Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned with your wayfinding/signage process?
APPA > Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned with your wayfinding/signage process?
Compressed design, production, and installation timeline.
A massive amount of information and discussion/planning, though at the same, time lack of specific information. (i.e.: how to calculate occupancy in a room).
Delay in arrival of signs.
Identifying/designing signage package with buy-in by key stakeholders followed by the massive effort to install signage across campus.
Ensuring outdated signage was removed and consistent.
Lesson learned: whatever you planned to use – double the order!
The biggest challenge is having people actually read the signage and follow directions.
Trying to get everyone to follow the correct flow.
Being in the center of a community and with the buildings being open to anyone, we found signs missing or moved around. Lessons learned: To find a way to reduce the ability to remove them with ease.
Generally people fail to follow instructions and want to do what they have always done regardless of the signage.
People don’t read signs.
Long lead times between placing an order and receiving the signs.
Students will always challenge/question the max occupancy numbers for any space. Communication/education is an on-going challenge.
Staffing levels required to install signage.
Making signage visible and impactful.
Rapidly changing decisions and the need to be flexible to adjust and implement at the last minute.
Established designated exit and entrance with signage, caused confusion and bottle necking, complications with compliance.
An onslaught of last minutes requests.
Getting signs put up on time.
Too soon to really tell.
Challenge is to get students to follow signage, but this went pretty well.
None. We manufactured in-house.
Consistent branding and usage (some departments made their own signs); too many signs in some locations.
Just the sheer number of buildings involved proved a challenge, as well as coordinating with those in charge at each building so that they had input as to how they wanted to approach entering/exiting, stairway travel(limiting travel up or down for particular staircases).
Overall yes, but we also know that people aren’t actually following them because you can’t actually police if someone is going in a door marked to be exit only or upstairs that are marked for people to go down.
This was extremely time-consuming to make, laminate, and post. We did in-house signage.
The signage on the floors isn’t ideal. Hard to clean over stickers with floor machines, vacuum cleaners etc. Stickers being removed and knowing where they were and if they needed to be replaced. When the snow and salt start coming in the buildings, the signage on the floors will come up.
Finalizing verbiage based on school policies, and determining how much or little to install. Also, completing install under time constraints and consistency through all facilities.
Print more signs than you think you may need.
The sheer number of signs/ signage needed at every intersection, turn, stairs, you name it.
Appropriate quantity and message of signage without overkill.
For the most part, signage has been successful, but very close to “signage overload” throughout campus where the people become numb to all of the signage.
Getting faculty to make plans and not wait until the last minute to request signage.
Making sure the language was correct and regardless of the signage getting students and some staff to comply.
Establishing consensus early in the process in terms of standardizing the signage and how it would be installed.
Education of the general population is extremely difficult.
The time to set up and take down.
Understanding what senior administration wanted.
Communicating with all school-related leadership with the same message and direction.
Finding the right tape that would stick to the walls, but not damage them. Building managers asking for specific direction on where to place signs.
The volume needed for an entire campus.
There are never enough signs. Constantly adding misplaced signs.
Constant changes in classroom usage and signage.
Students don’t listen.
The manpower to place signs. Early designs show a bandana, and now we don’t really encourage that face covering style.
Uniformity between departments.
Students will do it if being watched or monitored but do what they want when not monitored.
More the better.
Students and instructors not adhering to signage.
Getting folks to actually follow the new wayfinding.
Students are having to learn to pay attention to signage. Upperclassman have been used to coming in and out of buildings in a certain way, and now that signage is different.
Signage should have been tackled sooner than it was.
We learned that you can’t over communicate!
People taking the signage.
Decided to not put up flow directional signage, as it would be ignored and could also cause fire & safety evacuation issues.
Getting the right tape onto the right surface.
Afterthought not planned in advanced. Lesson: Advance planning with foresight. Having strategic sourcing agreements for signage with qualified vendor in advance.
The group responsible for signage on campus was small to begin with and happened to have a few position vacancies, and was working remotely. It was a heavy lift to ramp up, coordinate closely with the COVID response team and communications, and get everything in place. One smaller lesson learned was, make sure to coordinate with on-campus contractors about signage details (as well as requirements) at the construction sites they control. We actually had to ask one contractor to replace signage posted at their site entry (early-on) which referred to “the Wuhan-virus”.
Not over signing, but still getting the message out. Also some wording by our marketing folks left some directions ambiguous.
We did not implement a directional flow system.
Delegated to departments but standard signage templates provided. Did lead to some confusion particularly on restrooms.
Students and parents followed the signage, but some parents were upset when they were not allowed to meet in a small office where counseling took place about classes.
Reinforcing message of “all in this together”.
