Monday 29 August 2022

Banner design changes for Google Play Store's approval of the Shushmoji app

Written for designers and marketers submitting edgy banners for approval with Google Play Store apps

In submitting the Shushmoji app to the Google Play store, several changes were required to the app's promotional banners before Google Play approved the app. The changes that Create With Cape Town made may be of interest to other designers preparing edgy campaigns, given Google Play Store's somewhat opaque feedback- the store simply flags which designs are rejected, but does not specify exactly which elements must change. 

Below is a Slideshare presentation featuring the varying banner iterations - see if you can spot the differences? The answers follow below...


Adding an age-restriction to all banners (slides 8 to 14)

The first major change was adding a 13+ graphic in the bottom right of the presentation to comply with the policy that ‘app’s marketing imagery and text must make it clear that the app is only for young people aged 13 or older’. Subsequently, the Google Play Store calculated this rating for each country based on its app questionnaire. It decided on to a revised age restriction of 12+, so this banner is not inaccurate but will be updated with the next app version's submission.

Changing banner 3 (contrast slide 5 vs 17 & 18)
"Mother Grundy Google” does not like zap signs or mentions of 'ass', let alone 'a**'! The latter are a particular problem when Create With Cape Town wants to promote a 'silly ass' emoji sticker set. 

Shushmoji banner app - end conversations with dumb asses v1

So, the banner's title was changed to 'End conversations with silly donkeys'. The WhatsApp screen graphics were also changed-  the 'silly ass' part of 'Hey, silly ass' sticker set was blurred to make it obvious that the banner title is "censored". Lastly, in the left’s WhatsApp exchange ’the same species as you’ was changed to simply ‘humanity’. Out of an excess of caution, End it! was changed to End the chat! We did not want our AI Google overlord's algorithm to misinterpret 'End it!' as telling someone to end their life.

Shushmoji banner app - end conversations with dumb asses version 2

Changing banner 4 (contrast slide 4 vs 21)

Surprisingly, this Stop, silly troll! set's banner was not initially flagged in the review process, despite it also featuring a zap sign. 

Shushmoji banner app - end conversations with trolls version 1

That risqué 'ass hole’ Shushmoji in the bottom right was also removed.

Shushmoji banner app - end conversations with trolls version 2

All the changes above proved sufficient to meet the Google Play Store's approval of the Shushmoji app.

If you experienced similar challenges with your app's submission, kindly let us know in the comments below, cheers 👍!

Friday 26 August 2022

Want emoji stickers to end #WhatsApp chats with #cyberbullies? The #Shushmoji app on #Android is here!

Written for emoji sticker fans and recipients of harassment via WhatsApp.

The Shushmoji app for WhatsApp on Android is now available via Google Play.  This app was developed as an easy method of using Shushmojis as end-of-conversation points versus cyberbullies. As the Shushmoji ® name suggests, the app's emoji stickers are intended to silence irritating noise, just like a 'shush!’ silencing noisy brats. 

Shushmoji banner advert

Check out examples for Shushmoji use in WhatsApp on Pinterest or

The app was initially developed for Create With by interns at Younglings AfricaMichael Pretorius at Younglings Development Studio (YDS) completed the app for the Google Play Store's vetting. An Android version was developed first, since Younglings Africa had experience developing for it. It's also the easiest to develop and secure approval for. {P.S. Mac fans, YDS is working on an Apple iOS version for release in the fourth quarter}.

As this Slideshare presentation explains, my research into online academic bullying and strategies for countering cyber-harassment inspired both the Shushmoji ® concept and its apps. I maintain a Google research spreadsheet ( that shares many strategies against cyber-harassment, plus links to salient online resources. One strategy is for a recipient of cyber-harassment to use emoji stickers for flagging the end-point of a low-value/anti-social conversation. However, high-quality designs that address a wide range of cyber-harassment activities seem to be M.I.A! 

The Shushmoji emoji sticker sets were developed in response to this visual aesthetic communication gap. In the app, 30 stickers are available to use for free. Users may purchase sticker sets for the themes they like.

There are currently five sets to buy: 

Stop, silly troll! was designed by Janine Venter to poke fun at all-too-common types of cyber-harassment.

Stop, sinner! was also drawn by Janine to flag many naughty (and not nice!) behaviours.

Stop, academic bully! was illustrated by Marlon Albertyn to spotlight the different kinds of academic bullies one can meet in the Ivory Tower.

Stop, silly ass! was drawn by Dominique Whelan, who loves drawing donkeys and worked on the set for "a(ss) laugh".  These stickers flag a**holes with silly ass emoji stickers speaking to their asinine behaviours.

Stop, torturer! was illustrated by Studio Dolby and spotlights torturous "conversationalists".

An educational rationale also exists where Shushmojis can illustrate the particular dodgy roles and/or anti-social strategies that cyber harassers follow. For those interested in sampling these stickers, the vector designs for each set are for sale via: Silly TrollAcademic bully,  Silly Ass,  Sinner and Torturer

New Shushmoji sets are planned (such as Stop, Dumb Bot!) to close visual gaps for different roles and types of harassment (vs. doxxers and bot farm orchestrators). Hopefully, each set will prove useful for those wanting to express disinterest in continuing chats with cyberbullies. WhatsApp stickers should prove useful to flag this and a perp’s particular style of harassment. Of course, the stickers may also be used to poke fun at tactless friends and colleagues… 

Please download the app, use it and let the world know of your good experience via a Google Play Store app review.

N.B. For updates on the Shushmoji ® app versions, you can follow Create With on FacebookInstagramTikTokTwitter or LinkedIn, ta.

P.S. Several app iterations were trialed by Younglings Africa before the app's approval. Zaakirah Abrams led the most recent testing- her 2022 Shushmoji app report is here.

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