The three stages of a wayfinding project
Our design approach to wayfinding projects has three stages:
Stage 1: Defining building navigation problems
Working with staff, users and site developers, we define and predict the problems that visitors encounter when making their way to and around an organisation. We analyse the use of buildings and the spaces that connect them, their external and internal routes, directions, pinch-points and problem areas.
Through observation, discussion and experience we build up a profile of the building's usability-problems and successes. This usability profile forms a foundation for user-led design, at stage 2.
Stage 2: Developing the scheme
Wayfinding schemes are developed specifically for each project.
Some common themes are: the development of an historic context for naming room and areas, sign systems that deliver information, map systems, landmarks, online media backed up by verbal directions provided by staff.
We define the locations where people will have time to take in this information, and develop solutions that conform to building regulations and DDA/EA requirements.
Information is delivered consistently through a whole journey. Comprehensive maps use building and landscape features as location points. Where signs are used they are integrated and consistent with the architecture and environment.
Throughout the project we liaise closely with site owners, project managers, planners, local authorities, product manufacturers and other relevant parties.
The development of stages 1 and 2 leads to a comprehensive strategy document covering all the scheme elements, pictograms, typography, colours, brand reinforcement and construction detail for all the signs, furniture and features that make up the wayfinding scheme.
Stage 3: Delivering the wayfinding system
Following scheme final approval, we project manage a detailed quotation process with manufacturers, contractors and suppliers. We then oversee the programme of works, including manufacture, supply, fitting and snagging.
After installation, projects are analysed for effectiveness. We then continue to work with clients to develop solutions as their building uses change over coming years.