Web writers, interaction designers and information architects can learn a lot from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Like the airport, our work depends on good user experience and helping people find their way.
Many website navigations offer too many choices. As a result, people get lost. At Schiphol, you can’t get lost. The signs are clear, consistent and easy to comprehend. You are always presented with information when you need it and in a logical sequence. You are never overwhelmed with choices.
Paul Mijksenaar and his team designed the wayfinding (navigation) at Schiphol to address the needs of the stressed traveler. At his firm, every project starts with an expert walkthrough. The designer needs to understand the psychology of the traveler at every step of the long journey, which begins when leaving home and ends when boarding the plane.
Each sign provides just enough information so the traveler can decide the next step in the journey. In the parking garage, you are presented with the choice of departures or arrivals. At this point it’s too early to receive information about check-in or flights.
According to Mijksenaar, a user friendly navigation has a big impact on customer satisfaction and trust. For Mijksenaar, good signage is like being a good host. It reduces stress, makes visitors feel welcome and sets the tone for a pleasant experience.
You can do the same when you create the navigation of your next website. To learn more about Mijksenaar’s wayfinding principles, visit their website or download the app: 99 do’s and don’ts of wayfinding.
Like this post? Share it. Written by Don Seidenberg.