The Wayfinding Challenge.
In 1960 architect Kevin Lynch coined the term “Wayfinding”. Webster’s New Millennium™ Dictionary of English defines wayfinding as “signs, maps, and other graphic or audible methods used to convey location and directions to travelers”. As companies and facilities grow and become more complex, the need for accurate wayfinding increases. Many factors affect the ease with which a person can navigate a complex space. Color cues, changes in decor, visual landmarks and of course signage, all play an important role in providing information that people need to get from point A to point B.
Changes to the physical layout of a building can be practically impossible to correct in most cases. Radical changes to the decor can be cost prohibitive. However, small changes such as a new sign system can help reduce confusion. Often the wayfinding is a subtractive process. In older facilities we find that by removing older, outdated signs and consolidating information on a single, readable, and well placed sign can solve many issues.
Another simple way to reduce confusion is to ensure that the department or destination naming on all of the signage in your facility is consistent. Equally important is that staff refer to these destinations in a manner consistent with the signs. This is often the case in health care facility where the same department is referred to by different names by different staff members. For example, the Radiology Department may be the official name but the technicians refer to it as Medical Imaging and the public arrives looking to get an MRI. You can quickly see the potential confusion this visitor could face in getting to the appointment.
The professionals at Timely Signs can assist in evaluating your particular needs and provide a path forward. Contact us for a complimentary evaluation.
For additional information on the subject of wayfinding, download the “Showing The Way” by Frank Douglas, architect and principal of Douglas/Gallagher, an international design firm.