Today recognised as a necessary element for every built environment, the term “Wayfinding” was first coined by Kevin Lynch in his book “The Image of the City” (1960). In it he recognised the connection between psychology, human behaviour and the environment to explore how people perceived their environments in predictable ways. Thus, in scientific circles, wayfinding is understood as the collective term used to explain the cognitive processes used in navigation.
Although Lynch’s initial understandings have developed significantly in the world of behavioural science and are now well recognised as a means of influencing user experience, wayfinding has struggled to be truly understood commercially. This is partly because it has been seized upon by many different disciplines to explain their own approach to navigation. As such many of the benefits have been missed.
One of the most common misconceptions is that wayfinding is primarily about signage. This is due to the term being used by design studios or sign companies to describe add on services allied to their core business of graphic design, branding or sign manufacture.
Our consultants were quick to recognise the significance of wayfinding as an independent discipline and understood if carried out correctly, the process can have a hugely beneficial role to play, not only in providing a framework for effective navigation, but also in delivering many other significant benefits to aid the effective functioning of human environments.
Over the past 20 years our passion for delivering what we know to be an important message has seen us share information and produce presentations for delivery to clients as far afield as the Middle East and North America.
In 2009 our consultants were asked by the NBS Learning Channel (RIBA Enterprises Limited) to write and contribute towards the production of a Wayfinding training module for UK architects, titled “Signing up to Wayfinding techniques”.
The scope of our experience covers all human environments and our consultants have worked successfully with an impressive list of clients, including hospitals, universities, local authorities, airports and transportation groups.
In the Business sector, our clients range from large multi-national corporations, operating in the words of finance, manufacturing and logistics, to smaller localised enterprises with very specific needs.
We consider ourselves uniquely placed to provide all the important insight necessary to deliver the right answer.
There is far more to wayfinding than helping people reach their destination. When applied correctly, wayfinding can be a powerful tool for the management of any environment. As well as maximising an organisations brand image, it can have a hugely beneficial effect on how efficiently an environment operates.
We help human beings get the most from the places they visit and when they do, they feel less stressed, more positive and more fulfilled. They become less demanding, more willing and more supportive. This leads to a multitude of benefits for our clients, who see operating costs reduce, waste decrease and revenues grow.
We help our clients fulfil all the recognised wayfinding requirements by making sure their users have all the information they need to navigate with ease in even the most complex environments. We deliver the right information in the right place at the right time by delivering strategies that break down complexity, so environments appear cohesive, familiar and inviting.
Using a unique blend of experience and specialist techniques, backed by an essential understanding of human behaviour, we break down complexity to explain even the most complicated environments in a manner that is logical, user friendly and welcoming.
We recognise the cognitive processes associated with wayfinding and understand why they impact heavily on the way we perceive our environments; and behave as a result. We use this knowledge to deliver successful solutions that harness these crucial processes to best effect, rather than working against them.
We follow a comprehensive process developed from our own unique experience with input from leading scientific experts. Employed in the field successfully for almost 20 years, it delivers a staged and structured consultation, conducting analysis, offering information and responding to feedback.
Importantly, the process is designed to promote understanding through informed discussion, so our clients stay in complete control at all times, offering approval at every stage.
We know people do not respond well to change unless the message is carried in the right way. Experience show us good communication, clear understanding and an acknowledgement of the reasons behind it are essential for success, all of which are important parts of the process.
Ensuring users are able to navigate even the most complex of environment in the most efficient way possible.
While doing so we make sure valuable experiences are not missed.
Ensuring users retain a positive memory of their visit when they leave.
Finally, we look to achieve these aims while looking to support the organisations commercial and operational objectives
There are many important factors to consider before a decision is made. As wayfinding consultants, we are here to help you with that decision and advise you on the direction to take for the greatest benefit.