Jamshidi, and Pati studied wayfinding and how design can make it less likely that people get lost. They determined that among their study participants “the environmental elements that contributed to wayfinding were landmarks, corridors, nodes, regions, stairs, central spaces, courtyards, entrances, connecting halls, voids, doors, interior windows, and outdoor views.”
Ai, Yang, and Wang investigated tools that make it less likely that people get lost as they travel from one space to another. The team analyzed data from people 66 years old and older and people 65 and under, focusing on when study participants needed to decide how to move through a space “when the navigation aid was a map, a map plus self-updating (Global Positioning System [GPS]), or a text. After the wayfinding task, they completed two spatial memory tasks recalling scenes and drawing the routes. . . . younger adults outperformed older adults on most outcome measures.
Redhead and team shed new light on how landmarks can be designed to help people navigate through a space. They report that in their study “participants learned a route through a computer-generated maze using directional arrows and wall-mounted pictures. On the test trial, the arrows were removed, and participants completed the maze using only the pictures. In the nostalgia condition, pictures were of popular music artists and TV characters from 5 to 10 years ago. In the control condition, they were recent pictures of these same artists and characters. . . .
Layouts in stars? Grids?
Nori and colleagues probed how design can promote effective wayfinding via a virtual reality-based project.
Bredmose and colleagues studied how design can support the movement of blind and visually impaired people (BVIP) through a space.
Keeping everyone on the right route
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.
Coutrot and colleagues set out to learn more about how where we grew up influences our sense of direction; what they’ve learned may help explain previously baffling programming research findings, for example.
Jiang and colleagues have found, via a study using immersive virtual environment (IVE) techniques, that views of green spaces through windows can make it easier to move from one part of a building to another effectively and efficiently; their findings are readily applicable to non-healthcare space types.