Creative Wayfinding Techniques That Healthcare Designers Can Use to Improve Patient Experience

Posted by on Jun 23, 2023 in Behind the Design
Creative Wayfinding Techniques That Healthcare Designers Can Use to Improve Patient Experience

When designing a healthcare facility, wayfinding elements play an important role in ensuring that visitors are able to find their way around the building. From hospital entrances to patient rooms, careful consideration of wayfinding techniques can make a big difference in the overall user experience. Here are some creative wayfinding techniques that healthcare designers can use to improve patient experience.

Clear Signage

Clear signage is essential for helping visitors find their way around the healthcare facility. All signs should be well-designed, easily readable, and positioned in a way that allows for quick identification of important locations. Photo credit: Roger Thomes, Amsterdam. Photo Caption: Here, images of pencils, which naturally refer to office work but also to a local manufacturer of pencils, denote the fourth floor where the staff offices are housed. A Wayfinding Technique that is Unexpected, Creative, Effective and Aesthetically Pleasing


Incorporating color coding can help visitors quickly identify different areas of a healthcare facility. Think the blue floor, the red floor, the yellow floor. Then everything takes its cues from those colors. The benches are blue on the blue floor, red on the red floor, etc. Clinics, for example, might be assigned a specific color, while the waiting area might be colored another shade. This allows visitors to quickly recognize where they need to go. Photo credit: Alan Kreigel

Design Consistency

Consistency in sign design throughout the facility will help visitors orient themselves quickly. Using consistent font styles, type sizes, colors, and other elements will help ensure that users are able to quickly find the right locations.

Visual Cues

Incorporating visual cues can help convey directions in a more meaningful way. Maps, symbols, illustrations, and other visual elements can be used to provide visual clues that can help visitors find their way more quickly. Photo credit: Mark & Chantal

Integration with Technology

Integrating wayfinding elements with digital platforms can help visitors navigate more easily. From interactive maps to QR codes, there are numerous ways of incorporating digital components with traditional wayfinding elements. Photo Credit: TouchSource’s Animated Wayfinding Software

By incorporating these wayfinding techniques into a healthcare facility design, designers can create a more efficient and patient-friendly experience. As healthcare environments become more complex, careful consideration of wayfinding elements is critical to creating a positive user experience.

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff

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