Consideration should be given to the four main criteria in wayfinding design as follows:
- architectural cues
- graphic communication
- audible communication
- tactile communication.
Consideration should also be given to provision of the four main categories of graphic wayfinding elements including:
General access requirements for all signage
- Work within a hierarchy of signage to maximise impact and usability as follows:
- identification - property, building number, name visible from the roadside, distance of travel
- information - opening hours, facilities available, for example, toilets, picnic areas; located directly inside site or building entrance
- direction - text and arrows directing users to facilities, for example, at directional decision points, car parking, set down and waiting areas
- emergency and safety signs - at various locations including emergency exits.
- Appropriate print size on all signs suitable for expected viewing distances.
- A range of alternatives to printed signage only, for example, audio, raised tactile and Braille.
General access requirements for static signage
- Appropriately located at entry to and along continuous accessible paths of travel.
- Clearly visible to people when standing or seated.
- Consistent graphic style and layout throughout a site or building.
- Appropriate use of international symbols of access or deafness.
- Concise and unambiguous content.
- Use of common terms, names, colours rather than obscure, technical names, for example, orange, blue, brown rather than ochre, turquoise or beige.
- Use of appropriate inclusive language, ‘accessible’ entry or ramp in preference to ‘disabled’ entry or ramp.
- Factual and specific information about degrees of difficulty of pathways in outdoor spaces such as parks, suitable for tourist, experienced hiker, assisted wheelchair user and independent wheelchair user.
- Capital and lower case letters (Title Case).
- Use of Sans Serif font, Arial or Helvetica.
- Effective contrast between sign and sign background and adjacent surfaces.
- Raised tactile and Braille elements on facility identification and direction signs, toilets.
- Back-lit without glare.
- Low reflectivity (avoid glass and acrylic materials).
- Consistent and even lighting (reflected downward - without pooling or providing glare) over key elements within the space.
- Well maintained and free from any overhanging obstructions and graffiti.
General access requirements for screen and scrolling signage
- Minimum six second static to allow for reading of sign.
- Audio alternatives to screen or scrolling signs.
General access requirements for maps
- Maps of any site or building at the entrance and at key directional points.
- Maps that read in the direction that the user is facing, including information to assist users with their current location, ‘you are here’ and identifying fixtures or landmarks to assist with wayfinding e.g. water fountain, sculpture and arbour.
- Continuity of language in informational maps and signage, that is, information map states ‘pavilion’, sign at building states ‘pavilion’.
General access requirements for tactile signs and maps
- Tactile signs and maps at key points within a building or site.
- Tactile signs or maps at the main entry to a venue.
- Tactile information that includes general orientation cues, access and egress points, changes in direction and key facilities.
General access requirements for display and exhibition signage
- Descriptive labelling on exhibits in Sans Serif font type and appropriate size.
- Appropriate lighting.
- Appropriate contrast to background and adjacent surfaces.
- Use of non-reflective signage materials.
- Audio programs as alternatives to signage on displays or exhibits.
General access requirements for tactile ground surface indicators
- Hazard tactile ground surface indicators used to assist with wayfinding installed at the top and bottom of steps, stairs and ramps, along jetties, raised platforms etc and other areas where there is an overhead obstruction encroaching on to a pathway, underneath a stair croft, and at changes in direction on pathways.
- Directional tactile ground surface indicators used to assist with wayfinding by providing direction to installations such at road crossing points, seating and public transport stops.
- Appropriate luminance contrast between tactile ground surface indicators and background and adjacent surfaces.
Key access dimensions