The research community around gesture-based interaction has so far not paid attention to the possibility of replacing the keyboard with natural gestures for writing purposes. Additionally, insight into the actual user experience of such an interaction style is only insufficiently provided. This work presents a novel approach for text input that is based on a manual alphabet, MATImyo. The hand alphabet was developed in a user-centered design process involving potential users in pre-studies, design process and evaluation procedure. In a Wizard-of-Oz style experiment with accompanying interviews, the alphabet’s quality as input language for composing electronic texts was evaluated and the user experience of such an interaction style assessed. MATImyo was found to be very suitable as gestural input language with a positive user experience. The whole process of designing MATImyo and evaluating its suitability and user experience was based on the principles of Embodied Interaction, which was chosen as theoretical framework. This work contributes to understanding the bigger picture of the user experience of gesture-based interaction and presents a novel, more natural text input method.