The other day, a designer who I admire greatly described my new podcast “Wireframe” as something “like investigative journalism crossed with UX/UI case studies.” That is a really flattering characterization that reflects our ambitions for this whole series. So much goes into the production of each episode in terms of research, reporting, fact-checking and editorial review that I’m not afraid of saying there’s no other design show like it out there.
Put another way, this is a serious production—even if the title of today’s post contains a, um, a poo emoji in it. That’s right, poo. Sometimes design journalism just takes you to unexpected places.
In this case, as we dug into the design history of emoji and how they became an essential part of our communications in this century, it was hard to ignore the auspicious place that that particular pictogram occupies in our collective imagination. If you’re grossed out though, don’t worry—the entire story is actually not particularly bathroom-focused. It covers the origins of this funny iconic language, explores its linguistic evolution, and shows how design can take some unexpected paths to success. Like I said: serious very stuff. Plus there’s 💩.
You can listen to the entire episode above. Be sure to subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcatcher to get each episode as it’s released.
If you’re not familiar with “Wireframe,” it’s a unique kind of design podcast, hosted by yours truly. Instead of merely interviewing well known designers, we dig into the world of interaction design via deeply researched reporting and engaging narratives. In other words, stories instead of résumés. You can read more in this blog post.