The unsung hero of wayfinding
When you easily find your desired destination you don’t think twice about the signage that helped you get there. It’s only when signage does a poor job, or is non-existent, that you take note as you struggle to find your way around.
Wayfinding is an unsung hero. It quietly helps you to orientate where you are and how to get where you need to be.
Why you should care about wayfinding ….
Good wayfinding improves your bottom line
A study conducted in 3 major hospitals discovered that over $2 million dollars annually of staff time was being lost due to them having to direct and escort visitors around their facilities.
Good wayfinding encourages customers and visitors to return
Simply put - if the experience of finding your way around a facility is negative then it’s more likely you won’t return.
Good wayfinding can affect our behaviour in a positive way
Two hospitals in the UK implemented a new wayfinding system in their A&E Departments and discovered that it helped to reduce aggressive incidents by 50%.
Good wayfinding reinforces your branding
Wayfinding provides an opportunity to reinforce your brand through the use of consistently branded signage.
Where do you find wayfinding?
In large facilities or areas including:
University and school campuses
Hospitals and aged care facilities
Parks and recreational areas
Office and large residential buildings
Airports, train and bus stations
Wayfinding communicates 4 types of information ….
Identification (communicating what something is, i.e. toliets)
Directional (shows you the direction where you need to go, e.g. lifts >
Orientation (provides an overview of surroundings, e.g. building directory)
Regulatory (indicating regulations or requirements, e.g. no smoking)
Getting your message getting across ….
Colour can help people distinguish different areas of a facility. It can also aid navigation, e.g. blue spaces are easier to navigate than red spaces. Warm colours should generally be used to identify landmarks.
It’s important to have strong contrast between the foreground and background so the message doesn’t blend into the background.
Size of sign
The surrounding environment and audience are key factors in determining the size and position of a sign. Your sign doesn’t achieve anything if it can’t be seen or understood by its intended audience.
As with contrast, sign size and position, the choice of typography is vital to how legible it is. It’s important to have clear, easily recognised forms with plenty of positive space to help get the message across.
Which type of wayfinding system suits your facility?
Bespoke or Custom Made
Unlimited design options
Less noticeable joins
High design and development costs
Longer lead times to implement
If organisation changes, the entire wayfinding signage suite may have to be replaced
Generally, more costly than modular
Can be customised for most projects
Easy for designers and architects to specify as measurements have already been set
Quicker to implement compared to custom signage
The suite can change with your organisation without having to replace the whole signage suite
Noticeable join lines
Ultimate creativity capped
Digital signage has the ability to rapidly deploy updates to multiple locations when required
Can be incorporated with traditional wayfinding signage
Expensive compared to modular or bespoke signage systems
Technology will eventually become outdated
Hospital study – prepared internally for a client