User-centred Design For a not Straightforward University Wayfinding
Chapter, Conference object, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPicazo, Hazenoot, Otaduy, Braux, Bong WK: User-centred Design For a not Straightforward University Wayfinding. In: Buck L, Bohemia E, Grierson H. DS 104: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2020), 2020. The Design Society https://doi.org/10.35199/EPDE.2020.11
OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University receives thousands of students and visitors annually. Its main campus consists of many buildings in which students, staff and visitors navigate. Unfortunately, navigating around the campus can be challenging, as the existing wayfinding system is complex and not straightforward. This paper presents a problem-based approach to address the wayfinding challenges around the campus. A group of European Project Semester students followed a user-centred design approach to involve participants throughout the four main phases of the study—understanding, envisionment, design and evaluation. Interviews and scenario-based user testing were conducted to identify the underlying problems. The findings indicated that the numbering system for rooms was inconsistent, and the signage was not clear, visible and coherent for all the buildings on the campus. Using graphic design principles and wayfinding guidelines, a new consistent room numbering, a signage system and a mobile navigation app were proposed, developed and evaluated. The results showed that the new wayfinding system was clear and easy to understand, and it can be applied in all buildings. We observed a shorter time spent navigating to a specific room, and no mistakes was made. The app was found to be a useful and helpful tool for wayfinding. As a result of this study, the authors highlight the importance of involving users throughout the entire research process, which is our most significant learning experience as a group.