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Tag: diversity

Bridget Jones’s Burkini: Emojis and Digital Diversity

Localization Culture, Personalization and Design, Travel and Culture

Emojis have been called the world’s fastest growing language.

Unsurprisingly, how societal diversity is represented by emojis is to the fore. Icons for gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, skin colour, and lots of other dimensions of the richness of human identity have been appearing in each emoji release.

It is only right this happens.

The Guardian has a great story about Rayouf Alhumedhi, a 15 year-old Saudi student in Germany, who noticed that the currently available emoji set did not include one for a muslim woman in a headscarf. Rayouf has worn a hijab since she was 13 years-old.

Rayouf decided to do something about this emoji omission by making a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, including draft designs for icons that include how male and female wearers might be represented.

Proposed headscarves emoji icons. Male and female wearers are represented.

Proposed headscarves emoji icons. Male and female wearers are represented. (Image via Guardian)

The BBC also reports on the support for the proposal (the personal Bitmoji already includes an image of a woman in a hijab, by the way) and how debate about it covers such areas as religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions, fears of terrorism, and multiculturalism generally.

Although this proposal for inclusion and to be recognized by the tech world is based on religious and identity grounds, it is clear, as Rayouf acknowledges, that you don’t have to be a muslim female to wear a headscarf.

A bit like a burkini, really.

A final version of the proposal is planned for presentation to the Unicode Consortium in November 2016.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

IUC44

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Language in Business, Language Industry News and Events, Travel and Culture

The reality of the “gig economy”. Incessant talk about “Millennials“. Language startups and their hoody culture.

Is there no end to being made feel “old” these days?

old

As I look around me at those new faces I see at industry conferences and compare it with my Twitter “Following” list, I wonder if I might be “old”? Could I be missing out on emergent trends or not making the right connections – not so much for the future, but for right now? Would I survive in the startup world or the gig economy of today?

Answers: Don’t care. No. No. Dunno.

But, is it just me?

In particular reference to “Millennials, I concur with the notion that age or generational labeling can lead to some pointless stereotypes for sure. More seriously, this failure to recognize the value of older people in any industry is evidence of a lack of diversity and fairness of opportunity. Diversity is about more than race or gender. Everybody loses from a missing “experience”.

I don’t feel old. I can still kick the ass of people half my age. I just enjoy it a lot more now. It’s really not about being physically old but about not contributions that are well past their sell-by-date that is the issue, I guess. As Arnie might say, it’s more about being obsolescent than being old. So, who cares what age you are?

Do you feel old in this industry of ours now? Then again, perhaps you just are…

Comments welcome.

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+ posts

Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

IUC44