Abstract. Semiotics has been used as a theoretical basis for systematizing the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of human-computer interaction. This paper focuses on the descriptive qualities of semiotics which are useful for understanding the user perspective of computer systems. The end goal is to assess the application of such semiotic description in interface design. An experiment is presented in which volunteers were asked to use and describe three interfaces created with the Apple Macintosh product Hypercard. A semiotic interpretation is given to their responses based on six principles taken from the relevant literature. The evaluation is then used to lay down a set of general guidelines for interface design.