Aiding walkability with wayfinding

I just spent a few days in Vancouver and, right after arriving, I noticed this helpful wayfinding example at the Yaletown transit station.


This sign includes a circle on the map that places the user at the center. That’s pretty typical; any good wayfinding should let the user quickly situate him or herself in the space.

What’s nice about this sign, however, is that the circle is a measurement of time, not distance. So, if you look closely you’ll notice that it says the edge of the circle is a 5 minute walk away.

That’s a far more useful measurement than distance, which at best requires a person to make mental conversions (how many feet can I walk in a minute?) and at worst confronts users with unfamiliar metrics (for Americans: how many meters can I walk in a minute?).

This is a fairly simple piece of information to include in wayfinding, and it’s not unique to Vancouver. But I also don’t recall seeing anything equivalent anywhere in Utah. Hopefully, future wayfinding along the Wasatch Front will include more useful and readily digestible information for pedestrians.



  1. Pingback: The Buzzer blog » Links & Tidbits – August 19, 2013

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