Thursday, April 05, 2007

Why you need wayfinding

Wayfinding is the term for sign systems that help people navigate through a space.

The other day I had to visit this strip mall to find a business called Live Scan. (A client requested that I get fingerprinted for a security clearance.) I found the building no problem, there was the sign, so I must be in the right place, correct?

Now I had to find the entrance. Hmm, was it the blue door?

No, that was the doctor's office.

The directory stated that Live Scan was on the second floor. Second floor? I stepped back and looked again.

It didn't look like there was a second floor. Back to the directory again, which was no help. I walked around the building, and could see no stairs or second floor. Before giving up, as a last resort I asked someone if they knew how to get to Live Scan. He took me back to the blue door, and pointed me through it.

Do you see the problem? Instead of saying, "Entrance," this door looked like it was solely the entrance to the doctor's office. Once inside, there was a small sign telling me how to get to Live Scan; it turned that there was indeed an upstairs.

Tip of the day: If your wayfinding doesn't do its job, your customers can't find you. If I hadn't gotten help when I did, I would have simply left.
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