Four types of wayfinding signage

Wayfinding plays a crucial role in various environments, including healthcare facilities, airports, shopping malls, public buildings, educational institutions, public transportation systems, and large event venues. By employing effective wayfinding strategies, designers and facility managers can create user-friendly environments that facilitate smooth and intuitive navigation.

There are four types of wayfinding signs: identification, directional, informational, and regulatory. As standalone signs, they serve a specific role; as part of the greater wayfinding system, they inform each other.

Here’s what facility managers need to know about deploying each of the primary wayfinding types.

Types of wayfinding signage

what facility managers need to know about deploying each of the primary wayfinding types of signage

  1. Identification

Identification is the most common type of wayfinding signage. They tell a person when they have arrived at their destination. They also serve as general wayfinding landmarks.

Need to get your bearings? Identification signage is there for you. If you’re looking for Sales and keep seeing signs for Human Resources, you know you’re in the wrong place.

Make identification signs uncluttered and straight to the point. What does the sign signify? Someone should understand it in seconds.

General examples include:

  • Door plaques (Assistant to the Regional Manager)
  • Departmental markers (Accounting and Finance; Sales)
  • Landmark signage (donor plaque; historical marker)
  1. Directional

Directional signage helps people get to where they’re going. It’s an invisible hand guiding them from wherever they are to their destination, one step at a time. They’re best used at junctions and areas without a clear traffic flow.

Continuity is key for directional signage

Anyone unfamiliar with their surroundings benefits from diverse directional signage. It can be as simple as a plaque at each junction sending people left or right. Or it may be as comprehensive as colored lines on the floor leading people directly to their destination.

Continuity is key for directional signage. If a person becomes lost anywhere between two points using directional signage, it’s immediately invalidated. Picking up the trail again means backtracking or getting lucky.

General examples

  • Junction signage (left to cafeteria; right to an exit)
  • Colored lines on the floor (blue for marketing; red for sales)
  • Directory signage (CEO, 8th floor; HR)
  1. Informational

Whereas identification signage marks a particular area, informational signage pertains to the overall facilities. These signs give people the broad information they need while navigating.

Informational signage is best placed in an area with broad exposure. Lobbies, waiting rooms, building entrances, and atriums are popular examples. Signage should answer questions before they’re asked. Where are your bathrooms? How late are you open? Do you have an elevator?

Informational signs should be universally understandable with just a glance — signs and symbols anyone can understand.

General examples

  • Amenities and accommodations (free Wi-Fi; elevators)
  • Facilities signage (bathrooms; exits; cafeteria)
  • Business information (hours of operation; address numbers)
  1. Regulatory

Regulatory signage is a proactive form of wayfinding. It’s focused on safety and liability concerns and sets boundaries — what is and isn’t acceptable in your facilities. It establishes and reinforces rules, safety standards, and privacy expectations.

Regulatory signage should be big and bold with a clear and prominent message

Regulatory signage is generally big and bold — no-frills — only a clear, concise, prominent message. Someone probably won’t open a closet if there’s a “Caution! High Voltage!” sign on the door. Similarly, displaying a “No Pets Allowed” sign means Fido isn’t welcome.

Use regulatory signage wherever it applies and leave no room for ambiguity. A handicap sign sets a clear precedent like an “Employees Only” sign on a locked door.

General examples include:

  • Rules and regulations (no smoking; no firearms)
  • Compliance standards (ADA accessibility; high voltage sign)
  • Access control (no entry beyond this point; employees only)

Combining wayfinding signage

Wayfinding is experiential. Every type of wayfinding signage can and should be used with every other. Regulatory signs should keep people out of restricted areas as they follow directional signage to their destination. Identification signage should tell someone where they are so they can follow directional signage to where they want to be. Informational signage — coupled with regulatory signage — needs to set behavior expectations in your facilities.

Additionally, all signage should be simple. Regardless of its purpose, someone should be able to look at a sign and know in seconds what it says and what it means in relation to wayfinding.

Whatever the information, make sure you have the right mode of delivery. The simpler your signage and the more cohesive it is across all four types, the more effective it will be for anyone using it.

What are the benefits of wayfinding?

Reduced stress and anxiety

Clear and effective wayfinding systems alleviate stress and anxiety associated with getting lost or disoriented. Users can confidently navigate, knowing they can easily find their way and reach their destinations.

