Airport Wayfinding Tool
British Airport Authority
Wayfinding is sometimes regarded as little more than the provision of signage, maps and electronic displays. The underlying behavioural issues involved in the navigation of complex environments are generally less well recognised and understood.
Good wayfinding provision within airports can benefit both flight operations and retail functions. The provision of supportive wayfinding will efficiently guide passengers through the system whilst at the same time maximising the time available for shopping, eating and the use of other facilities.
At the time wayfinding performance is measured using the Quality Service Monitor score. It has now been shown that these QSM scores do not truly reflect the success of wayfinding through a terminal and this underlies the need for easy to use, robust and reliable tools in this area. Any such tools need to draw upon the extensive pool of wayfinding knowledge and expertise within BAA and make this expertise more widely available.
CCD was commissioned to develop a concept toolkit to support the design and assessment of wayfinding
We started with understanding the issue through a number of discussions with different BAA staff, walkarounds of the airports, discussions with BAA market research and looking at the relevant literature.
The work concluded that there were four main issues affecting wayfinding:
- Knowledge requirements: quality, timely information, adequate for user needs
- Signage: accurate location & positioning, consistent terminology, discimination between directional, facility and retail
- "Comfort" factors: confirmation of route, recovery clues, human presence
- Environmental issues: use of space, lighting, noise
We delivered a concept design for a toolkit of 12 tools covering route checking, information matching, decision complexity, wayfinder experience, wayfinder observation, passenger routes, clutter quotient, passenger flow, sightlines, sign visibility, complexity factors and a flyer's questionnaire.