Let’s face it: Word, Excel, and Outlook are all extremely useful, but they aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs. But when Microsoft built Teams, its new Slack-esque chat service, it decided it was important to add a dose of humor by letting team members communicate using silly meme images.
The company accomplished that in part by including a meme picker powered by Giphy. (At Fast Company, at least, sharing GIFs from Giphy is already a fundamental part of the way we talk to each other in Slack.) But Microsoft also decided that typical Giphy memes don’t necessarily cover business themes. So it commissioned some vaguely Roy Lichtenstein-like imagery of nicely dressed professionals expressing ideas appropriate to workplace communications, such as “THAT’S SO COOL” and “TELL ME MORE.”
The feature reminds me of the “string bean” characters that Microsoft provided in 1990s Office clip art–the faceless little people, conveying an array of concepts, who were omnipresent in PowerPoint presentations for eons. Betcha these new folks won’t become anywhere near as overexposed, though.