*This is Individual MA Thesis Project,

designed during spring-summer 2021

“Language Identity” is

a design experience

It’s made for bilinguals
to make them more aware of their emotional states, when they speak different languages

#datavisualisation of answers to a series of questions turns to a jewellery

The goal is to help bilinguals gain

a better understanding of them-selves and their emotions through the languages they speak.

The product is used by bilinguals on iPod in an isolated booth.

Language identity:

creates customised data visualisation of languages in the form of a pendant

analyses levels of emotional reactions to different emotional phrases (they are measured through E4 wristband technology)

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Previously executed studies that intended to understand emotions in different languages were not effective. Hence, there is a requirement for a more effective and accurate method of data collection accompanied by visualisation of this data.



Considering the diversity of bilingual people and the fact that people’s experience in languages played a key part in visualising their data in the form of a pendant, there was a developed set of personas.


User flow

The user flow was created based on personas. The flow is mostly linear because the experience needs to follow the same phases for any user. However, the user’s experience in languages is different, and answers to questions affect the visualisation of the pendant.

In the beginning of the questionnaire user needs to choose their spoken languages.

The circles represent different language families, which size depends on the number of speakers. It leads to choosing branches of languages till the user reaches the spoken language.

Listening-speaking system

The “voice recording” makes lines and little dots appear around it when the user speaks. While listening and speaking, also text appears in order to make the experience accessible.

The “speaking star” changes from static to animated when audio-questions are asked - two circles disconnect and make patters.

Break the ice

After choosing a language the user answers simple questions in the chosen language. It tests users’ ability to understand that language and immerses users in interaction.

It’s important to “break the ice” and let the user get used to answering the questions by voice for further questions.

Language timeline

The user has to choose a year they started speaking a language.

It’s possible by scrolling the timeline down, then it transforms into a circle. The circumference represents length of the timeline.

Changing background

The following questions figure out who the user speaks different languages with (i.e., parents, romantic partner, friends, colleagues). The colour of the background changes depending on the chosen answer. The colour combination is used in the final visualisation.

Collecting emotional response

To understand how user’s feel themselves speaking different languages, we need technology that would collect emotional feedback to audio-visual questions.

The E4 wristband measures pulse and transfers data in real-time, which helps to effectively analyse emotions.

Emotional palette

By the previously analysed research* some emotional phrases like “I love you”, “Aren’t you ashamed?”, and “Go to your room!”, also swear words and lie trigger emotional reaction in people and depend on languages a speaker use.

Together with audio that triggers the user’s emotions background colours and the text affect the perception of the information.

Emotional response by lines

The wavy lines combine and form the border of the circle that represents 4 types of emotional feedback in each language - love, fear, anger, and lie.

Wear your data

This visualisation can be a customised 3D-printed jewellery.

Read MA Research

View Prototype


Project limitations

The diversity of identity of bilingual people is complex in nature and creating more accurate and experiential knowledge about self-identity 

in different languages could be done by taking into account the following factors:
1. The lack of knowledge in the sphere of cognition and language requires a more comprehensive understanding of psychology and linguistics.
2. There is a requirement for more accurate technology, that can not only identify emotions but also create authentic categories of emotions.
3. Due to the complex diversity of individual perceptions, the project requires deeper research and testing to create a better understanding of the self-identity of bilingual people.

There are future implementations of this project in terms of creating a possibility for bilingual people to connect based on similarities of language identity and this may motivate people to explore other languages and cultures more.