • A clean design

Additionally, I wanted the developer (in this case, us) to choose which emoji set to use out of the 3 popular sets: Apple, Twitter (my personal favorite), and Google.

The most difficult part of the picker was the taxonomy. The JSON data that we used for the emojis was based upon the wemoji repository, but the data had no specific ordering to it. Smiley emojis were intermixed with symbols and food and flags, etc. Because the ordering and taxonomy was incredibly important for users being able to find the emoji they were looking for, I spent an entire day ordering the data appropriately. Ooof.

This has been one of my favorite projects to work on to-date, in part because I really love emojis, but also because it’s been a highly useful project both professionally and personally. There’s still some bugs and tweaks to work out, but it makes me immensely happy to see others using and contributing to it as well.

I have installation instructions written on the Github repository, so I won’t reiterate them here.

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