Tag Archive: Wayfinding

  1. What is Wayfinding?

    Comments Off on What is Wayfinding?

    Put simply, the answer to the question “what is wayfinding?” is “the efficient movement of people in places and spaces”. It was Kevin Lynch who very first coined the word ‘wayfinding’ in his 1960 book The Image of the City. Where he discussed how users understood their surroundings in constant and expected ways. As a result his work had important influence in the field of urban planning and environmental psychology.

    Since the word was first coined, wayfinding has evolved into a common component of buildings and urban environments across the world. It has developed into a behavioural science, using strategies which aid human navigation.

    However many people still don’t truly understand the concept of wayfinding. The most common misconception is that it is just signage. It is true that it often leads to signage – but this a small component of a typical strategy.

    Manoeuvring the streets of a foreign city or the corridors of an alien building can be difficult, and consequently can fill you with ease or frustration. This is due to the visual language that communicates how we navigate a given terrain. How a person manages to get from one place to another effectively without any problems is down to the how well a particular system works.

    Why do you need Wayfinding?

    Over the last few decades wayfinding has developed into a strategic service, which has important implications for urban environments. In today’s busy environments wayfinding is crucial to avoid chaos and confusion.

    An understanding of human behaviour is essential to wayfinding. The perception of information within a built environment allows humans to navigate. As humans we have developed cognitive processes which help us orientate ourselves within built environments. An effective strategy understands these basic needs for navigation, applying them to our environments and therefore easing the process.

    The ideal wayfinding system will allow the users to not need to think and to travel intuitively towards their destination. Those users who experience a seamless journey are much more likely to appreciate their surroundings and leave with a positive experience. A strong strategy will add value to a particular service or brand. Wayfinding can become part of the marketing process, delivering a positive experience to all users.

    So what is wayfinding? Experts who understand wayfinding are essentially problem solvers, they provide a strategy which communicates a clear and consistent message to specific users. Providing communication clarity in signage is ensured through solid wayfinding techniques. Embracing human beings in built navigation process, putting in place systems that are understood intuitively. By ensuring an environment is maximised for human navigation this provides value to a given location or building. Positive user memory, prompting people to think of a building fondly and want to visit again.  Finally, it allows you to understand the potential of your environment, maximising business objectives.

    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) is the leading independent consultancy and can provide you with strategy and implementation throughout the UK.

    Mike Slater (MD)
    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) Ltd

  2. The Diamond – The University of Sheffield

    Comments Off on The Diamond – The University of Sheffield

    The University of Sheffield is on the verge of revealing its latest flagship building this autumn. The Diamond building is said to have cost £81 million and is the largest investment in teaching and learning for the University. The name ‘diamond’ was chosen due to the distinctive diamond shaped wrap around the building. The project includes an intricate external façade formed in anodised aluminium. The new space will host specialist engineering facilities and include a range of seminar rooms and open plan learning spaces. Not to mention a brand new café to provide the student community a new place to eat.

    The building has been designed by Twelve Architects in partnership with Balfour Beatty Construction. The design of the building promotes new methods of teaching, including laboratories and flexible teaching spaces. Supporting the Faculty of Engineering’s world class reputation. The 6 story build will be capable of accommodating 5000 student study spaces. Such a large number a students making use of this building requires a detailed wayfinding analysis to determine the efficient movement of students within the facility.

    Interior under construction

    Interior under construction

    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) have been brought in to work with Sheffield University to form a wayfinding strategy for this prestigious building. The challenge has been to make this unique and modern space as intuitive as possible, whilst incorporating various screens and technology. As a result signage has been kept to a minimum, giving the impression of a high-tech building which embraces a natural flow of people. The signs which are present, have been designed to promote the University’s image, generating a positive brand experience. The university wayfinding strategy is simple yet effective, another example of Wayfinder’s work in the University sector.

    Once completed, it is estimated the building will provide 500 new jobs. Whilst contributing over £80 million to the local economy within the first 3 years of opening. The Diamond building will act as the jewel in the crown for the University and for the city. Positioning the university as a forward thinking organisation, dedicated to providing their students with quality facilities and education.

