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‘IaI‘lr’* -"fiI. lv: ifr Ill

anthony d paul,  student

Visual Communication Design + Linguistics
Dept of Industrial,  Int...
introduction

  

problem

  

Through first~hand experience and observation of
pedestrian traffic,  a need was identified...
direction

This research targets people's use of
adaptive environmental labeling,  such as
landmarks,  nearby buildings,  ...
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what is wayfinding? 

A wayfinding system is the set of cues a space utilizes

to assist users within...
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Columbus campus statistics

400+
1750

Buildings: 
Acres: 

50,000+ (10% international)
35

Students: 

,0...
current signage

The current wayfinding system is composed of
decades of revisions to ad hoc systems compounded
by univers...
The primary wayfinding system employed is an Hitchcock Ha| |(H| j
online mapping system.  r Buildvi327-t
College 0fEriginE...
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what was done

To get a general understanding of the primary .  «I. 
userbase (students),  an...
what we found 

The average person is asked for directions on
campus a couple of times per quarter. 

The average person p...
current navigation preferences

According to those surveyed,  these are currently the
most used and preferred methods for ...
building identifiers

The surveyed were asked how they most commonly
refer to buildings in which they frequent‘

Unsurpris...
cognitive representation

what was done

Packaged into the beginning of the 77 surveys was a
request for directions from t...
"Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi

visual translation

The drawn maps are particularly interesting becau...
visual translation

More frequently the maps included textual labels. 

This labeling is more assisting to unfamiliar inqu...
"Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi

visual translation

While the majority of the directions (both drawn ...
"Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi

visual translation

This atypical map is the only map that began to
g...
communication tools

Whether written or drawn,  the directions had various
elements used for wayfinding communication. 

H...
To capture a visual documentation of the navigation
tools students claimed to use most frequently on the
surveys,  we sele...
i‘ I: I'nr'o‘_! V."I>‘ Mall.  W li“lr. ‘i: li"l3_Ii'Ii" ni

photologging

Miscellaneous marks throughout campus become
fam...
behavioral observation

  '1-. -.; 

photologging

Permanent geographic and landscape marks become
especially relevant to ...
photologging

Temporary blockages such as construction are
initially distractions forcing alteration of familiar
paths. 

...
analysis of alternative systems

To begin identifying traits more successful systems
employ,  my team and I visited two lo...
field audi

 

 

    
   

analysis of alternative systems

The complex spaces,  both indoor and outdoor relied
on relati...
field audit

 

analysis of alternative systems

Mirroring the campus environment,  landmarks
immediately became reference...
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(Y cue) to arrive at

, turn at

why does t...
what next? 

The research for this project is still very preliminary. 

Much of what we have already found will be ground
...
what's missing? 

None of our research thus far has reached into visual
impairments,  and the navigational tools associate...
application

  

conclusion

  

Development and testing of the proposed system's
elements will begin in the beginning of ...
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Research and Development of a Comprehensive Wayfinding System for The Ohio State University

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Presented at National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) on 4/21/2005

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Research and Development of a Comprehensive Wayfinding System for The Ohio State University

