Büro North is one of the Australian signage firms whose work greatly appeals most to SDC’s signage and wayfinding team. They recently described a step which is seldom completed in wayfinding projects: on-site assessment. Before the new Royal Children’s Hospital opened last year, people were chosen to test the new system.
The main objective of this try-out was to validate how effective the new system was, to allow patrons to get used to it, to prepare employees to explain and apply it correctly and to determine what would be the best ways to prepare visitors before they show up at the hospital. The new system seems to be effective: traveling times have been reduced by 45% compared to the old hospital, and only 14% of visitors needed assistance in their journey against 78% in the old building.
It should be noted that the architecture of the new hospital has a great impact on the ability for one to move around and reach destinations. It makes it difficult to determine precisely how much signage contributed to the results. Nevertheless, it is very interesting for a firm to be able to assess the effectiveness of the design on site! This should in fact become the norm, especially in places such as hospitals, convention centers, transportation systems and other institutional and public places.
For more details on the methods used by Büro North to assess its system, I recommend you read the article on their blog.
Photos by Büro North