Wayfinding Aids for Older Adults

By Seunghae Lee.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study focused on wayfinding aids in healthcare facilities. It examined perceptions with wayfinding aids and compared results between an elderly group and a younger-aged group. A computer-based short video was created to suggest a typical healthcare facility in order to avoid any discrepancy between subjects’ perceptions in typical healthcare facilities in terms of type, size, and complexity of the building that is studied. In addition, four signages were developed to ask for preferences in signages. Singages varied in color and contrasts.
Participants were asked questions that asked for preferences in wayfinding aids and signage types in an outpatient healthcare facility. Descriptive statistics and independent sample t-tests have been used for statistical analyses. Results from the preference ranking of signs in the elderly group showed a strong preference on colored background. This result was very different from the legibility ranking, which showed little differences between different sign types. In the young-aged group, the results were very different. The preference ranking of signs was similar to the legibility ranking in the young-aged group. A statistically significant difference was found in the gray and green background signs.

Keywords: Wayfinding, Older Adults, Signage, Health Care

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.57-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.102MB).

Dr. Seunghae Lee

Associate Professor, Department of Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, Oregon, USA

Seunghae Lee is an associate professor at Oregon State University. Before she joined Oregon State University, she was a faculty member at CSU, Northridge, and Purdue University. Her research focuses on healthy aging in older adults. She has publications on the topic of wayfinding and older adults in several scholarly journals and has presented her research at academic conferences. She has a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.