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Terminal 109 (a) (b) Figure 6.11a. DFW Skylink connects all gates; Figure 6.11b. DTW Express Tram connects only the A gates in the McNamara Terminal. There can be exceptions. Some airports have had to add new security checkpoints creating choices for the passenger and may justify the need to include "Security Checkpoint" as part of the wayfinding system. Throughput is a top priority and providing information in advance that prepares passengers for the security activities is more important than identifying the security checkpoint itself. 6.4 Sign Categories 6.4.1 Informational Informational messages typically provide specific and supplementary information about the airport services and functions. Also there are orientational messages that are often graphic, such as maps, so that visitors can develop a sense of the airport layout and their location within the airport. Information can also be provided by airport personnel at information desks. 220.127.116.11 Information Desks and Volunteers Information desks and kiosks provide flight information. Therefore airports should provide training for staff and volunteers on the best methods to give clear instructions and directions on using the airport wayfinding system. Their experience consoling worried passengers provides a key component to the passenger wayfinding experience (Figure 6.12). Prepare an information book for volunteer use with scripted directions to insure consistent instruction. Train volunteers and staff in giving directions using signs and handouts. Interpreters should also be able to help orient people to the facility and play a role in teaching people how to use the sign system on their own. Develop requirements and skills for these positions that could include the following: · Knowledge of the airport facility and operations. · Direct people to appropriate destinations or services. · Ability to answer the commonly asked questions regarding passenger services. · Enjoy working with people of all ages.
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110 Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport. Figure 6.12. An airport ambassador at DIA, dressed in western wear, helps answer questions from an arriving passenger. · Ability to work with large groups and deal with the possible confusion and noise that often accompanies large crowds. · Computer skills for staff stationed at an information desk with internet access. · Proficiency in English both written and verbal. 18.104.22.168 Directories Airport directories are one of several ways passenger use to navigate the airport. They are an important wayfinding tool, and are effective when implemented correctly. For many years all air- port directories were static images, but with advances in technology digital directories applica- tions are becoming available. The following list contains general guidelines for directories: · Directories should be located: Appropriately at major decision points. Near an asymmetrical part of the building or landmark so people have some feature to key on when possible. Near information desks when possible. · Include orientation on two levels Big picture that conveys the overall layout of the airport. Specific area details around the directory location. · Align the map in a heads up orientation so forward is up, and make sure the map is aligned with the airport's layout. · Incorporate memorable architectural elements and landmarks into the map design when possible. · Use terminology and symbols that are consistent airport wide. · Coordinate directory information with other forms of communication for consistency Handout maps. Online maps. It is important to understand that some passengers will not devote time to the study of maps and signs, and opt instead to ask for verbal route directions. This is why it is a good idea to locate directories and information desks with a live person near each other whenever possible. 22.214.171.124 Digital Directories Options for digital applications for directories continue to evolve. Digital directory applica- tions can be separated into two basic categories: passive and interactive. Passive digital directo- ries display a static image using a flat screen monitor. Interactive directories allow users to search
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Terminal 111 "You Are Here" Maps A U.S. study41 evaluated airport terminal wayfinding systems at O'Hare airport in Chicago, focusing on visual elements such as signs, maps, and directions (Fig- ure 6.13). The experimental design used respondent self-reporting and behavior tracing to identify specific problems that lead to poor spatial orientation and wayfinding performance. In a survey, infrequent travelers reported that they per- ceived the "you are here" and corridor signs were with the most important infor- mation sources for navigation. A separate sample of 19 passengers was asked to consult the "you are here" map to determine the appropriate heading and direction to the desired facility. Only 2 of the 19 passengers were able to determine the correct course of action. Frequent comments included, "I'm not even sure where I am on this map" and, "Now that I know where it is, how do I get there?" The authors attribute the poor performance of the "you are here" sign to the fixed alignment of the map which is misaligned with the orientation of the passenger. Fewings also emphasizes the importance of using pre-aligned "you are here" maps so that forward is up and the map is aligned with the airport layout. Figure 6.13. More than 90 of these you-are-here map displays are located throughout O'Hare International Airport.
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112 Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside for information using touch screen panels. While there is no established best practice, the fol- lowing is a list of 5 considerations airports should address when considering integration of inter- active wayfinding into their overall directional wayfinding schema. Map-driven vs. intent-driven organization of wayfinding content. One of the biggest opportunities in the market is to orient the content towards the viewers' specific needs--for instance, presenting all Points of Interest (POI) available in an airport, concourse, property such as emergency, medical, and administration vs. POI for specific passenger needs such as Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) and other Retail concessionaires. It may be a better use of resources to reserve Interactive Wayfinding for more heavily searched POI such as concessionaires. The efficiency of a singular user experience vs. a multi-user experience. Airport patrons have become accustomed to interactive experiences delivered via kiosk, be it check-in or rental car, while they have traditionally digested directional and wayfinding information in a much less inti- mate manner through static signs and large, printed public display maps. Questions to answer: If a large format screen is programmed to provide wayfinding information, will people use it? Does its size leave people feeling exposed, knowing that others may "eavesdrop" as to what they are looking for? Is wayfinding more aptly handled in the manner of current interactives, via kiosk? Is so, how do you encourage the general public to interact with them? Management of interactive wayfinding systems. Printed wayfinding signs have traditionally proven to be costly and have very limited life cycles. And while digital signage and Interactive Wayfinding are significant steps in alleviating some of those costs, Administrators should real- ize and appropriate resources for continued management of these systems. Manufacturers, resellers, or agencies that provide design and content management services should be favored when weighing these considerations. Systems that also offer the simplicity and flexibility of being managed by Airport Staff should also be given weighted consideration. Using an interactive wayfinding system as a value-add or revenue generating mechanism. Investment in interactive wayfinding is not an inconsequential expenditure. How do Airport Administrators maximize that investment and shorten the ROI realization term? Diligent inter- active wayfinding systems will allow for value added options like wireless coupons or ad driven content. Administrators can also take advantage of interaction metrics that are reported back by the digital signage system. These metrics can be used to improve user interface design, spot search trends (for use in facility planning, i.e., where to place more amenities), and to discover hidden user behavior patterns. Buying vs. leasing an interactive wayfinding system. Today, more progressive agencies and manufacturers realize the Moore's law-type effect associated with technology and hardware: what's cutting edge this year, may be obsolete two years after implementation. So how do air- ports protect themselves from this effect? More and more end-users are electing to lease equip- ment for terms of 35 years, depending on use. The market will begin to see more facilities elect for lease options that allow them to return equipment at the end of limited terms in exchange for updated equipment. The service model will continue to trend towards a Software as a Ser- vice (SaaS) model that has been popularized within other business markets. For additional infor- mation, reference Sections 7.2.25 and 7.2.26. 6.4.2 Directional Directional signs are of great importance in the facility due to the fact that they are the main information source that enables passengers and visitors to choose the proper route to a specific destination point. This process involves selecting the correct path to a destination point and determining at which point a change of direction is required. Proper directional signing is nec-