Helping People Stay “On Track” (08-01-22)

Qi, Lu, and Chen’s research confirms the wayfinding-related findings of previous studies; being able to see the outdoors as we walk inside a building helps us keep track of where we are and find our way to a desired location.  They report that “General hospitals in China always present significant wayfinding problems due to their sizes and complexity. Poor wayfinding often leads to a frustrating and stressful user experience. . . . We conducted an experiment in which 117 college students, aged 18–33 . . . performed two tasks in virtual reality environments of outpatient clinics. . . . Participants’ sense of orientation, navigation ability, distance estimation, and spatial anxiety were captured by a survey. . . . Participants’ stress levels were lower with outdoor window views compared to those without outdoor views. With more environmental features (landmarks and outdoor window views) added to the environments, participants showed significantly better wayfinding performance.”

Fei Qi, Zhipeng Lu, and Yi Chen.  “Investigating the Influences of Healthcare Facility Features on Wayfinding Performance and Associated Stress Using Virtual Reality.”  HERD:  Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/19375867221108505