The efficacy of campus wayfinding signage: A comparative study from Hong Kong and Pakistan

Hassan Iftikhar, Salman Asghar, Yan Luximon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Complex environments have a paucity of visual wayfinding information creating a strenuous situation for the new visitors. University campuses situated in the central urban areas with multi-storey structures and complex spatial layouts have poor environmental legibility. International students and visitors with diverse cultural backgrounds feel disoriented during wayfinding in these environments. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the cultural and individual differences affecting wayfinding behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: An online wayfinding survey has been conducted through a questionnaire from 170 university students and visitors from Hong Kong and Pakistan. A five-point bipolar Likert scale has been used to evaluate wayfinding problems and ascribed behaviour. Findings: The results enunciated a substantial influence of culture on the decision-making process and wayfinding behaviour. Critical differences have been documented based on the country of origin and native language. Individual-related differences (age, gender, spatial familiarity, education, etc.) were computed, where age and spatial familiarity being noted as key factors impacting the respondents’ opinion. Future exploration has been discussed for the pivotal elements regarding wayfinding information signage using computer simulations. Research limitations/implications: The investigation can be further moved towards the other complex environments with fused facilities for a better understanding of wayfinding behaviour. Practical implications: The findings can be instrumental for improved access to user facilities and can reinforce the user’s trust and dependence on the institutional facility management. Originality/value: In the wayfinding study, no cross-cultural (individualists vs collectivists) study has been conducted in a university campus to investigate the wayfinding difficulty and ascribed behaviour, especially when the environment is unfamiliar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-892
Number of pages22
JournalFacilities
Volume38
Issue number11-12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Complex environment
  • Cross-culture
  • Culture
  • Design
  • Environmental legibility
  • Facility management
  • Human behaviour
  • Individual behaviour
  • User behaviour
  • Wayfinding design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction

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