Time efficiency

Efficient wayfinding saves time by providing clear directions and information about the shortest and most direct routes. Users can navigate efficiently, minimizing unnecessary detours or confusion.

Improved user experience

A well-designed wayfinding system enhances the overall user experience by making navigation intuitive and user-friendly. It creates a positive impression of the environment and contributes to user satisfaction.

Safety and security

Wayfinding systems play a crucial role in emergencies by guiding users to exits, evacuation routes, or safety facilities. Clear signage and directions help ensure the safety and well-being of individuals during critical incidents.

Increased accessibility

Accessibility is a key consideration in wayfinding design. Well-designed systems consider the needs of individuals with disabilities or special requirements, providing inclusive navigation options and features.

Wayfinding systems highlight points of interest

Enhancing efficiency of complex spaces

In large and complex environments, such as airports, hospitals, or shopping malls, wayfinding helps users navigate through various facilities, departments, or sections. It streamlines movement and reduces confusion in spaces with multiple levels, buildings, or interconnected areas.

Promoting discoverability

Wayfinding systems can highlight points of interest, amenities, or important destinations within an environment. Users can easily locate areas of interest, such as restrooms, information desks, shops, or specific attractions, enhancing their overall experience.

Branding and identity

Wayfinding design can incorporate branding elements, colors, and visual cues that reinforce the identity of an organization or space. Consistent and well-designed wayfinding contributes to the overall brand image and creates a cohesive user experience.

Enhanced navigation for visitors

Wayfinding systems are particularly valuable for visitors unfamiliar with a location. Clear directions, maps, and signage help visitors feel more comfortable and confident, improving their overall experience and reducing the need for constant assistance.

Optimized space utilization

Efficient wayfinding can guide users through less congested or underutilized areas, helping distribute foot traffic and balancing occupancy within a facility. This can lead to improved efficiency in space utilization and overall facility management.

Government IWMS software: 10 must have features

Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) software can provide a wealth of advantages for government agencies including improved productivity, greater operational control over facilities, and real estate portfolio cost savings. When selecting an IWMS solution, it’s important to consider the features and benefits that are unique to your organization.

We’ll explore these benefits and essential features, including the cost-saving potential of an effective system. Plus, we’ll provide tips on how to choose the right IWMS software for your agency needs — to help you get the most out of your investment.

Overview of government IWMS software

Government IWMS software provides agencies with an effective and efficient way to manage their real estate, facilities, and workplace needs. An IWMS platform combines all the different elements of facility management into one comprehensive system. This enables government agencies to track and analyze data related to asset management, space planning, lease management, reservations and room assignments, move management, building maintenance, floor plans and other aspects of facility operations.

With access to accurate data on your property assets, you can manage the costs and improve the overall efficiency of your operations more effectively. An IWMS system can also help reduce downtime by automating processes, such as lease expirations or equipment repairs.

Furthermore, it can enable government agencies to better monitor employee utilization rates for each area of the organization to optimize workspace occupancy levels while still meeting user needs.

The features and capabilities offered by IWMS solutions vary widely depending on the type of system you choose. Most systems will include:

  • Tools for tracking assets throughout a facility
  • Creating detailed floor plans
  • Setting up reservations
  • Scheduling employees’ moves within a building
  • Monitoring workplace utilization rates
  • Tracking leases and lease expirations
  • Managing inventory levels
  • Creating accurate reports on key performance metrics
  • Integrating with existing enterprise systems, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or accounting software packages
  • Providing data security measures to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access
  • Offering cost savings through improved energy efficiency measures at your facility

By using an effective IWMS solution, government agencies can eliminate many manual methods of managing workspaces. They can help reduce energy bills via the system’s analytics capabilities. You may also be able to reduce long-term costs associated with leasing new properties or managing current leases more effectively thanks to increased visibility into all aspects of your real estate portfolio.

It’s important to consider all the essential features required before making any decisions about the right provider, especially if your goal is to manage multiple locations.

The benefits of using IWMS software for government agencies

IWMS systems provide real-time data on facility maintenance and performance, enabling better decision making. It also facilitates effective asset management and space utilization, allowing governments to reduce costs associated with real estate.

Moreover, IWMS systems improve collaboration between departments within an agency by providing a centralized platform for file storage that can be accessed remotely from any device or location.

Finally, IWMS systems allow you to streamline the reservation process for rooms or locations – saving time and money.

