Case Study Project: NEIT Wayfinding Kiosk
Wayfinding is the process of using visual elements, like signs, banners, kiosk, and other forms of navigation. It is used throughout multiple points in our everyday life. For example, when you stand in line to get your cup of coffee and see the signs overhead that say “Order here” or “Pick-up here” are forms of wayfinding since they direct the viewer of where to go. Perhaps one of the best examples of wayfinding usage would be inside of an airport. The signs that help direct you to TSA, gates, food & shops, etc. are examples of wayfinding.
I used all four core components of wayfinding, orientation, route decision, mental mapping, and closure, in this New England Institute of Technology (N.E.I.T.) Kiosk project. These four-component help form a sense of unity and help make the entire process from start to finish a lot easier on the person using the kiosk.
I started with the floor plan for the school and begun to research the simplest and most accessible route to the Graphic, Multimedia, and Web Design department (GMW). I choose to put my kiosk on the second floor near the top of the staircase, a few feet to the left of where the sitting area is, thus making it easy to see and able to provide users with enough space and time to use the kiosk without interrupting other people using that staircase and/or walkways. This will help eliminate any type of “traffic jams” or people gathering in the hallway and/or obstructing the path for others.
After making the decision about the placement of the kiosk, I started to research and create a visual directory of the different departments and their location on the second floor. This helped provide me with an accurate color-coded map for the kiosk. By organizing the departments into color-coded areas, it created a better user experience and user interface for kiosk users.
I choose to use shades of light blue for the GMW department because light blue represents education, fine arts, engineering and more. Blue has meanings of intelligence, trust, and a representation of a journey. All these things work well together to create a good visual representation of the GMW department with good mental mapping connections to be able to provide users with closure, knowing they arrived at the location.
I provided a larger, blown up map of the GMW department that has detailed pictograms to describe what each room’s area of study is. Also, I decided that providing the departments with a written title along with the pictogram that would be located on the door of each room. These pictograms will help provide closure for the users of the kiosks, as they would know they have arrived at their location by the matching pictogram on the plaque on the wall.
This design has an overall well-balanced easy, simple to follow wayfinding navigation for new and returning visitors, students, and staff on the campus. Additionally, this project also shows accurate project planning and proper use of the four core components of wayfinding.