Wayfinding Systems 101: 4 Helpful Design Tips

Posted on: 13 July 2016

A wayfinding system is a valuable tool to have in large buildings. Comprised of several directional signs, these systems help guests and patrons navigate throughout the building. In order to get the most out of your wayfinding system, you should make sure you design it appropriately. If you don't know where to start, don't worry. These four design tips will ensure that every guest can easily read and understand your directional signage:

1. Clarity is Key

When wording your signs, make sure you use the simplest language you can. After all, the signs need to be read and understood by people of various ages and education levels. Whether using the signs at a hospital or a mall, make sure you use language that is easy to understand. In addition, make sure you avoid acronyms and synonyms when wording your signs because these may not be understood by all.

2. Keep It Consistent

Another important design tip is to keep your signs consistent. This means that you should ensure the signs should use the same language and describing words. For example, if you use "You are here," make sure you use that phrase on all signs—instead of switching it up. In addition, make sure that all the signs are the same shape, color, and size. This will make it much easier for guests to understand the signs.

3. Color Code

If there are many different routes in your building, you might want to consider color coding. You can easily implement this by color coding words on your sign. For example, all routes that lead to a specific area could be in white. If you do implement color coding, you might want to consider color coding the flooring or adding some of the same color to the wall. This will make it much easier for guests to navigate. Finally, make sure signs are located at all decision points—such as forks in the hallway—as this will also make navigation a lot easier.

4. Stay Simple

Finally, make sure you keep your signs simple. Do not use flowery language, obscure colors, or big graphics. All signs should be as simple as possible, as this will make it much easier. Using odd colors or fonts can make the sign difficult to read. Using graphics can make it confusing. So if in doubt, leave it out.

As you can see, designing a waypoint sign system isn't too difficult. With these tips, you will be well on your way to making your building a lot more patron friendly.