This is the SOS call we receive from clients – healthcare, corporate, university and others. “Our signs are a mess, please help us!” We are happy to respond and assist.
Wayfinding Design Research
The first thing we do is our research. Our team of wayfinding designers will spend hours, sometimes days, surveying a facility and understanding traffic patterns and destinations. This tells us a lot. In many cases, we find the facility has a combination of too many signs, inconsistent messaging & directions, and inconsistent designs. This causes the viewer to get confused and creates anxiety. Once confusion and anxiety set in, trust is gone, and the viewer freezes, uncertain what to do.
Our goal is to design an efficient wayfinding system that maintains trust and seamlessly directs the viewer to their destination. When choices and directions are clear, the viewer can quickly and easily make decisions. The viewer will barely realize the existence of the signs because there is no anxiety, and that’s what we want.
Consistency is King
Once we determine the best traffic patterns and know all the destinations, we design a wayfinding system that is consistent. Rooms and areas are labeled the same. The color coding is the same. The fonts and descriptions are the same. The viewer easily understands the system because it is intuitive and makes sense. Once again, there is no anxiety.
Wayfinding Best Practices
Some of the best practices we follow in wayfinding design are centered around location, messaging and layout and graphics.
Sign location is important. Whether it’s an interior sign in a hallway, an exterior sign on an entrance drive, the sign should be located and positioned where the user is already looking and where the information is most needed.
The message on the sign must contain the appropriate information at the right time. Too little information and people get lost, too much information and people might not read all of the information, resulting in not having the necessary information.
Sign Layout and Graphics
The layout and graphics should match the aesthetics and design in the branding of the building. The font should be easy to read with upper and lower cases used appropriately and alignment maximized. This allows for seamless design, low stress and easier reading by the viewer.
Once we complete a wayfinding design and installation, we typically get calls from the customer thanking us for the lack of complaints and anxious viewers. Fewer people ask for directions because the system is self-guiding and integrated into the building design. This tells us we have done our job well and gotten people where they need to go. Let us help you turn your wayfinding challenges into efficient, beautiful signage!