Breaking old traffic habits.
Getting approvals on signage in time to receive orders.
Recognition that even the best protocols don’t guarantee student behavioral changes.
Vandalism and collectors.
Temporary yard signs were not sturdy enough, require daily checking and replacement.
Quantity of signs to order and frequency of placement of signage.
People complaining about have to walk further to go to the bathroom.
Getting student to read signs.
Consistency across campus.
Logistics of furniture and seating in a classroom….
Signage was developed and left up to the departments to implement. This had mixed effects, especially for departments that are largely teleworking. Getting signs posted turned out to be a larger challenge than expected.
We applied nearly 20,000 signs across our campuses that covered everything from information on COVID and steps to protect yourself and others, exit only/entrance only, up/down stairwells, elevator capacities, room capacities, and “Do Not Sit Here” signs to manage social distancing in classrooms.
Some units developed specific building traffic patterns which the University declined to support. Specifically, this leaves narrow stairways with two-way traffic that just does not have to be that way. Also, building sanitizing procedures are at a bare minimum with units not equipped to understand how to augment their procedures having to work on their own.
Making sure we were able to accommodate for emergency egress etc.
A few issues- first- the signs were very cool and they are being stolen. Second, not all buildings have the design to allow only one way in stairwells. I think we will have a better answer to this question when students learn the pattern.
Discipline and communication. These were done later than planned and required relearning pathways. Also, enforcement has been uneven. The plans were good, and included an app, largely working well.
Signage is only as effective as those reading it. Signage wasn’t expected to be the most effective means of communication, but for the most part it has worked as visual reminders.
Very small group of students are back on campus. Although signage works for them, working with a larger group of people the signage may not work as well.
Delivery times were longer than expected and the number of signs seems excessive to some senior staff in advance of the students’ arrival.
Some departments have modified signage on their own, which has caused confusion.
Installation and replenishment once removed.
Continuous changes resulted in additional signage needing to be printed and the original signage changed out.
Time and resources necessary to complete.
Don’t overdo it with signage.
The sheer number of signs, and making sure to adjust in areas that didn’t work exactly as planned.
SO MANY SIGNS. Needed better schedule.
Too many class changes at the last minute
Carpeted surfaces/adhesion of signage.
Different levels of concern from customers created different reactions and levels of willingness to follow the plan of action.
The signage included inside and outside the buildings was much appreciated by campus constituents. Having consistency in signage also avoided confusion, miscommunications, and maintained campus aesthetics. Also signage was installed with consultation and assistance from Facilities Operations to prevent any unintended consequences to the operations or maintainability of campus assets.
No issues, but was a heavy lift to survey all spaces.
Ensuring our signage did not compromise ADA requirements. First run we had “wide” signage to divide pedestrian flow…i.e. keep right. However, in some hallways this narrowed available passageway too much and therefore did not meet ADA requirements. Know the max of your classroom before placing signage. We had seating in large classrooms that exceeded unit directed maximums and are having to go back and reduce available seating. Very important if wiping down every available seat in a classroom on daily basis.
Too soon to know, we’re only in week one.
Different opinions at the building level vs. a constant and branded message across campus.
Quick and easy adhesive signs do not stick well universally, especially in humid environments.
Signs can be overwhelming.
Educating occupants to follow marked egress and reaction to building emergency evacuations.
You can never have enough signs.
It worked well.
Use signs that stick better. Everyone must be responsible for the process rather than people claiming it is not their job – it is everyone’s job to make sure people are doing what they are supposed to.
Start well in advance (which we did). Involve the college communications office from the start, to ensure consistency and college brand identity. Involve the events office, facilities, and public health expertise.
Challenge: Signage/wayfinding being relocated after being put in place. Lesson Learned: Have a contingency plan in place in anticipation of this.
Compliance with “entry” and “exit” restrictions.
No one reads them.
Biggest issues have been lack of marketing on why some of the steps have been taken and related lack of buy in – some actions appear more for show than any actual need. But, regardless of reason, seems like it’s working. But still very early in semester.
“Official” branded signage from communications group started late and was not available for student arrival. Luckily, operational signage from facilities group had started early and was in place before classes started.
35,000 signs had to be designed, competitively bid out for manufacturing, and installed with reduced staff.
Signage and access control must work hand in hand. Our electronic campus parameter locks have served us well in controlling the ingress and egress to ensure compliance by users.
Going through all buildings to make sure way finding worked for that particular building.
Students are difficult to herd, one way corridors are difficult to control.
They must be everywhere so that they can get your attention anywhere. Then you will automatically begin to look for them.
Students disregard the signage and there is no enforcement.