10 must-have features for IWMS software for the government

Government agencies are increasingly integrating IWMS software into their operations to streamline facility management and increase operational efficiency. To ensure the best value for money, there are several features that must be taken into account when selecting the right platform for government use.

  1. Space management. Every square foot of space in government facilities is important. Facility managers need a top-down view that allows them to see which spaces are static, which are dynamic, and which offer flex potential, so they can manage the sum of facilities appropriately.
  2. Emergency preparedness. Government facilities are beholden to strict emergency preparedness. IWMS software enables emergency planning for everything from inclement weather, to threats of violence, to facility failures, and beyond. Moreover, it makes these plans accessible to everyone who needs them. It’s easy to update, disseminate, and train against these materials when they live alongside floor plans and other facility data.
  3. Lease management. Government facilities are taxpayer funded, which means maximizing ROI (Return on Investment) and value. Lease management tools help ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and that the facilities they’re funding deliver value to the communities they serve. At a higher level, IWMS brings a broad perspective to portfolio management across all government buildings within a certain jurisdiction.
  4. Fleet and asset management. Here again, government assets are the result of taxpayer dollars. It’s in the best interest of municipal building managers to keep track of assets and fleets in a way that shows upkeep, cost, ROI, utilization, and other important metrics that justify continued investment or new investments. This is important for everything from budgeting to cost-benefit analyses that may eventually become public information.
  5. Sustainability tools. Sustainability is paramount in government facility management. From energy conservation to recycling programs and waste management, IWMS platforms provide tools to ensure efficiency. They’re also instrumental in providing evidence-based insights into the efficacy of such programs. Combined with BIM (Building Information Modeling) and other modeling tools, sustainability metrics are part of next-gen building governance.
  6. Wayfinding tools. There’s an indisputable need for wayfinding in government buildings. An IWMS is central to a myriad of wayfinding integrations—everything from interactive facility maps to employee directories, to point-by-point directional apps. IWMS lends facility context to wayfinding, to make it more robust and versatile. This is vital for municipal facilities large and small alike.
  7. Move management. Government facilities aren’t as static as they’ve historically been. In fact, the shift to more dynamic spaces has resulted in no small amount of relocation within buildings. Then move management tools within an IWMS help bring fluidity to agility, and unlock the utility of spaces that might otherwise remain closed-off or static. It’s also an important consideration during periods of remodeling or improvement to facilities.
  8. Hoteling and room booking. Private space is essential in a municipal setting. Employees need an opportunity to book space and reserve rooms they can use uninterrupted. Hoteling and room booking are a fundamental part of IWMS usage in government buildings, and the gateway to maintaining privacy and confidentiality when people are on the move.
  9. Access control systems. Most municipal facilities already have some form of access control. IWMS brings that control into a single system that makes managing it simpler. Whether it’s badging and ID passes or more advanced biometrics, IWMS is instrumental in creating accessibility for those who need to and restrictions against unwanted access.
  10. Maintenance management. Government buildings face significant need for maintenance, upkeep, and restoration given their age and rate of use. Orchestrating maintenance tickets and service logs is a fundamental must-have from an IWMS, and an important part of keeping facilities safe, accessible, useful, and clean.

How to choose the right government IWMS software

The best government IWMS software will include a majority of these 10 features—if not all of them. And even if you don’t need or use them all, it’s still vital to have them. Municipal buildings are still evolving and will continue to evolve alongside other traditional workplaces. As they do, more and more of these features will become relevant to facility managers. It’s best to get familiar with them now.

To ensure you select a system that is tailored to your specific requirements, take the time to read customer reviews and research providers. Consider features such as asset management, space utilization, energy management capabilities, sustainability tracking, and emergency preparedness tools before making a purchase. Allow greater control over your operations while providing long-term cost savings.

First, governments need to assess unique requirements and determine what features and functionalities are most needed. This includes evaluating all the features to isolate the ones most important to you. Once these have been identified, then governments can shortlist potential providers.

The next step is comparing vendors. It’s important to ensure good value for money when selecting an IWMS system – looking at both short-term costs such as implementation and installation fees as well as long-term costs associated with ongoing support or upgrades. Governments should also research the customer service offerings of potential providers – understanding how problems will be addressed quickly if they arise – before making a final decision.

It’s also important to look at user reviews of each vendor to gain real feedback from those who have used the product or service before committing to purchase it. This can provide insight into how well the system works in practice as opposed to theory.