  1. 1. ‘IaI‘lr’* -"fiI. lv: ifr Ill anthony d paul, student Visual Communication Design + Linguistics Dept of Industrial, Interior, + Visual Communication Design The Ohio State University jack l nasar, advisor Dept of City and Regional Planning Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture The Ohio State University RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE WAYFINDING SYSTEM FOR THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY research and development of a comprehensive wayfindlng system for the ohio state university
  2. 2. introduction problem Through first~hand experience and observation of pedestrian traffic, a need was identified for a comprehensive wayfinding system on campus. The proposed system would extend from nearby highway signage, into both exterior and interior campus signage. Accessed by people with a wide range of motivations, information needs, reading levels and time dedications, the system would require more than systematic placement of traditional text-based signs. To develop such a system requires a much deeper understanding of how people process orientation and wayfinding information in unfamiliar surroundings. research and development of a comprehensive waytinding system for the ohio state university
  3. 3. direction This research targets people's use of adaptive environmental labeling, such as landmarks, nearby buildings, or an area's purpose as identification tools, especially where no successful wayfinding system has been established. it is vital to identity the tools people use to give and interpret wayfinding information before describing the traits an ideal system must employ. The research will be used to drive the design development, prototyping and testing of icons, signs, maps and other components of a final, audience—centered wayfinding system. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university IIIIFI‘ --iii . Ir: 'I'I«‘III
  4. 4. n . m .0 U :0 m . m what is wayfinding? A wayfinding system is the set of cues a space utilizes to assist users within the space to orient themselves and navigate throughout the space. Traditionally, these cues are visual such as signs, arrows, OI maps. why does it matter? A successful wayfinding system can be the difference between enjoying interaction with a complex space, or becoming terrified when lost and residually associating that terror with the location‘. Romedi Passini, a scholar in this field, notes that some perceived challenge is required to create explorational interest in a space. However, the line between too little and too much is entirely dependant upon the utility of the space. 'agoraphobia is the extreme of this negative emotional identification research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  5. 5. =. tI. IIrilIi Columbus campus statistics 400+ 1750 Buildings: Acres: 50,000+ (10% international) 35 Students: ,000+ Employees: These numbers do not reflect the large flow of r S10 ms. mm fin. " gm s. m mm mm Cu em m. ..st 9.. .. V ea 9r . ne mm om. Wsm ore “ma UnC da. I mmm obd flra we vpu research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  6. 6. current signage The current wayfinding system is composed of decades of revisions to ad hoc systems compounded by university growth. This sampling of signs comes from a single intersection on the main campus. Even in this tiny relative footprint, you can see many standards that have been implemented over time and either abandoned without replacement, or not adhered to. The lack of a standard has promoted holes in directioning, hand-made solutions, and inaccuracy. One additional note is that almost all of these signs are intended for automotive traffic. Agricultural Administration Building 1 min. .. rv ii. mu t. ... ... i.i. 2I2o Fylin Roaii Hospitals and cs Veterinary Hospital ncoin Tower » Veterinary Hospital Central Campus Agricultural Adrrii fraiiori Building T research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university Till mun smi Uli‘l['iSIVt )t)}‘iiylft= coiiii Animal Science Building Ohio 4*H Center State 4-H OHICE Agiiciiitiiiai Aamiii. Auditorium Vivian Hall 2121 Fyife Road
  7. 7. The primary wayfinding system employed is an Hitchcock Ha| |(H| j online mapping system. r Buildvi327-t College 0fEriginEEl'Ii1g 2070 Neil Avenue Through a search for a specific building, this informational is presented. Each building is identified by a photo, a name, an abbreviation, an arbitrary number, the college it is associated with, and its street address. Find the location of the building on the provided map. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  8. 8. s U w v m. PR ed mm nf om gm. .mb wa . mn e be eb mm. r e mme 9.t. .m nnl Md. 3 lo mam euw WW5 u u ia oPc Yae Hmb , and search through the rest of the If you scroll down numbers you will see it. An important note is the orientation of North. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  9. 9. IIIT . ~r= iiin; Ilinu what was done To get a general understanding of the primary . «I. userbase (students), an initial survey was distributed to gather a number of different informational samples. This surveying would help direct future controlled experiments. the audience polled 77 surveys 2 pages, 16 questions 62% men, 38% women 46% from ohio, 18% out of state, 36% out of country 50% have been at osu for one year or less primary transportation: 57% walk 23% car 10% bus 9% bike 1% motorcycle research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  10. 10. what we found The average person is asked for directions on campus a couple of times per quarter. The average person perceives themselves as having » I a good sense of direction. ‘ Almost a quarter of the surveyed regularly carry a ‘ printed campus map. The average person claims that wayfinding on campus is somewhat difficult. When going somewhere new locally, 48% prefer a written directions, 36% prefer maps, and 16% prefer ‘ both. . , } 24% of those surveyed switch to using both maps and - . written direction when in an unfamiliar city, where l , ' , they only use one or the other locally. . research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university Inliilall. :ro1II'IIl, ‘IlIIu; ,| ‘T_'W'? £¥"E'5 'i~''f7''-': " ' ~'}, .‘~. {"). }J, R '7 )5‘ ix‘; . , ' = " lq ' . a _ Lie ' I E. .. . = .U, _ . . -. -_ " ””“ir ff‘ ‘§ 1' "'2 I r_/ ‘ 3% ~ "‘-~‘, -—. _‘_ .
