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Where should the cheese be in a burger?
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said Google will “drop everything else we are doing” to work on the hamburger emoji after someone pointed out how Google’s hamburger emoji placed the cheese under the patty as Apple’s placed the cheese above the patty.
I first discovered the story on The Verge. The website took a deep dive into the difference between the two hamburger emojis and analyzed them with culinary physics and taste. Here is why it has nothing to do with either.
The answer is color contrast.
Let’s cut a slice of each burger and really stretch them out so we can simplify and see the colors.
In Google’s emoji, the red and the brown as well as the yellow and the orange being placed together is the real problem. These colors are too close to be touching each other. By moving the cheese up like Apple did, the yellow becomes a nice buffer for the red and the brown. It also prevents itself from touching the orange bun.Money Chest Bum Waist Packs HandbagsWidewing Pouch Wallet Geometry Women Cartoon Belt Fanny qpx4Cwg
Zip Bag Retro Sunbobo Messenger Bag Brown Shoulder around Bag Simple Leather Boston Also, did you notice that Apple’s patty is almost burned? It is likely due to the same reason: to bring up the contrast. By darkening the patty, the cheese becomes more visible.
Bag Retro Sunbobo Zip Shoulder Brown Bag Boston around Simple Bag Messenger Leather So why is it so important to make sure the contrast works? Because they are emojis. And emojis are tiny. They may end up looking like this on your phone.
Emoji becomes blurry when it’s small and far (and obviously when viewed by bad eyes.) Apple’s emoji still reads as a hamburger under such condition but Google’s emoji just looks like a mix of colors. The yellow cheese and the orange bun merged together. So does the red tomato and the brown patty. It can be fixed by moving up the cheese.
So, this is why it is never about the flavor of the hamburger or how a hamburger actually looks like. Designing a yummy emoji won’t make your phone taste better. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.