2-Internal Wayfinding Tools
Hospitals, especially large ones, often have sprawling, complex layouts that can be difficult to navigate, adding to the stress patients and visitors may feel. For this reason, it is important to include appropriate, intuitive wayfinding tools that allow even first-time visitors to find their way with ease.
Historically, signage and maps have been the preferred wayfinding methods in hospitals—and while they certainly have their place, excessive use of these tools can become distracting or even overwhelming, especially for visitors whose first language isn’t English or who don’t speak English at all.
Using images and symbols for wayfinding purposes can prove invaluable in this regard, as many symbols are universal, and our brains process images much faster than words. Incorporating graphics and color coding can also make wayfinding simpler and less daunting for younger patients or visitors who aren’t in a clear headspace.
If all else fails, using prominent signage to direct visitors and patients to common areas is an easy way for them to find someone who can point them in the right direction. After all, most modern hospitals have visitor support staff, information desks, or even interactive kiosks that can help people find the room they’re looking for.