Transit centers should offer well-designed guidance signs to help passengers find their way to desired destinations easily and quickly. The current design of guidance signs in large-scale transit centers in China, however, is based almost solely on interior and art design, with virtually no accounting for passengers’ wayfinding requirements. As a tentative effort to fill that need, this study presents a wayfinding-oriented design for guidance signs. The case of a large transit center in China is used to illustrate how wayfinding requirements can be incorporated into specific design. In this case, 10 passengers find problems with the existing signs from a wayfinding perspective. Three typical areas are identified, and signs in these areas are redesigned. After each redesign, an evaluation is done to quantify the effect of the optimization. On the basis of this case and previous wayfinding research, a collection of design principles and a general method are summarized. The primary goal this paper intends to achieve, therefore, is to emphasize the importance and effectiveness of considering wayfinding requirements in guidance sign design and to propose an applicable method of designing and organizing guidance signs for not just one case, but for all transit centers.
December 1, 2010