Wayfinding design combines signage and map design, symbols, colour, and typography to effectively navigate people through a space.
In urban settings, wayfinding specialists develop signage and information systems for both pedestrians and motorists, who each have unique challenges navigating streets and roadways. These information systems help people develop “mental maps” of the terrain and simplify their routes to the extent possible.
What is Wayfinding? Wayfinding is knowing where you are physically, and how to get where you want to be in space. Clear wayfinding design is intuitive and nonverbal. It helps users to access the various spaces within a building, reducing stress and increasing efficiency.
5 Most Important Wayfinding Design Principles
Create An Identity At Each Location
Use Landmarks For Orientation Cues
Create Well-Structured Paths
Create Regions Of Differing Visual Character
Don't Overload With Too Many Navigational Choices
Wayfinding strategy is the consistent utilization of a set of standard principles in order to help users orient themselves while navigating a given area.
Wayfinding and navigation are related concepts, but they aren't exactly the same. Wayfinding, the broader term, refers to how people find their way around environments. Navigation refers to the specific means by which people find their way, including route navigation, landmark navigation, and map navigation.
Wayfinding is particularly important in complex built environments such a suburban centres, health care and educational campuses and transportation facilities. As architectural environments become more complicated, people need visual cues such as maps, directions, and symbols to help guide them to their destinations. In these often high-stress environments, effective wayfinding systems contribute to a sense of well-being, safety, and security and are most useful in urban and high population settings.