One of the most commonly shared human experiences is the anxiety of not knowing where to go or what to do when you arrive at a key decision point. Even with GPS-enabled devices to help guide us, we still rely on wayfinding signage that is clear and easy to see and interpret to get us to our final destination.
The popular website “baddesigns.com” is a nice little website that features a variety of consumer-focused experiences with products and with operating instructions. If you’ve got five minutes to spend over lunch, take a look at what people say are badly designed products and what makes these products hard to use.
After reading a few of the posts, it becomes obvious that companies creating products and product instruction manuals make assumptions about consumer knowledge and operational comfort that sometimes miss the mark for everyday users.
Signage does not escape the “bad designs” commentators’ roving eye, and that is a good thing. As architects, environmental graphic designers, and sign companies take the lead in implementing the new 2010 ADA Guidelines, it is very important that we keep the common user in mind. Here are five best practice tips you might want to consider when designing your next wayfinding plan:
- Keep the message simple
- Make the pictogram clear to see
- Don’t let your design concept impede communication
- Don’t be cheap – use durable materials and finishes
- Walk the site with someone and see if they can find their way
Tell us what you think and share your best practices or wayfinding experiences.