Wayfinding is an important part of site management for all industries, and schools are no different. A well-thought-out wayfinding strategy helps all visitors to know exactly where they’re going at all times.
As schools and other educational settings expand and become ever-more confusing to navigate, implementing a wayfinding system will dramatically improve the experience a visitor has. In this guide, we explain what wayfinding is and why it’s important for any school, college or university.
What is wayfinding?
Wayfinding refers to information systems that help guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space. This includes signage, maps and anything else necessary to help people navigate efficiently and safely.
In schools, wayfinding can be found on both external and internal signs as well as windows and school mapping signs. At Penstripe, we have a plethora of experience in helping schools across the UK improve their wayfinding strategy through consultation, planning and manufacturing the necessary signage and literature. Our wayfinding systems follow a 4-stage process to ensure the user has the best experience possible and ultimately reaches their destination.
1. INITIAL Orientation
This process makes sure the person knows where they are initially, and where their destination is relative to this.
2. Route decision
Allowing for a quick decision to be made for how to reach the destination.
3. Route monitoring
Keeping the user on course to their desired destination is essential to ensure their journey is as smooth as possible.
4. Destination recognition
A wayfinding system wouldn’t be complete without a sign that lets a user know they’ve arrived.
Benefits of wayfinding systems
Wayfinding systems have been in use for thousands of years (think maps, compasses and other traditional methods our ancestors used). While times have moved on to feature more modern wayfinding systems, the core benefits and importance it has for schools remains the same.
Users find their destination
It may seem obvious, but this is the primary use and benefit for wayfinding systems. If your school or large building is difficult to navigate, the chance of becoming lost or confused increases significantly. This can become dangerous during high traffic periods, if one-way systems are not properly implemented and signposted. Our wayfinding systems ensure your visitors, staff or pupils find their way around with ease.
Emphasis on branding
Having any opportunity to put across your brand and message to stakeholders is a must for building a school ethos. Whether you’ve got first-time visitors or people that have been in your organisation for several years, wayfinding is a great addition!
Effective wayfinding systems in a school setting will help increase engagement and punctuality amongst students. Penstripe’s wayfinding signage solutions have helped schools across the country engage pupils with school life and their punctuality.
How can Penstripe help with my wayfinding issues?
Producing everything from finger posts, to monolith signs and everything in between, at Penstripe, we have decades of experience in creating school signage that works. Our consultative approach ensures that you are provided with the ultimate wayfinding solution for your school site.
To discuss signage solutions for your school, get in contact with one of our experts who will be more than happy to help you with your requirements.
We believe that signs are just the product of a carefully considered school directional strategy that works for your whole site. It is important that your wayfinding signs are intuitive and easy to follow for all users.
Olaf Surtees has been with Penstripe for ten years; what he doesn’t know about teacher planners, student planners, and lesson planners isn’t worth knowing! He’s in charge of creating our blog content, helping teachers and administrators with helpful hints and tips, as well as our socials — see the links below to find out more.