3 Practical Tips for Wayfinding
January 19, 2017
Wayfinding is all about making spaces navigable. It’s an easy scenario to play out. You’re attending your first music festival. The grounds go on for a mile, your tickets are getting scanned and you’re famished from the long walk from parking lot to festival. How do you know where to go to find food? Do you grab a map? Do you ask the person next to you? Or do you walk around for hours until you happen upon a tent that looks like it may have a deep-fryer?
If you really think about it, you’ll find that the wonderful event planners working for the festival gave you a ton of clues to find your way through the chaos. Maps and arrowed signs are an example. However, the interesting and creative elements are the ones that you may have never noticed. These elements are the key to completely changing the way you experience a venue.
Give each location a unique visual character and identity
Identity in this context, makes one part of a larger space distinguishable from every other space. A single area should differentiate just enough for the principal to hold, without compromising the look and feel of the event as a whole. This difference may be reflected by the layout naturally. You won’t always need to strategically color code your tents, just make sure that enough elements have unique touches that make them different than those in other areas of the venue.
Use landmarks for orientation cues and memory
Landmarks are useful for two reasons. First, orientation cues allow someone to know where they are in relation to a certain landmark. Even if you have no idea where you are, you can tell someone that you’re near the Ferris wheel, facing the blue side. In that circumstance, not only are we able to find a general location (near the ride) but, if the two sides are different colors, then we can narrow down the area that you may be waiting.
The second use of landmarks is to provide an especially memorable location. These can provide instant recognition of your area. When your event has a shared understanding of landmarks, there is a foundation for providing written or spoken directions, descriptions of locations, or alternate routes.
Make the most of sightlines
The goal of this tip is to give the navigator a better view in one direction and some element to draw him towards that direction. Sightlines are a valuable means of giving information about what’s ahead to help move the single visitor or audience through the space and deeper into the buyer’s journey. They work as a sample of unfamiliar space. The sightlines give a viewer the opportunity to decide if the direction is interesting or not. Instead of using signage that tells the navigator about what lies ahead, you’re giving an alternative, visual insight to what’s down the path.
Planning for wayfinding is so important for the quality of your event, venue, and experience. This doesn’t have to be laborious or tedious. To discover how kinetic architecture can be utilized to optimize your wayfinding plan, fill out our contact form below.