Wayfinding is often considered as just signage instead of site or building legibility. A wayfinding system involves buildings, open space, lighting, and landmarks. It’s about providing consistent clues to help people navigate indoor and outdoor spaces. Wayfinding should be integrated into the design process in the early stages instead of being added as an afterthought. To help designers, the CRC for Construction Innovation has devised a wayfinding system audit checklist.
The Wayfinding Systems Audit checklist provides guidance for designing wayfinding systems. There is a mix of Australian Standards, thoughtful design, and end user convenience. It includes:
- The application of tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI)
- Signage and graphic communication
- Auditory communication
The audit checklist supports the Wayfinding Design Guidelines also produced by the CRC. The many photographs illustrate key points.
Some basic principles
Provide frequent directional cues throughout the space, particularly at decision points along journeys in both directions.
The design of decision points must be logical, rational and obvious to a sighted user, ensuring the directional cues relate directly to a building or landscape space. Ensure sequencing and that the priority and grouping of message signs is unambiguous.
Design and implement a ‘naming protocol’ by choosing a theme for segregating places and spaces. Use names and symbols easily remembered by users from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Consider incorporating information in multiple languages or incorporating pictograms when devising a naming protocol.
Ensure the physical placement, installation and illumination of signage is suitable for all users.
Published in 2007 by the CRC for Construction Innovation, supported by the Queensland Government. The CRC came to an end in 2009. The Australian Standard for Wayfinding (AS1428.4.2) was updated in 2018.
The Victorian Department of Health also has a useful wayfinding checklist for hospitals and health facilities.
Audit also in previous post