What is wayfinding?
Wayfinding is a basic challenge that humans face. It involves navigating from one place to another using visual clues such as maps, signs and graphics. It’s basically spatial problem solving. We all need to navigate to different places on a daily basis, so wayfinding is a challenge that we all face. We need to figure out where we are, where we want to go to and how exactly we will get there. The information we are presented with along the way has a huge impact on how successful we get to our desired destination.
In many public places, organisations, brands and institutions must guide people to the right place. Digital signs can help make wayfinding very straightforward. They can be placed at strategic points to show key information that will help send people in the right direction.
Where is wayfinding used
Wayfinding is used in many different places, some of which we might come across on a daily basis. People need to be guided to the correct destination in places such as hospitals, universities, schools, shopping centres and theme parks.
In hospitals patients need to be directed to the correct waiting area or treatment room. Some larger hospitals can be very difficult to navigate around and people can easily become lost. Digital signs can help ensure they are presented with information that will point them in the right direction.
Wayfinding is also crucial in large venues where there are crowds. Without the right wayfinding aids in place, crowded areas can become complete chaos. If people don’t know where to go and they become frustrated, problems can occur. Any venue that deals with large crowds needs effective wayfinding methods in place.
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Digital signs are easy to see and can be updated constantly. So if people need to be diverted to a different place alternative directions and instructions can instantly be uploaded to digital signs at key points. Digital signs play an important part in managing crowds in places such as football stadiums and music concerts.
Tom from AllseeTechnologies Ltd said “Some larger educational establishments can also benefit from using digital signs for wayfinding. For example, they are used to help send university students to the correct lecture rooms and assist new students at schools with finding their way around on their first day.”
Another key place where digital signs can be used for wayfinding is at airports. Millions of people pass through airports every year which means airports need to ensure wayfinding is straightforward. People need to go through security quickly, find their way around the airport shopping and then follow signs to get to their boarding gate on time. People don’t realise just how many wayfinding and informational digital signs they come across during their journey through the airport.
Basic wayfinding tips for digital signs
Digital signs need to be used strategically to help people get from one place to another. If they are not used effectively people will find it difficult to understand where to go. Here are some simple tips for usings digital signs for wayfinding:
- Try not to make people think too much. If the information isn’t easy to understand they will take longer to arrive at their desired location.
- Where the signs are placed is crucial, they should be placed at key points in the journey where they can easily be seen.
- Show only the information that is needed, do not overcomplicate the message.
- Use an easy to read typeface and keep the design and messaging consistent.
- Always display information in the same order.
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