08 Oct What is Wayfinding?
We’re all busy and travelling around trying to find our way, in a world that’s so chock-full of information and bright lights, can be overwhelming. This is where good wayfinding – the use of visual information systems and graphic communications such as maps, signs and symbols – to help people get from A to B on the street and inside large buildings becomes non-negotiable. And this is where Xpress Group excels in its work with clients such as Heathrow Airport.
Where did wayfinding come from?
In 1960, urban planner and author Kevin A Lynch defined wayfinding in his book ‘The Image of the City’ as, “a consistent use and organization of definite sensory cues from the external environment.” As graphic communication has evolved and digital displays have become commonplace these sensory cues have also evolved but the concept remains true to Lynch’s observation and the three key uses of wayfinding are:
• Understanding and managing customer journeys
• Zoning areas and organising spaces
• Relieving congestion and managing flow
Why is wayfinding important?
Two environments where both kinds of wayfinding come into play are hospitals and transport hubs such as airports where numerous car parks and departments are typical.
Within these environments, three different types of wayfinding may be used for:
• Information – This provides information about the route e.g. a flight information display tells you your flight will depart from Gate 6
• Confirmation– This lets you know you’re going the right way e.g. Gate 1-6 is 5 minutes’ walk
• Direction – This tells you which way to go to reach your destination e.g. Gate 6
Many hospitals and airports have developed over time and include several buildings, which makes navigation between and among the buildings difficult. Visitors of patients can be suffering from just as much emotional strain when looking for the correct department or ward as a traveller is suffering from time constraints when looking for the right roadway or terminal.
At times of stress, purely text-based signs are not always effective and visual cues, or even sequences of visual cues, including colours and symbols are far more useful. They are easier to spot and for our brains to process and follow.
How Xpress Group will help you find your way
We have created a range of signage and wayfinding for Heathrow Airport. Each incorporates effective visual cues to help airport visitors manage their journeys simply quickly so they don’t need to hang around uncertain of their next move and reduce a flow in traffic. Also, our wayfinding solutions help visitors looking for particular areas of the airport to know which direction they should go in and when they’ve arrived. In fact, Xpress Group have Heathrow travellers’ wayfinding covered from parking to passport control:
Drop & Ride – This outdoor banner is located at the roundabout 5 minutes from Terminal five and uses familiar Good to Go Parking branding and colours, directional arrows and graphics to show the correct roundabout exit.
Meet & Greet Parking – We designed, printed and installed a large-format Meet & Greet parking sign, which uses the iconic white “P in a blue box” to signal parking and can be viewed from outside the building so drivers are informed of where to head when dropping off travellers.
Those travellers, in turn, know which direction to head for once they enter the airport.
Arrivals Journey – Clear text and the familiar “i for information” symbol is used to show that travellers are approaching passport control and a graphic image of a map is used to and confirm which continent they’ve landed in.
Contact Xpress Group today so we can help you and your customers find the right way with your graphics and signage.