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Wayfinding at stations

Wayfinding and signage information across UK rail stations is inconsistent and confusing for passenger.  Train operating companies apply their own unique branding and signage design to the stations under their control.

The UK rail industry, through the Rail Safety and Standards Board, commissioned Davis Associates to understand the needs of station users from wayfinding, in order to define consistent principles for station signage. We utilised ethnographic techniques to discover and empathise with passengers’ behaviour influencing factors and their mental 'map' of the station.  These techniques included journey shadowing to understand the information sought by passengers at walking route decision points around the station.

Understanding the passengers’ information needs is a key input to a comprehensive wayfinding strategy, in which each piece of information is set in context, when and where it is needed.   As a result, your users experience a more efficient and successful wayfinding process, thus reducing reliance on staff and costly re-working of signage systems.

The outcome of the project was a comprehensive Good Practice Guide, which has been distributed to stakeholders in the rail industry.



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Elderly person pointing in station

Elderly person looking at train departures/arrivals screen