Wayfinding in retail – an exploration

Looking for a challenge I thought 2012 could be the year where I expand my brain a little and explore an area of wayfinding I have little working knowledge of. I have worked as a Wayfinding consultant for almost 5 years now and I’ve worked in areas including airports, rail stations, urban environments and hospitals, but the closest I have ever got to retail is a project in a large shopping centre. When I hit the large department stores on Oxford Street or pop to my local supermarket, I often wonder who devised the Wayfinding system (especially if I’m totally lost) and most importantly who keeps the system up to date, monitors it’s success and ensures it is doing it’s job? I also wonder how advanced the area of wayfinding is within the retail sector compared to areas like healthcare or aviation? For example: – When did the retail sector begin to realise the importance of wayfinding? – What do retailers hope to achieve with instore signage and graphics? – What is best practice, is there an industry standard? – Who are the leaders in the field? – How much academic research has been done on the subject? – Are there any official statistics on how a good signage system can effect sales? Many stores commission designers to create beautiful new systems, but once the designers have left the building, who is left to ensure the well thought out designs adapt and grow appropriately as the store evolves? How much effort is put into the strategy behind the system and its upkeep in comparison the the physical appearance? watch the video!! read the full article: http://wayfindinguk.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/wayfinding-in-retail-an-exploration/