We wanted to make an app that makes daily life easier for the Deaf community.
We were embarrassingly uneducated on the topic, accidentally using harmful slang that the Deaf community quickly reprimanded us on.
We were all humbled when we realized that we had unintentionally adopted a “savior” mentality.
An app that helps the hearing community meet the Deaf community halfway.
We do this through teaching sign language to the masses of hearing people, as well as creating a safe space for both communities to practice sign language together.
WHO IS SIGNLINGO FOR?
Below are some users that we feel could derive many benefits from the Signlingo app.
Axel is learning ASL in 7th grade. His ASL teacher recommends Signlingo, so he uses it to study and practice.
Ainsley is Deaf. She loves sharing her culture with the hearing community, so she spends her free time on Signlingo.
Mindy works at a grocery store. She wants to learn a bit of ASL to communicate with a store regular who is Deaf.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Saba Johnson, Lindsey Bunton, and I performed a series of design sprints to work out the intricacies of the app. Each sprint consists of understanding the target user, fixing flaws in the system, prototyping, and performing a user test. We did four of these sprints over the course of three months.
The augmented reality feature of the app can sense whether the sign has been done correctly, and either prompts the user to either keep trying or congratulates them for doing it correctly.
This feature makes the act of learning a sign language feel bite-sized and enjoyable. It uses five different activity styles to switch up the user experience and prevent stagnation.
This feature makes conversations between the hearing and sign community feel natural by simulating a real room. It is a great tool for integrating interactions into real life by building the user's confidence in signing with real people.
If I were to continue to perfect this app, I would work together with the Deaf community to develop a realistic and helpful curriculum that corresponded to the actual needs of the Deaf.
I would also build out a more detailed mockup of the augmented reality section, and include more activities within that section of the learning tab.
If this app were to be funded and actually built out, I believe it could help a lot of people in the Deaf community to feel more accepted and loved.