Finding your way on the digital web is much like finding your way through the physical world. Sometimes the space you occupy is well planned and designed. Often it isn't. Some things are designed from the ground up. Others evolve piecemeal over time.
Wayfinding is a design tool that helps people get to places they want to go or places you'd like them to go. Good wayfinding is intentional and included in design thinking from the onset. Key elements include thoughtful color usage, readable and instructive text, universal symbols and iconography, and clear destinations and pathways. Used wisely, these elements can transform something otherwise haphazard and chaotic into something meaningful, helpful, and delightful.
Viget helped the Chronicle of Higher Education use wayfinding for their Vitae product through careful and thoughtful use of color and iconography. Read more about the project here:
From Wayfinding to Interaction Design
by Matt Cooper-Wright via Medium “If you break down a website, a city, a hospital, or an app, they can all be thought of as complex spaces that people travel through — spaces that are generally so complex that without some help users wouldn’t be able to navigate them confidently.”
Wayfinding For The Mobile Web
by Dennis Kardys via Smashing Magazine “every person who browses an application is making their way through a space — often an unfamiliar one”
“Wayfinding” Theory for Information Design
by Avital Shapira via Information Design “the web is a special kind of space that often doesn’t provide the concrete spatial and navigational clues we take for granted in the real world of walking through a town”
Navigation and Wayfinding
by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton via Web Style Guide “only the ‘browsing’ interface of site graphics, page titles, breadcrumb trails, and navigation links can supply the cues that allow users to establish their ‘you are here’ location”
Using Colours in Wayfinding and Navigation
by Paul Symonds via TravelWayfinding.com “Colour acts as another option in trying to distinguish between different signage types, affect our moods and direct and guide us and colour is a powerful force.”