  3. HOME Manchester – Contemporary Arts and Wayfinding

    Comments Off on HOME Manchester – Contemporary Arts and Wayfinding

    HOME describes itself as a place ‘for curiosity seekers, for lovers of the dramatic, the digital and the deeply engaging; for radicals and reciprocates.’ The newly built building contains two theatres, five cinemas and an art gallery which replaces the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre.

    On the 21st May 2015 HOME was opened to the public by local film maker Danny Boyle. The £25 million arts complex received immediate praise from the public. The new project provides a modern centre for arts and culture based in Manchester – regenerating derelict land and boosting the city’s cultural profile.

    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) made time to visit the site a couple weeks after the opening. On visiting you are immediately struck by the clean and contemporary interior. The building is welcoming, encouraging public engagement with the facilities at hand.

    The wayfinding specification helped to provide the project with a clear direction. An understanding of managing the movement of people was crucial to help develop the communications and logistics of the  building.

    The signage was specifically designed to wrap around corners of several walls on the premises. This made effective use of the limited space available. The materials used match the overall décor and are placed strategically around the venue.

    HOME – Corner Signs

    Fitted screens mean flexibility of information, ensuring the public are informed with live information. Utilising such a system gives rise to plenty of marketing opportunities to portray HOME as a place to visit for the culturally inspired.

    The facility needed to be capable of managing large amounts of people, indeed Danny Boyle said that he anticipated ‘Heathrow Terminal 5-type chaos upon the opening of the new complex’. However, the opening was smooth and successful, generating a host positive reviews from the public.

    HOME is a fantastic addition to art and culture in Manchester, allowing the city to compete not only nationally but globally. HOME has deservedly enjoyed plenty of positive publicity over the last few weeks and the project as a whole is a credit to all those involved.

  4. Signage At The Christie Hospital

    Comments Off on Signage At The Christie Hospital

    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) have continued their dedicated work at The Christie Hospital in Manchester. The team has provided a signage strategy which adheres to the corporate brand guidelines agreed. Working together with The Christie, we have seen a consistent plan implemented, providing further signage and wayfinding for their new extension.

    Our new approach has given The Christie a new quality image, improved brand and an improved user experience. Our consultants have continued to improve the hospital wayfinding strategy for the benefit of all visitors and patients.

  5. Princess Alexandra Hospital

    Comments Off on Princess Alexandra Hospital

    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) have been busy in recent months, coordinating several projects, in particular the implementation of a new efficient strategy regarding the movement of people around Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex. The Hospital was having trouble achieving a positive visitor experience, meaning many patients simply weren’t getting to their appointments. A strategy was put in place in order to stop confusion by being simplistic and pragmatic in the approach. The project incorporated Wayfinding, Branding and Signage. Giving the client full understanding and control over their solution whilst delivering the result on time and within budget.

    The Hospital had persisted with a cluttered, complex system which was exhibited by the signs both externally and internally. This impacted on the efficiency of the hospital, costing thousands of pounds in wasted time and appointments. A hospital wayfinding solution has been sure to improve the Princess Alexandra Hospital, ensuring longevity whilst minimising future maintenance and management costs.

  6. Heathrow Airport

    Comments Off on Heathrow Airport

    Select Wayfinding (Wayfinder UK) are pleased to hear that the first flights will arrive at Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 today; almost 60 years after the original Terminal 2 opened as the airport’s first passenger terminal in 1955.

    Terminal 2 is a £2.5 billion project and marks the latest phase of an £11 billion private sector investment that has transformed Heathrow for passengers. We are pleased to have been part of such a successful project, having worked behind the scenes at Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 where we supplied the signage.

    In addition the team are delighted with the recent customer satisfaction rates, having been instrumental in developing a comprehensive wayfinding solution for the development of a new Central Bus Station at Heathrow Airport, which was a ground-breaking project undertaken as a joint venture between BAA and National Express.

    The proportion of passengers rating their journey at Heathrow as “very good” or “excellent” has increased from 41% in 2006 to 80% in 2014.

    The new Terminal 2 is the next step in the transformation of passenger service at Heathrow. Terminal 5 has been voted by passengers as the world’s best airport terminal for the last three years, and Heathrow is now rated as among the top ten airports in the world for passenger service – the only UK airport to receive such an accolade.