AI, virtual/augmented reality and Internet of things might be stealing the tech limelight, but for wayfinding designers, the pace of change in digital screen technology is equally enthralling. The robustness and resolution seems to be accelerating along with a relative reduction in price (and increase in acronyms). Are we approaching a tipping point when it comes to the cost of incorporating digital screens in wayfinding signs? And how to you choose the best option for your scheme?
Managing Wayfinding Projects
When designing a new wayfinding scheme a range of methodologies can be used to test and shape the outcome. But how can we assess the contribution to the performance of the business or destination as a whole? Here we explore different ways for evaluating the performance of wayfinding schemes.
When specifying a new wayfinding system, it’s important to factor in the ongoing maintenance costs. Beyond ensuring the physical infrastructure is safe and kept in good order, you need to think about how frequently the information may need updating; the extent of likely changes; how critical the response time will be and budget. Feeding these into the design process will help ensure that the scheme is affordable over the long-term.
Why graphic design is a key component of urban design. It’s the graphic objects that give a place its colour; encourages us to explore; keep us safe; communicates its purpose and why we should be interested. It helps us to connect with a place and can inspire just as much passion as the architectural or landscape design.
In November 2020, amendments to The Building Regulations 2010 came into force. Responding to the recommendations from the Independent Review of Building, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, these new regulations cover wayfinding signage requirements for the fire service for all apartment buildings over 11m in height with specifications for location, position, typeface and nomenclature.
Every sector, discipline and business establishes its own language. Using single words or acronyms to represent more complex constructs that act as communication shortcuts. It’s all very well if you’re in the know, but it can be a huge barrier to understanding if you’re not. So for anyone experiencing his or her first encounter with the world of wayfinding we thought it would be helpful to put together a bit of a checklist.
So often we come across wayfinding being erroneously equated as another word for signs. To put the record straight, wayfinding is a recognised, albeit niche design discipline. There is a raft of specialist wayfinding consultancies whose business it is to design solutions to increase legibility and help people find their way round buildings, towns and cities. Where signs may or equally may not be part of the solution.
Designers use a range of sophisticated digital tools to bring their ideas to life. But however smart these softwares are, it requires specialist experience and training in the relevant design discipline to be designer
Truly collaborative partnerships are key to the success of design consultancy projects. No matter how well considered a written brief, it can only ever be a sanitised, top line summary, open to interpretation. It will miss the nuance and detail that you get through talking face to face. To really capture the essence of what’s required you need to hear the stories and experience the culture and personality of the business.