Human factors consultancy Davis Associates has written and designed a ‘good practice guide’ for wayfinding at railway stations on behalf of the Rail Safety and Standards Board.
Since privatisation, the UK’s railway station operators have received little guidance on how to provide wayfinding information for their passengers.
According to the RSSB, this has resulted in a wide variety of wayfinding strategies, more often designed to suit corporate branding rather than the needs of the passenger
Additionally, the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act reach beyond wheelchair ramps and toilets to include printed and sign information.
In response, RSSB commissioned Davis Associates to undertake a thorough research study of best practice, user needs and stakeholder issues for station wayfinding.
‘RSSB recognised the breadth of the wayfinding issue, beyond just signs to encompass architectural features, dynamic display, PA announcements, staff advice, maps and existing cognitive models, which is essential for a real understanding of user needs,’ says Andy Baker, a director of Davis Associates.
Based on the research findings and discussions with industry stakeholders, Davis Associates produced the guide, which introduces the reader to key considerations for preparing new, or updating existing, wayfinding information at stations.
To date, the RSSB has printed over 2,000 copies of the guide for distribution to those involved in planning wayfinding and managing stations.
It is available to download from www.rssb.co.uk.