Wayfinding design is a problem-solving process like any other design discipline. This process should be tempered with both self reflection and a holistic review to achieve a great outcome.
In simple terms, our process goes like this:
- Accept The problem becomes the start of the process.
- Analyse Investigate and break the problem down by asking the right questions.
- Define What are the primary issues and goals to achieve?
- Strategise What are the different visions to achieve our goals?
- Design An open, exploratory and iterative process.
- Document A comprehensive and detailed description of the solution.
- Evaluate How well did the implemented solution meet the vision?
Wayfinding design projects can be long and complex and are often part of a larger project such as a new major public hospital. In real terms, the process adapts to the specific demands and protocols of the project and other contributors.
To achieve the best outcomes we operate two cooperative teams of designers. The Strategy & Design Team develop the vision and concept design while the Design Development Team implement the vision completing the detailed design and comprehensive documentation.
For us, this is like both sides of the brain working and communicating together with the Project Leader maintaining continuity throughout the process.
While the strategy and concepts should be based on a clear vision, the final result must be comprehensive and accurately executed and meet the pragmatic needs of the project and all users.
Also, Dotdash is often part of a larger team of consultants. This can be a collaborative process as well as require an understanding of the other project disciplines. As a team member we are committed to perform our part in delivering the project and supporting the whole project.
A critical part of our Analysis phase is to understand the User Experience. The better we understand the perceptions and the needs of the end users, the more effective the wayfinding strategy will become.
Having real evidence from users can not only inform the design outcome but can suspend preconceived notions that may have formed about the user.
Gathering information about the user experience can be done in a number of ways. These include online surveys, on-site surveys and prototype testing as well as mapping user journeys.
We are dotdash, an interdisciplinary design practice focused on wayfinding strategy.
We help millions of people find their way around our complex urban environments.