We all like to know our bearings, even when we’re just leisurely exploring an area in a foreign city. Nevertheless, at Triagonal we often have to explain how wayfinding works and why it’s important.
In order to improve the understanding of the mindsets and responses of our users, we distinguish between recreational, resolute and alert wayfinding The three terms relate to how long time you have available to find your destination as well as the mindset you have while doing it.
Recreational wayfinding addresses those who might want to get to their destination eventually, but don’t mind getting there strolling. They choose the scenic route rather than the fastest. The signs they’re looking for might be sparse and adorned with marguerites.
Contrary to this, resolute wayfinding aims at people who need to find their way in an efficient manner. They might be looking for an office or goods in a supermarket. They are busy, but not stressed to an extent where it influences their judgement.
More than anything alert wayfinding must be simple and familiar. This is wayfinding for people who are – alert. Their level of stress is high, their time is short and all their instincts are alert.