Most designers and architects believe wayfinding is not a high priority issue, or view it as a problem that will interfere with good design. And too often it is considered simply a signage issue....
According to Professor Per Mollerup, "Wayfinding should be part of the logistics and general site planning, especially for complex sites like hospitals, otherwise, wayfinding could become so-called repair design for architectural neglect".
ID/Lab's research project for the Austin/Mercy Hospital in Melbourne revealed that the hospital was spending over $2.2 million annually in staff time giving directions. This does not yet address the cost for missed appointments!
After implementing just the most urgent of ID/Lab's recommendations, 70% less wayfinding complaints were received and the hospital saved over $650,000.00 annually in staff time. All the recommended changes could have been picked up in the architectural design stages, and be implemented as part of the building work for minimum cost.
Wayfinding is more then just a navigational aid. Rather it is a way to market an area's resources (eg retail, tourist attractions), alter negative perceptions, evoke a sense of character and improve accessibility and public safety.
ID/Lab is Australia's only specialised wayshowing consultancy. We have developed a unique approach to delivering wayshowing/wayfinding solutions, based on many years of experience researching, developing, designing, testing and implementing wayshowing strategies in Australia and Europe.