A Case for Wayfinding with examples from Copenhagen

Wayfinding helps you see a place. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it’s way to find yourself in a space, building, city, even around a new city.

According to the Wayfinding Handbook by David Gibson, there are four types of signs: 1. identification, 2. directional, 3. orientation, and 4. regulatory.

They can either lead you to your desired destination or leave you astray, lost, and frustrated.

Not only is wayfinding an important tool for guiding people throughout space, but it also promotes proper travel behavior. Yes, a tool that can make you less upset about the person moving in a station that is out of ordinary.

Now, about their impact on social behavior is amazing! In Copenhagen, the use of the floor is such a brilliant idea! What better way to reach your users in this era? All of them are on their phones — so their gaze will already be to the floor!

Here are a few photos to describe what I mean:

Train floor signage to guide the direction of exiting bicyclists to avoid conflicts with incoming passengers.
Escalator signage “Stå til højre — gå til venstre” meaning, “stand on the right — walk on the left.”

For those who have experienced frustrations about getting your bike outside the train, or stumbling into a person when exiting one, you know these behavior-changing strategies are a gift from above.

Imagine your commute move as smoothly as can be. . .

But I can’t help but think about another person’s reality. How does wayfinding affect others? The experience of wayfinding for color-blinded people is most intriguing. Wayfinding strategies tend to use different colors to create a sense of unified direction, but how does it apply to color-blinded people?

Thanks to Matthew Wickline and the Human-Computer Interaction Resource Network, we can begin to understand how others view our world.

Here’s a website so you can test it out yourself!