Wayfinding: Navigation In A Complex World

As we’ve worked to create and perfect BluBoards, we’ve found that one of the most promising applications of the technology is as a wayfinding aid.

Wayfinding refers to any system that helps people navigate through a physical space; if you’ve ever used road signs, public maps, or color-coded signage to help you get where you’re going, you’ve used a wayfinding system.

Wayfinding can also use other forms of graphic communication, such as easily-understood symbols, to help people get to their destination in familiar and unfamiliar environments. Commonly-used or important destinations, such as elevators, fire exits, and bathrooms, all have symbols and signage accompanying them.

This is especially important in complex environments such as airports, convention centers, and healthcare settings, where the typical visitor is not intimately familiar with the layout of the building.

Some of our first “test runs” of BluBoards were as wayfinding aids. We worked with the Cleveland Jet Center in Richmond Heights, OH to help them prepare for the massive surge in passenger traffic  accompanying the 2016 Republican National Convention. The CJC normally handles around 20 takeoffs and landings per day; over the four days of the convention, that amount skyrocketed to 500 takeoffs and landings.

It was a tall order for the private airport, but BluBoard was there to help. With our signage, the CJC was able to direct a huge amount of guest traffic by providing eye-level wayfinding to hotels, rental cars, food and shuttle services. We were even able to customize some of our signage to provide a personal welcome to high-level VIPs, a simple touch that paid big dividends for the CJC.

Another early deployment of the BluBoard was at the Weapons of Mass Creation festival at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. We provided seven signs to the festival to help direct attendees to vendors and speakers.

In addition to wayfinding, we were also able to create an app that displayed a list of that day’s speakers with a small microphone icon to indicate who was currently speaking. As the event took place in Kennedy’s Theatre, a fairly open area without easy access to electrical outlets, BluBoards were a natural fit to direct guests. (Plus, our cordless design helped eliminate tripping hazards at the venue.)

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