Wayfinding is a strange word. It’s really an abbreviation for “finding your way.” It is used to describe systems that help you to find your way through a facility or venue using signage and directional information. It is as much an art as it is a science.
Wayfinding systems are expected to successfully direct people in widely differing circumstances and locations. Wayfinding must take into account how people read and process information, where they instinctively look for signs and how they interpret arrows. It must try to do that despite widely varying literacy levels, language barriers and disabilities of the people who will be attempting to follow the directions.
You may no longer notice it, but wayfinding moves you from the door of your favorite coffee shop to ordering to pick up. You also depend upon it to move you successfully through airports the size of small cities, from parking to the ticket counter to the gate. Wayfinding also moves you through hospitals, whether you are arriving calmly for a doctor’s appointment or are terrified and rushing to find an injured loved one in the emergency room. These are just some of the complex circumstances under which wayfinding must hold up. Read More