  11. 11. current navigation preferences According to those surveyed, these are currently the most used and preferred methods for locating a building on campus. Online and printed maps are the most used. None of the other tools are used less than (about) half of the time. An important observation is that most of these preferred methods target frequent users of the campus. Many of these preferred methods are currently unavailable to all or most visitors. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university memory cardinal directions pre-visits existing signage geographic icons landmark buildings street signs asking friends asking on sidewalk printed map online map Inflihll. :ro‘. In'II1,‘Il'Inu_: ,| l 0 A 15 7 7 5 names A rsmvrss 1 53431333: is 23015523: :5 s ‘ 5 amsazss I I l 5 6 7 735 f s 33331133:
  12. 12. building identifiers The surveyed were asked how they most commonly refer to buildings in which they frequent‘ Unsurprisingly, the name of the building comes in first, but in contrast the 3-digit map code is least used, even when the online and printed maps are the most preferred method for finding the buildings, requiring use of the code. Landmarks, major, and facade are the runner«ups that are not utilized in the existing signage system. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university nickname previous course facade nearby landmarks major I’: #1! map code 2 letter code name initial sampling
  13. 13. cognitive representation what was done Packaged into the beginning of the 77 surveys was a request for directions from the current location of the survey-taker, to a variable location chosen by the survey-giver. 45% (32) textual directions The from and to were not important. Instead, the goal was to allow the subjects to use any comfortable means to represent their directions in 45% (32) the blank space provided. drawn maps This task preceded all other questions inquiring preferences or perceived abilities to avoid biasing via hyper-awareness. what we found 11 people both drew a map and wrote textual directions. 4 people gave cardinal directions incorrectly. Most of the cardinal directions were not oriented C0”9C1lY- N orientation 10% (7) bulleted textual directions research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  14. 14. "Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi visual translation The drawn maps are particularly interesting because they not only give direction, but more accurately account an individual's perception of the space they are within. Through analyzation of these maps, we get a sense of what information is essential in a navigational structure, and what information the user discards as frivolous. This map uses very little information that is not contextual. Almost nothing is labeled, filtering most information on the assumption that the receiver is somewhat familiar with the current surroundings. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  15. 15. visual translation More frequently the maps included textual labels. This labeling is more assisting to unfamiliar inquiries, and additionally allows the map to be taken out of context, then returned at a later time for re-use. An interesting occurrence is the incorrect cardinal direction set. In some cases a simple North tick was oriented incorrectly. In other cases, the entire directional cross was present but misrepresented. One case only drew the incorrect cross, then based the entire list of textual directions on cardinal directioning. "Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  16. 16. "Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi visual translation While the majority of the directions (both drawn and written) relied on a specific identified path, a number of maps included more surrounding information to give options to the receiver. This map goes a step further than most, acquiring utility even outside of the micro context it was created in. Should the inquirer request additional directions to a building elsewhere on this grid, little revision is needed to accomplish the task. it is important to note the ”you are here” designation you have seen on all of the maps shown thus far were provided without prompt. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  17. 17. "Z"l; III“i"= -‘ i‘= .I; Ii*= s.~I= n|I‘l= Ifl'I*lIi visual translation This atypical map is the only map that began to ground the viewer. All other maps were direct aerial interpretations. In addition, other identifiers such as the duck denoting water, and trees surrounding a path (while whimsical), become powerful communicators. Should this map be cleaned up and handed to a number of people within the departure spot, no additional navigational information would be needed to find the lake. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  18. 18. communication tools Whether written or drawn, the directions had various elements used for wayfinding communication. Here is the breakdown in frequency of each tool used, showing the most popular, as well as the occasional unexpected artifacts. The bias in this information is the frequency with which each is used in the communication format. Several of these are used almost entirely in textual directions, and others are used in drawn maps, where the highest scoring are used in both contexts. Upon a larger sampling, this data will need to be sorted into format-specific presentations. However, for these purposes, an ideal wayfinding system would take all of these into consideration. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university cognitive representation facade cardinal directions left right oval misc landmarks you are here traffic light arrows trees animals parking garage unnamed buildings named buildings unnamed streets named streets mirror lake
