As the long-standing saying goes “time is money”, and the longer your potential wayfinding projects spends in limbo, the more of a liability it becomes. Prior to launching your city’s next wayfinding project, consider the following approaches:
- Think start to finish – Using a piecemeal approach to developing a wayfinding system can be both costly and time consuming. Solicitation for each individual component requires the issuing of separate bid requests for the development of a design plan, fabrication, installation and often maintenance. This is a process that can drag on for months or even years, only to resort in loss of interest and scrubbing the project entirely. Cities should consider the “design-build” or concept to completion process whenever possible. Individual components or a project can often be completed for an amount consistent with minimum cost bid restrictions.
- Integration is key – Project continuity or the ability to manage each aspect of a wayfinding project will inevitability be the key to timely project development. Lack of continuity can often result in delays caused by design flaws, misguided fabrication requirements, or inconsistencies within a city’s existing civic brand. Try forming a team approach to completing your wayfinding system. Constant communication between various elements during both the planning and development process will help in saving time, as well as costly adjustments to your system.
- Don’t recreate the wheel – Adopting a wayfinding system to fit your existing civic brand will save both time and money. Since wayfinding is a natural extension of your existing civic brand, there is no need to over plan the system. Try linking your new wayfinding system to existing resources, or enhance your current civic brand with a wayfinding system designed to complement, not alter, your brand.
- Get stakeholders involved – Wayfinding projects rarely involve a single entity and often require input and buy in from a coalition of participants. Involving stakeholders will create a sense of continuity and eliminate the need for selling the benefits of your project after the fact. Be sure to build a solid group of stakeholders during the initial planning stages of your project in order to eliminate delays and setbacks.
- Mind the budgets – The question of funding is always a major concern when attempting to develop a wayfinding project. Budgets will most often focus on a community’s tangible needs, while overlooking the need for thoughtful planning and development for the future of a city. Wayfinding should be incorporated as a component of community and economic development and budgeted accordingly. The development of a new system or the enhancement of an existing system must be consistent with community development goals; wayfinding becomes less of a specialty project and more of an ongoing effort to sustain quality of life.
Should you need more information on how to best manage your city’s wayfinding project, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (888) 982-1234.