1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study
Wayfinding was first used by Lynch (1960) where he referred to maps, street numbers, and directional signs etc. as “way-finding” devices. His work, which is seen by many as being important in how we understand environments, was based on the concept of spatial orientation and its prerequisite cognitive map.
Brandon (2008), describes wayfinding as
‘… The process of using spatial and environmental information to find our way in the built environment’’
Passini (1984), first articulated wayfinding as a spatial problem-solving exercise in which he described wayfinding as a process during which people must solve a wide variety of problems in architectural and urban spaces that involve both decision making and decision executing. Arthur and Passini (1992) opined that wayfinding could be achieved by understanding how people find their way, first the underlying process understood which are the three key processes in spatial problem-solving, information processing, decision making / planning and decision execution.
Many hospitals have developed over a number of years in a fragmentary fashion. They are the most complex of any environment accessed by the public. These are made up of long and confusing corridor systems with bends, turns, and confusing signs. Such settings challenge and frustrate those who visit them. (Ndhlovu, 2012). There are those who will choose to navigate on their own because they are too embarrassed to be seen as lacking in appropriate knowledge. These categories of visitors often end up lost due to the complex layout of the environment with large volumes of signs designed to explain the complex routes to the wayfinders. (Rooke et al., 2010).