January 27, 2012 | Categories: Signage & Wayfinding
Urban planner Kevin A. Lynch first used the term "wayfinding" in his 1960 book "The Image of the City," and the crowd control industry has been using this term ever since. January is international wayfinding month, and is a good time for businesses to evaluate their current systems of public guidance and communication.
Wayfinding is defined by Dictionary.com as "signs, maps and other graphic or audible methods used to convey location and directions to travelers." Modern retailers use both direct and indirect methods of wayfinding to ensure customers are able to make a purchase in the most convenient way possible. For example, traditional post and rope stands guide the formation of bank queues, while electronic queuing systems in service environments provide information and shopping options to patrons.
Again, in light of January's wayfinding theme, it may be prudent for vendors to upgrade their crowd control policies, even if operating on a tight budget. Basic retractable belt stanchions and some post and rope stanchions are available for under $100. Simple sign stands can make navigating aisles and finding products much easier, and customers will always be thankful for such improvements.