Makaton Signing for Babies mobile app

An easy to use mobile application that helps users to learn a set of simple signs from the Makaton Signing for Babies course.

The Makaton Charity exists to ensure that everyone living with learning or communication difficulties has the tools and resources they need to communicate.

Its unique Makaton language is a programme for children and adults with communication and learning difficulties. It uses signs, symbols and speech to develop communication, language and literacy skills. Long before children start to speak, they begin to use gestures such as pointing, facial expressions and body language to express themselves. The Makaton language helps to develop these skills.

The Brief

Makaton approached DDL as they were looking to develop a mobile app to complement their Signing for Babies course. The app could be used by students of the course to help with their learning, or by parents and carers for use in helping to develop babies’ communication skills.

Our thoughts

Makaton tasked us with producing a simple to use, visually engaging and highly useful learning aid for both parents and practitioners. They wanted the mobile app to be a quick and easy tool which would make signing for babies more accessible

Easy to use

With an A to Z list of available signs users can easily navigate the menu to find and select their chosen sign. The signs are also split into sessions of increasingly complex vocabulary to help mirror the natural progression of a child’s language development. Users can keep save their most used signs to a favourites tab, allowing them to easily organise and access signs.


Each word has an action diagram with movement lines and arrows to help users perform the action. All words have a video featuring an expert demonstrating the action, a related Makaton symbol and information about that symbol.


The app provides a valuable tool for educational and care establishments to communicate directly with children who have communication or learning difficulties. It is also a great resource for those learning Makaton to view the actions and practise their skills.

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