Some campus stakeholders wanted more signage. We have some form of informational signage every 30-100 feet inside buildings. More would in the unanimous opinion of campus EOC be too much signage. Some stakeholders wanted signage to have requirements beyond state and campus guidelines. Some departments are installing more signage that is confusing to the occupants – they are removed when discovered.
People ignore signage.
Demand for more signage leading to overkill, visual clutter.
Needed more time to implement signage.
Outdoor spaces still require social distancing signage. Our main “mall” or gathering area has become an issue due to large gatherings and students not maintaining social distancing. We are implementing a plan to paint squares on our mall to better show distancing requirements.
Having an in- house signage printer was beneficial.
Wayfinding and signage is working as intended so far with limited examples.
Utilizing signage in a professional, non-cluttered fashion.
Consistent presentation of signage from building to building. And don’t let it look too visually busy.
We think we now have too many signs up as they are on just about every wall in all locations.
We worked through a third party consultant to ensure that all areas were accounted for. If anything, it was the length of time that this process took from planning to installation.
Getting information from departments prior to the start of classes.
Getting the signage incrementally from the printer and having sufficient staff to install.
In some instances installed signage was removed and had to be reinstalled, resulting in staff having to re-set rooms for social distancing.
Plans keep changing. Initially there was directional pedestrian traffic control, but then it was terminated in order to remove employees in harm’s way by enforcing it on campus visitors.
Trying to balance the need to communicate with the concern with over-saturation to the point where students don’t even look at them.
Too many signs and too few students paying attention to the signage.
Too much signage and not permanent enough materials along with solid mounting.
Violating all of our posting/signage policies temporarily. It’s hard for those that take pride in the appearance of buildings to turn their head at all of the clings, notices, floor clings, etc.
SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!! Will anyone actually pay attention to them?
You can’t have too many signs!!
The almost continually changing rules. Had to change out over 300 signs on entrance doors due to a local health unit change. Not that big a deal in the big picture.
Too many signs – Most people are not reading them.
Nobody reads signs.
Too much! Visual overload.
It seems like we put way too many signs.
Signage to classrooms that were not originally classrooms was not completed.
Typical sign problems in that people just don’t read them at times.
Implementation with staff not fully aware of intent – ability to apply judgement to specific buildings and scenarios rather than a strict boiler plate application.
Need for templates for departments to use for specific/TBD use cases. Working fine.
We should have gotten the signage information out much earlier in the summer as many departments took it upon themselves to hang their own signs and there was no consistency with the messaging. It became a heavier lift for facilities operations to take down existing signs and hang the approved signage with only two weeks left before classes.
A standard signage set was developed with customizable templates. Having these helped keep some consistency across campus. There were some places where individual department flow plans for buildings conflicted so we had to develop some informal protocols for addressing those.
Balancing between enforcement and getting buy-in. Regulatory signs were avoided and we preferred using branded more appealing signage, but we had to quickly prepare and install ‘Masks required’ type signs — also overcrowding of signs was initially a challenge as well.
Should have started the process much sooner, so that there was no rushing in the last 2 weeks.
Overall it works very well. We had a couple of dead end corridors.
I think we have overdone signage and that it is probably being largely ignored because of the volume. We do have a lot of great options though like a variety of stickers in different sizes and content which can go on walls, glass, floors, equipment, etc.
Role identification on who was responsible for putting up signage in each college/department with our decentralized approach.
Marketing department had to be extremely flexible. Last minute changes were being made and signs already ordered had to be remade. Our marketing dept. took it all in stride.
Getting necessary signage from printers.
Takes a lot of time to put tape down. We started this as soon as we shut down. There is no way we could have had this done otherwise.
Ensure students understand their personal responsibility and enforce violations.
People are sign-blind by now. Spent lots of money as it provided a visible example of our commitment but don’t know that they were needed to the extent that they were provided.
Education and reinforcement on the front end is critical to generating desired behaviors.
Putting up all the signs…
Compliance is not always 100%.
People sometimes ignore signs, so there is less than complete efficacy of the plan.
Taking down old outdated signage in a timely manner. Also individual departments putting up their own signage that may contradict the institutional marketing signage.
People ignore signs. The applied floor signs are most effective.
Educational signage was needed in more quantities than directional.
Each department initially had their own signage posted. Wasn’t conforming to our standards.
Too many signs become noise and are not read.
The amount of signage produced in house.
Signage overload where they began to ignore them and not read the signage.
Manpower to get everything installed on time.
Waiting on the branding folks to finalize the artwork.
I think this was one of our biggest strengths, but we spent a lot of money on it, so it should be.
We have stickers EVERYWHERE! Keeping them looking good will be a challenge.
Created extra signs that people complain about and often tend to ignore.