Kalantari, S., Tripathi, V., Kan, J., Rounds, J. D., Mostafavi, A., Snell, R., & Cruz-Garza, J. G. (2022). Evaluating the impacts of color, graphics, and architectural features on wayfinding in healthcare settings using EEG data and virtual response testing
Ineffective wayfinding can increase anxiety, as well as the operational costs of staff time spent helping patients and visitors find their way. This study tested the use of VR immersion with physiological EEG sensors as a way to evaluate wayfinding design. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of three conditions that included variations of a hospital interior. Participants followed a scripted scenario, and the researchers looked at EEG measures, self-reported metrics of mental fatigue, stress, and confusion, and behavioral metrics. While the findings for self-reported and behavioral data were mostly inconclusive, participants in the design with basic signage, enhanced color, and architectural features looked at signs longer and more often. They were also more likely to choose the right direction. The results offer tentative support for adding both manifest cues (what the signs say), as well as environmental affordances (what the structure says).