  19. 19. To capture a visual documentation of the navigation tools students claimed to use most frequently on the surveys, we selected three students to follow in a photo-documentation of their day. The instruction was to take a picture of any reference that was used to trigger a change in direction or prompting continuation while traversing campus. More than half of the photos taken used building facades as reference points, whether in the entirety of the building, or unique architectural highlights. To some extent the current mapping system utilizes this with a slight aerial perspective and inclusion of photos. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  20. 20. i‘ I: I'nr'o‘_! V."I>‘ Mall. W li“lr. ‘i: li"l3_Ii'Ii" ni photologging Miscellaneous marks throughout campus become familiar points referenced by many users, even where their original application was not intended to be used as a navigational tool. If this mark were placed on a map, most students would quickly be able to direct you to it. The value in this label of our swimming facility is the extent to which it extends beyond language barriers. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  21. 21. behavioral observation '1-. -.; photologging Permanent geographic and landscape marks become especially relevant to students of majors that regularly pass them. However, installation pieces such as this become attractions to visitors as well, and can be dually utilized as map markers when looking for nearby locations. Statements such as these are not acknowledged in the current navigation system. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  22. 22. photologging Temporary blockages such as construction are initially distractions forcing alteration of familiar paths. Eventually they become part of the path as a substantial marker, until their conclusion. While incorporating temporary markers into a wayfinding system would require constant revision, thus becoming an impossibility, they are still an important consideration when developing a system. Any system developed would need to be prepared for unexpected fissures and reconnections. Reliability on a single path becomes a disjustice. You will notice none of these incorporated traditional marking systems such as signs. One road sign was noted in the journaling. Several building signs were pointed out as arrival markers, although even they were in minority. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university ? *-= i‘nr= rv‘I~*-rail "ll'l:1=li"‘l3IifI"lIi V. --‘-----o “‘ U. L.L. }.l. l. . —.. t its
  23. 23. analysis of alternative systems To begin identifying traits more successful systems employ, my team and I visited two local public attractions. Our goal was to mimic the photo-journaling exercise ourselves, consciously noting our own interaction with the unfamiliar spaces. Our first instinct was to consult the welcoming map in both locations. Unfortunately, they ended up being more intimidating than helpful, and ultimately we almost never referenced our pocket versions. field audit ind tickets embers free iiidren (2-12) udents + seniors iuits furs Ire Ivnlubiu the infnmmion EIRW research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  24. 24. field audi analysis of alternative systems The complex spaces, both indoor and outdoor relied on relatively no textual signage, or conscious decision-making. The methods we responded to naturally were iconography and color-coding. By following visual depictions of the content we wanted to head toward, and monitoring zonal changes through color markers, we were able to target areas of interest, easily filtering areas of non- interest. , f research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  25. 25. field audit analysis of alternative systems Mirroring the campus environment, landmarks immediately became reference points for paths crossed, aiding in renavigation and backtracking. Referring to any mapping or signage system became I unnecessary. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  26. 26. n m . ... . . ..ic W. D. a t: bli l u lII i . ... .m ' f v--1 um- (z)/ ' (Y cue) to arrive at , turn at why does this all matter? When we look at the methods people actually use to navigate a space, we wonder why we support systems that are ultimately being ignored. Looking at the popular cartoon tourism maps, we begin to see the value in reduction of information (commercial goals aside). In an example like this, very few people are reading the name of the road. It becomes much more cognitively efficient to say, ”From (X) The learning curve and application of spatial information becomes instinctual when executing our most natural associative processes. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  27. 27. what next? The research for this project is still very preliminary. Much of what we have already found will be ground down into the most valuable directions to exploit. From there, more controlled experiments will be devised and directed over this upcoming summer. Successful experiments will be reproduced in Germany in autumn to cross-compare results internationally. This comparison will allow us to identify navigational tools that are not able to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. With this in mind, the final focus will limit ties to Americans as a primary audience, encouraging international access. ‘oil: I; |I'l". o_II'I<‘ Ill TOUR COi! "iiU~S research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  28. 28. what's missing? None of our research thus far has reached into visual impairments, and the navigational tools associated with them. Focus on including this audience will begin this summer as well. Currently icon research is underway. It will be imperative to use symbols that are recognized by as many users as possible, in the identification of areas tied to specific majors. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university
  29. 29. application conclusion Development and testing of the proposed system's elements will begin in the beginning of 2006, following the final analysis of data gathered. The complete system will be developed into spring, ending as my senior thesis. research and development of a comprehensive wayfinding system for the ohio state university

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