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The Wayfinding Design Principle

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  1. 1. Wayfinding Tuomas Alahäivälä & Joseph Macey
  2. 2. Wayfinding ● “The process of using spatial and environmental information to navigate any destination.”
  3. 3. Four stages of Wayfinding ● Orientation ● Route Decision ● Route Monitoring ● Destination Recognition
  4. 4. Orientation Determining location in reference to current surroundings and destination.
  5. 5. Ways to improve Orientation ● Create smaller spaces ● Create distinct zones within a space ● Create unique spaces with landmarks and signage
  6. 6. Route Decision Selecting the best possible path is dependant on the user, the space, and the circumstances.
  7. 7. Ways to improve Route Decision ● Minimize options ● Introduce prompts at decision points ● Indicate shortest route ● Keep directions and signage simple ● Provide maps
  8. 8. Route Monitoring The process by which the chosen route is assessed and progress toward the destination is confirmed.
  9. 9. Ways to improve Route Monitoring ● Paths between locations should have obvious beginnings, middles and ends ● Paths should include information giving relative location ● Long or slow paths should include visual imagery to encourage momentum ● Breadcrumbs are a means of facilitating error correction
  10. 10. Destination Recognition The process by which the end goal is highlighted and made obvious to the user.
  11. 11. Ways to improve Destination Recognition ● Destination should be enclosed forming natural dead ends ● If the above is not possible, use obstacles to slow the natural rate of progress ● Provide destinations with obvious identities
  12. 12. Example: London Underground Orientation ● Colour-coded lines ● Station names ● Easily recognizable logo
  13. 13. Example: London Underground Route decision ● The map presents only essential information ● Announcements ● Platform-specific signage ● Maps availability
  14. 14. Example: London Underground Route monitoring ● Announcements ● Visual clues – e.g. tile patterns ● Textual information in carriages ● Route planning with a mobile app
  15. 15. Example: London Underground Destination recognition ● Announcements ● Trains stop at every station ● Station identities ● Routes to platforms are strictly defined
  16. 16. Example: The Guardian Orientation ● Section titles ● The logo ● Headlines ● Colour-coding of sections
  17. 17. Example: The Guardian Route decision ● Summaries under headlines ● Headlines linked to the articles ● Keywords ● Suggested articles ● Grouped articles
  18. 18. Example: The Guardian Route monitoring ● “Breadcrumbs” ● Keywords ● Suggested articles ● Consistent content by section
  19. 19. Example: The Guardian Destination recognition ● Headline/content immediately visible ● Reduced options ● Section identities
  20. 20. Summary ● Wayfinding is a process which has both physical and abstract applications ● Providing user with affordances which are unambiguous ● A design element can have multiple functions in wayfinding