The internal signage at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) was badly in need of updating. Apart form being quite dated, departments within the hospital tacked on their own signage resulting in a doubling of information, style conflicts and colour everywhere.
To add to the confusion, the hospital is comprised of five buildings and hospital staff would often use the building name as a location reference when directing visitors — even though rooms within one corridor could be located across two different buildings.
In order to create a user-friendly wayfinding system, we worked very closely with our client to establish the best approach. We conducted research to observe visitor’s behaviour at the WCH and at other hospitals.
By closely observing and focussing on human behaviour patterns, we minimised and prioritised the information, discarded the use of referencing the building name, utilised the lift areas as information hubs and created Zones throughout the hospital.
We also considered the most cost effective production methods and materials required to meet the hospital’s budget.
The strategy behind the new wayfinding system is simple.
Essentially, it is a set of directory boards located at both main entrances. By prioritising a dozen of the most visited destinations within the hospital, we created a Quick Find map with icons. The Quick Find map coupled with a Directory board, guides visitors to a specific ground floor Zone. Then, more detailed information is presented about destinations in the Zone at the lift signage board. Visitors can then choose to use use the lift or stairs to go to their desired floor. Upon arriving at the floor, directional signs guide them to their destination.
The result is a easy-to-use system that not only meets the hospital’s needs, but has added a vibrance to the entrances and lift areas by creating fun, Zone-specific themes and colour schemes.
The new wayfinding system makes it easier to get around and has transformed the hospital’s internal appearance in the eyes of the public. Reports also indicate the information desk’s workload has been reduced.