Wayfinding -- Definition Wayfinding is not signage “the structuring and presentation of information needed to allow people to easily navigate an environment” (Corbin, 2000)
Developing a Successful Wayfinding System End-user participation in development Design for the first-time visitor Support intuition Be logical and consistent Define destinations thoughtfully Test the system
Davis Centre Library Two floors Division of library [main floor] Abstracts, Book Stacks, References, Government Publications [lower] Periodicals Users
Existing Problems Similar call number signs. A lot of temporary signs. No standardised guidelines.
Project Objectives Allow patrons to access library facilities and resources more independently. Develop signage standards.
Overview of Methods Literature Search Signage Inventory & Evaluation Preliminary Patron Survey DC Library Patron Survey Development of a New Signage System User Testing Protocol
Literature Search Past wayfinding projects Established signage guidelines Human factors principles User testing methods
Signage Inventory Starting point Cataloged all unique signs on main floor Took pictures of each Large (43 signs) database of signs to evaluate
Heuristics General “rules of thumb” Based on research, previous projects Not meant to replace true experimental designs Points to general direction of investigation
Finding call number was most significant problem Want to replicate findings and investigate call number problem in more detail
DC Patron Survey Asked participants if they difficulty in finding a number of resources Items taken from original survey Methods ORE approval
DC Patron Survey Want to investigate call number problem in more detail Used task analysis Breakdown task into components Create query at each decision point
Task Analysis Which floor is it on? Main FloorLower Floor Which section is it in? Section 1Section 2Section n Which stack is it on? Stack nStack 2Stack 1 Which shelf is it on?
Survey Instructions Please indicate the number of times you experienced difficulty when attempting to find the following items/locations since the start of this term. A zero (0) indicates that you had no problems. Place a check in the Did Not Seek column if you have never sought the item/location in question.
Sample Survey Items Item or Location Number of Instances Did Not Seek a book using a Call Number because you couldn’t find the_________where it was located floor area of the library exact shelf a journal using a Call Number because you couldn’t find the_________where it was located floor area of the library exact shelf washrooms library dictionary
Developing a New Signage System Focus on most prevalent problem Did not have user feedback Survey ongoing Assumptions Finding a book given the call number was the most significant problem Problems finding the section of the library
User Testing To evaluate the effectiveness of the new design Protocol ORE approval
Design Four library books selected Participant had to find book given the call number printout Control group Original signage Experimental group New signage
Participants Sought out students, faculty, and other university members Using many levels of familiarity but focusing on the first-time (inexperienced) patrons
Measurements Time to completion Given printout to holding the book Notes from verbal protocol Think aloud Uncover cognitive processes Investigator Records notes Distance traveled to completion Allows the calculation of # of wrong turns
DC Patron Survey Item/LocationDid Not SeekNo Problems1 to 3 Instances3+ Instances Book Call Number - Floor Book Call Number - Area Book Call Number - Stack Journal Call Number - Floor Journal Call Number - Area Journal Call Number - Stack Washrooms 41652
DC Patron Survey Comments “The library is too noisy.” “Too many “small” signs; distracting. Finding printout the first time (years ago) was hard.” “The telis internet search is rather bad. Many times I couldn’t find books, journals that are in the library using the search.”
User Testing Protocol 6 participants 3 control 3 experimental
Post Search Questionnaire Did you have problems knowing where to start? Did you have problems finding the correct shelf? Were there any particular signage that was helpful or detrimental in you search? On a scale of 1-10 how difficult were the tasks?
Sample Participant Comments “I like the colour coding, but, what about the call numbers” – expt’l “why are the map colours different than the colour coding” – expt’l “why aren’t there big signs for the individual sections” – ctrl
Recommendations – Overview
Heuristics Evaluation Follow heuristics for new signs Modify old signs to meet heuristic standards if possible Problems have been identified
Large Aisle Way Signs Improve navigation to landmark locations by increasing visibility in all directions. e.g. conference room, washrooms, microfiche, copiers
Colour Coded Sections More efficient performance Good feedback from participants Better performance times
Colour Coded Sections - Requirements Signs should follow heuristics Colour choice can complement décor of library, while preserving accessibility to the colour blind (i.e. good contrast) Colour should match overhead map
Online Call Number Locator User finds a call number from Trellis. User clicks on “find call number”. Overhead map pops up indicating location with respect to the computer. Good general navigation tool.
University of Guelph
University of Nebraska
Requirements for an Online Call Number Locator System User finds a call number from Trellis. User clicks on “find call number”. Overhead map pops up indicating location with respect to the computer. Lays down bread crumb trail. Good general navigation tool.