"Hold That Thought" - sign language and the design of gesture interfaces

University essay from Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: Sign language has largely been dismissed in gesture interface research on grounds of being a natural language. This essay argues that this has been premature. We begin with an overview of relevant literature in the fields of both gesture interface design and sign language, followed by a discussion of other graphical and text-based user interfaces in the context of language - effectively a short essay on language and metaphors in interface design, going into more detail why I believe dismissing sign languages based on their linguistic nature is a mistake. This is further explored in an example user interface that was designed by taking an insight from sign language as a starting point to replace the desktop metaphor and combining it with the discussed text-based interfaces to extend the WIMP paradigm. This experimental design was used as a way to pose questions to users about potential uses of gesture interfaces.

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