Finding my way

There is a convenience store that I frequent simply because it is convenient, as the name implies, as I pass it on my way home from the train station.

Recently, they rearranged the store layout, and it wasn’t so convenient. I found myself struggling to find an item that I have purchased there on occasion.

While I liked the new look of the store overall—it was a lot more airy and bright—I found myself frustrated at the lack of signage. When I knew where things were, there was no need to point me to them. But now that the game had changed, I could have used some help.

I’ve talked to many supermarket designers over the years and they’ve all stressed the importance of what they term “wayfinding.” I was always a bit skeptical. Of course signs are important, I thought, but the person designing the signs is sure to think they are important. We all like to feel that what we do for a living has an impact.

Well, I was wrong. I have a newfound respect for the art and science of wayfinding. Now, if I could just find out where they moved the toilet paper.


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