And; if there is one aspect of project execution that I fundamentally believe in, its ‘Prototyping’.Inevitably, most large scale signage projects have direct involvement by numerous (sometimes far reaching) stakeholder groups. Throughout the project journey, we as managers have the task of ‘selling’ design and strategic direction on paper; which is never an easy task. To take theMy team has now been working with Sydney Harbour Federation Trust for over twelve months on wayfinding strategy and associated signage design for the landmark North Head Sanctuary, Manly.
Delivering an integrated, holistic wayfinding strategy and signage design package for over 70 hectares of natural Sydney harbour landscape has been a complex and extremely rewarding process, and indeed, experience. Due to the significance of both the land itself, together with the nature of its mixed use, this project has had a large stakeholder group that have been actively engaged throughout the project; all with varied needs and desires. The fundamental role of Best Group as a consultant has been to carefully accommodate and balance these requirements, whilst not detracting from the original project objectives (increasing positive visitor experience through improved navigation)
An integral aspect to the Best Group methodology was to ‘prototype’ the newly designed ‘Signage Family’ and install on-site so that all stakeholder groups could engage with the new design and strategy in real life.
For what has been on paper in both strategy and design for over twelve months; conceptualized, tweaked and refined along the way was installed last week on-site at North Head Sanctuary for all to review in person, together.
The outcome of these discussions was positive and we look forward to the project being implemented, and realised in the next few months.
This session, however, did just confirm to me why ‘prototyping’ like this is so critical. It creates the following:
– A sense of ‘real-life’ involvement for all stakeholders
– An opportunity to see designs that have been on A4/A3 paper at real size, and in its environment
– An opportunity for stakeholders to review scale, heirachy of information, text/map size
– A process whereby the project team thrash out concerns and the most appropriate solution, together and collaboratively
Overall; this session facilitated time for the entire project team to get out of the office, away from familiar surroundings (including reports, documents, meeting rooms, emails and phone calls) and fully immerse ourselves into the core premise of the project. That is; to implement a new wayfinding signage design and strategy to improve user navigation and experience.
For the day; we were the visitors… and we could check that the new wayfinding sign family ‘worked’ per our strategy and mapping, and that the experience and information delivery was accurate and seamless. And; it was!
The result (as it always is with this process) as rewarding and engaging for ALL members. We are extremely excited about seeing this wayfinding project come to life in the next three months and Ive included some snaps of the day!
It’s about finding the best way forward! (And enjoying the sunshine along the way!)