As a result of hand held devices and digital user interfaces, users needs, habits, and existing knowledge of wayfinding has changed. How can digital wayfinding strategies be applied in real world wayfinding systems to provide complex information and cognitive value to enhance navigation?
Effective navigational systems should not only provide route knowledge but also provide users special cognition. How then can wayfinding systems in the physical environment adapt design and navigational strategies from their digital wayfinding and navigational systems to provide users not only route knowledge, but special cognition as well?
Digital navigation strategies provide users with a higher level of cognitive orientation and special sense. Physical, real world navigational systems should seek to not only direct users to their desired location, but also provide them logical orientation and special knowledge, or where they are in their environment.
Existing wayfinding systems serve to direct users to a general or specific location, however individuals may successfully reach the appropriate destination and still be, effectively, lost. This is primarily evident when users require route reversal. In other words, you may be able to find a room in a large building, but not be able to find your way back to your parked car. Wayfinding systems allow for users to arrive at a location, but after arriving they can still be completely lost in their space. The ability to successfully provide navigation not only accommodates for route knowledge (how to get from point A to point B) but also allows users special sense, mitigating disorientation.
Digital navigation and environmental wayfinding systems both furnish users with directional listings, however the digital interface also provides environmental understanding of the surrounding space through visual cues, landmarks, traffic patterns, time constructs, and ordinal orientation, to name a few.
Effective wayfinding in a given space not only relies on directional listings and signage, but also on the physical characteristics of the environment, or how well the environment has been constructed. Since it is not always possible to change the existing landscape of the physical environment, can the principals of digital navigation be applied to physical navigational systems to alleviate poorly planned physical environments as well?
Wayfinding systems in the physical world can adapt design and navigational strategies from digital systems to enable special cognition, minimizing disorientation as a result of confusing environmental schemes, thereby increasing the users ability to perform a wayfinding task.
Wayfinding system kiosks and signage will be the primary media involved. However kiosks and signage will also incorporate and utilize digital devices to provide additional spatial cognition and rout knowledge. Additionally, survey views, vistas or “take away” maps will also be incorporated with the wayfinding systems, available for users who are not able to utilize digital devices on the go.