Learn Sign Language Case Study for Google UX Certificate

My Role UX Designer, Researcher

This project designs an interactive tool for users to learn American Sign Language through modern technologies

What is the project goal?

Existing tools that teach American Sign Language utilize short videos to demonstrate signs. These videos are not interactive and usually only teach from a single angle. My goal is to create an interactive platform that teaches American Sign Language using 3D hands that offers games, quizzes, and more.

Who is the target audience?

My target audience would be any user who wants to learn ASL, this could be a person who is deaf, a parent wanting to communicate with their baby, or a relative who wants to communicate with a family member. There are many reasons to learn American Sign Language and this would be an excellent tool to get started.

Key Challenges and Constraints

I want to make sure that our application is useable by a wide range of people. The township census data reports a population of 20,000 residents with an average age of 43; approximately 20% of the population is under 18 years old. Based on these statistics, I am identifying the following challenges:


Residents who are disabled should be able to consume the information and features in this application. Any video must have a transcript and/or closed captioning.

Cost and Time

There are several thousand signs used in the American Sign Language system. I must group these signs into categories and offer the most useful first, slowly growing our library over time.


I will have to ensure that the app is properly optimized since we will be using 3D models rendered with WebGL and three.js. Continuous testing will enable us to develop a responsive application.

Research Study

My research used data on study habits for language learning in addition to a competitor analysis. This data helped me determine what I could do better and motivate users to be consistent with their progress. There were several monetized competitors and only one competitor that used 3D models to translate words into sign language. Let's meet our persona...

Smiling mature man with arms crossed
Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.
Age / Occupation
35, Teacher
Bachelors Degree
Nathan (6 months)
  • Wants to communicate with her baby
  • Has a cousin who is deaf and wants to communicate better
  • Wants to know the advantages of learning sing languager
Personal Story
Sarah is a new mom and wants to find a way to better communicate with her baby. This will allow her to know if her child is thirsty, hungry, tired, or many other desires.
  • Not sure where to start
  • Doesn't know which words would be best to start with

Journey Map

John's goal is to find out when trash pickup will be rescheduled. He knows that he can call the township, but he is unsure of what department. He prefers to find the information online.

ACTION Find township website Navigate website Vist contact page Complete contact form
Task List
  • Search Google
  • Find website
  • View website and scan for contact page
  • Navigate to the contact page
  • Decide whether to call or email the township
  • Fill out the form and submit question
  • A confirmation screen confirms a successful submission
Feeling Adjective
  • Motivated
  • Accomplished
  • Confused
  • Annoyede
  • Dissatisfied
  • Impatient
Improvement Opportunities Physical displays on township property advertising the website Add a quick links section for residents to quickly get to important pages Provide an interactive component to try to deal with common issues without the need to contact the township John has to wait for a response but would prefer a quicker answer

Design Concepts

My ideation phase focused on ways to provide a learning experience that was fun. I added multiple ways to practice new skills and keeping the learning process fresh and interesting.

Goals of the Design Concepts

  • Use quizzes, exercises and games to keep things interesting.
  • Separate Sign Language words into categories and have related words on the same page.
  • Mark sections as completed with a score to gamify the process.
American Sign Language Case Study Ideate Phase


I am using a card layout to categorize the signs. The user can choose a category and browse the signs in the selected section.

Goals of the Wireframes

  • The user can choose a category to learn new signs.
  • Within that category, the user can view a list of signs and open any sign to find related words.
  • Opening a sign opens a sign with the animated hand to demonstrate how to use the sign.
  • Facial expression is very important when communicating with sign language. A facial descriptor will explain what reaction should be using.
  • A Sign of the Day should be on the homepage to enourage users to visit frequently.
Sign Language Wireframe Example

User Testing Results

An unmoderated usability study was conducted among 5 participants between 30 and 60 minutes. The study identified several areas of improvement for the design.

  • Users want an to search for words and phrases.
  • Users want video, text, and animated word examples.
  • Some signs are very similar and users were confused. Facial expression must be included to give context to the sign.
  • Users want to track their progress in the lessons.
  • Users want a linear course progression as well as the ability to choose popular categories.
  • Users want a way to translate entire phrases into sign language.
American Sign Language High Fidelity Mockup Example

High Fidelity Designs

This design has mobile, tablet, and desktop versions for the primary pages of the application. By using a card layout, categories are easy to browse and enable users to pick the most popular sets of words to study. The design shows several examples of the 3D sign language hand that will be used in conjunction with three.js to animate the hand with WebGL.