“Excuse me. Can you tell me where the ladies’ room is?”
“I’m lost. I have a meeting on the 14th floor right now, and I can’t find the elevator.”
“Hey there. Can you point me toward HR? I’m here for an interview.”
These questions are all too common in places of business. Whether your organization is based in a 4000-square foot, one-story building or on a sprawling five-acre campus, wayfinding signs make everyone, whether they’re new employees or visitors, feel comfortable, welcome and at ease in your location.
Take a moment to observe the traffic in your space during peak times. Do visitors come in the door and stop to get their bearings, or does the traffic flow with ease because people know where they’re going? If you’ve answered the former, wayfinding signs can help ease the flow and welcome people both outside and in.
Here are five factors to consider when you’re looking to enhance the wayfinding in your space.
- Consult an expert. It’s difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a newcomer to your facility when you know it like the back of your hand. What seems obvious to you might be imperceptibleto others. Engage the services of wayfinding experts to help you see your space through new eyes. They can use their design expertise to create wayfinding signage that improves logistics as well as enhances your environment.
- Be mindful of your brand. Your space needs to match your brand, inside and out. Wayfindingsignage needs to be more than a piece of paper with an arrow that says “elevator.” (And while you’ll get an “E” for effort, putting that piece of paper in a plastic sheet protector does not make it classier.) Branded wayfinding signs make your space feel cohesive in a way that simple directional signs can’t.
- Seize the opportunity. Wayfinding signs can do more than simply point the way. They’re also an opportunity to send messages about your organization’s culture. Are you formal? Whimsical? Sassy? The wording you choose for your wayfinding signs helps you let folks know who you are from the minute they walk in the door.
- Keep an open mind. During your consultation with the wayfinding experts, you may discover there’s an issue with the traffic flow in your space. Don’t stress. They can often help you with that too. It may even be a simple fix, such as relocating the reception desk to open up the flow of your lobby and make it more welcoming and efficient.
- Be accommodating. Wayfinding signs should include Braille text to welcome visitors who are visually impaired, and they should be placed at a height that’s easily readable for those who might be in a wheelchair or other motorized device.
Wayfinding signs improve the experience in and around any space, large or small. Your organization doesn’t have to be a hospital, college campus, museum, sports venue or airport to need wayfinding signage. Nearly every business can benefit from wayfinding signs that increase efficiency, tell their story, reinforce their brand and create a sense of well-being, confidence and security for everyone who visits.