The effectiveness of indoor signage as a tool for behavior change is well documented across a variety of domains. Whether it is increasing seatbelt usage, decreasing speeding, or preventing deer-vehicle collisions, signs have been shown to be effective in promoting safety, health, and environmental behaviors. In fact, a body of research suggests that the use of signs can be more powerful than other forms of communication in changing human behavior.
Wayfinding is a crucial aspect of navigation and orientation, particularly in the context of large or complex buildings (such as museums, airport terminals, shopping malls, or hospitals), during stressful circumstances such as an emergency evacuation, or when people have limited time for the task at hand. Thus, it is essential to understand how the perception of signage can be optimized for its intended purpose.
Past research on the effectiveness of signage has focused on two critical components, familiarity and clarity. Familiarity refers to the degree of recognition that a sign has accumulated in its environment; clarity is the extent to which a perceiver can discern the purpose for which the sign was intended.
In addition to familiarity and clarity, several other factors must be taken into consideration in order to optimize the effectiveness of signage. These factors include learning abilities and strategies, as well as social interaction. In particular, some individuals may perform better in the processing of information when accompanied by another person, rather than a digital navigation system .
Other factors that must be considered include the underlying cognitive processes that lead to successful wayfinding. For example, an individual’s personal knowledge, background, or interests may impact his or her ability to identify a landmark, which is a necessary step in spatial orientation. Likewise, the influence of an individual’s physical environment, such as the layout or appearance of the space, can also play an important role in the process of understanding an environment.
Furthermore, the emergence of new technology has introduced an additional factor that should be taken into consideration when designing signage: augmented reality (AR). AR is a novel technology that can enhance human contextual perception by super-imposing computer graphics on top of real world objects. A number of studies have investigated the potential use of AR in enhancing the effectiveness of wayfinding in indoor spaces.
As the reliance on signage increases in our society, it is imperative that we consider how best to optimize its functionality. Future studies should focus on investigating the relationship between perceived effectiveness and actual compliance in intact behavioral settings, thereby providing more insight into how signs can be designed to initiate behavioral changes. Furthermore, it will be valuable to conduct studies that explore the effect of various features of a sign on its perceived effectiveness, including its clarity and familiarity, in diverse contexts such as schools, university complexes, or company offices. This will help to identify the most effective way to communicate safety and health-related information in these environments. To do so, a range of methodologies should be used, such as field experiments and virtual experiments. For more details on signage visit the nearest Fresno signage company in your area.