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Why you need a small Independent Wayfinding Auditor?

The benefits of using a wayfinding auditor

No matter how much money is spent on a new wayfinding system, there are always issues that are overlooked. A brand new signage system introduced in an international airport; the redevelopment of space and a new signage in an outdoor tourist attraction; or any other wayfinding system being implemented; is complex and difficult to get right first time and many things are always overlooked by companies who create these systems. Problems that can occur include because:

  • Graphic designers who are used are used, almost always have no direct expertise in wayfinding.
  • Not enough attention was given to collecting qualitative data before-hand (i.e. interviewing the intended users of the system – we collect qualitative data in order to get to the bottom of existing issues and to preempt future problems).
  • The company being used are one of many used (such as if different parts of the location have been developed by different signage companies). This is a very common problem and can result in a chaotic wayfinding system that had much conflicting signage, designed differently such as with different colour systems and terminology standards on the signage. We see this issue occur very often in locations such as hospitals and airports especially.

Accessible environments wayfinding auditor

A key distinction also is that a wayfinding person who works as part of a large signage company, architectural firm or for a wayfinding company can often give guidance that is not truly independent given that the sale of signage and other related services in very often tied into reports. So what does an independent auditor do?

What we do as Independent Wayfinding Auditors

Cardiff Bay Wales navigational signage

As a small team of wayfinding auditors who specialise in providing reports that factor in all elements of wayfinding, we do the following (although it depends on the budget and needs of each business):

  • Evaluate your location as a whole (including access to the location and exits such as from local roads).
  • Collect qualitative data via basic qualitative techniques to better understand any existing issues with how people navigate your location. We choose key locations to undertake the data collection.
  • Evaluate access for all user types including disabled travellers and those with other special needs.
  • We also focus on the commercial needs that you might have as we see wayfinding as something that also importantly needs to meet the needs of businesses. Steering users past key commercial points is something we include in our reports.

Request an Independent Wayfinding Audit

Simply CONTACT US via the contact form and we can discuss your location and set up a wayfinding audit.

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Dr Paul Symonds has a PhD in Wayfinding from Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK. Paul works with the signage industry, airports and other locations providing wayfinding audits, consultancy and training.