The Four Stages of Wayfinding

In a nutshell, wayfinding is the way in which people orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place.

The basic process of wayfining, involves four stages:

  1. Orientation is the attempt to determine one’s location, in relation to objects that may be nearby and the desired destination.
  2. Route decision is the selection of a course of direction to the destination.
  3. Route monitoring is checking to make sure that the selected route is heading towards to the destination.
  4. Destination recognition is when the destination is recognized.

This is quite interesting, especially if we start to think about the application to interface design and how we can design better interfaces by aligning ourselves to these four stages of wayfinding.