Additionally, security should not be overlooked when selecting an IWMS platform – governments should check that any data stored is encrypted using industry best practices and that all compliance regulations are met, such as FedRAMP, SOC2, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and others.

By following these steps, you can be confident you’re picking a platform that meets your needs while providing cost savings over the long term.


What will the workplace of tomorrow look like for government organizations? Join us at Flex/23 D.C. to discover how Archibus is built to support the unique needs of these vital services

Top 4 visitor management trends in 2023

With constant technological advancements, companies continue to evolve, facing new demands. As you navigate 2023, ensure you have top-tier visitor management as current trends call for it.

In the modern workplace, security, convenience, and customization are of top priority for businesses. Visitor traffic is increasing with more companies adopting the hybrid work model. Visitor management software (VMS) makes managing your employees and tracking visitors easier and more efficient.  

With constant technological advancements, companies continue to evolve, facing new demands. As you navigate 2023, ensure you have top-tier visitor management as current trends call for it.  

Learn today’s top 4 visitor management trends and why implementing the right VMS matters. 

1. Increased emphasis on security

One undeniable trend is the growing importance of security in various industries and sectors. While an uptick in foot traffic is great for business, it also means more exposure to potential security threats to your employees, production lines, and intellectual property. In 2023, 91% of enterprise businesses prioritize physical security as a top priority. 

VMS offers features such as visitor pre-approval, facial recognition, ID verification, and real-time background checks that help alleviate security concerns. Implementing these features ensures that only authorized visitors can access your facilities.   

Additionally, VMS permits you to approve or deny visitor and employee access per door. While QR codes are an excellent way to provide building access, it’s not always suitable. You may prefer key cards or fobs to QR codes in some areas. Eptura’s VMS now offers access card manager (ACM), allowing companies to tailor their visitor workflow without compromising security.

2. Fully mobile access for visitors 

So long are the days of Blackberry and flip phones. With the widespread adoption of smartphones, VMS providers now offer mobile access solutions. This not only is user friendly but streamlines the visitor sign-in process. 

Think about it; people use their phones for everything. So why shouldn’t visitors and employees use their phones as a credential to access the building? With mobile access, professionals can access different doors with their mobile devices.  

Full mobile access creates an excellent experience for those coming to your company. You allow visitors to pre-register and receive digital badges through QR codes. It is an easy-to-use and simple check-in workflow. It reduces wait times, eliminates the need for paper-based systems, and improves overall efficiency. 

3. Contactless visitor management solutions

While the pandemic is falling further in our rearview mirror, the lessons we learned are not. Bacteria can be anywhere, and because of this, we put a whole new importance on cleanliness and hygiene. If there is a way we don’t have to touch a tablet or logbook, we prefer not to.  

Having a touch-free VMS solution is a modern way to enhance safety and convenience for everyone. Touch-free solutions may include mobile check-ins, QR code scanning, and automatic doors.  

Hands-free buildings are becoming more and more popular. VMS may offer hand sensors where visitors can wave their hands in front of a reader to grant visitor access and authorization requests with Bluetooth on visitors’ cell phones. The modern design ensures that readers are at the front door of each office and floor-by-floor for the elevator and stair tower access.  

Ultimately, upgrading to touchless access control systems can reduce illness transmission. So, if this wasn’t a priority for businesses before, post-pandemic, it’s been pushed to the top of the list. 

4. Customization options

Your business needs may differ from others. Advanced customization visitor options allow for tailored welcome screens, invitations, personalized badge designs, and visitor messaging that align with your company’s mission and values. Further, customization enhances the overall user experience while reinforcing your brand.  

Branding is essential to success as it lets your customers and clients know what to expect from your company. It creates a consistency that helps build and strengthen relationships. Jonah Sachs, an author, speaker, and viral marketing pioneer, agrees, “Your brand is a story unfolding across all touch points.”   

Customizable reports are another great option with VMS. These allow for tracking specific metrics and trends, such as peak visitor times or areas of the building with the most foot traffic. With this visitor data, you can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your visitor experience.  

Bottom line, don’t underestimate the difference small customization changes can make to your workplace. Visitors will experience your brand from entry to exit, creating a great first impression. And your business will get the insights you need to better optimize your VMS process. 

Popular trends improve security and safety 

Today’s popular VMS trends ultimately aim to improve security and safety for businesses and visitors. By creating an effective check-in workflow, you can improve your overall visitor experience while guaranteeing security.  

The more hybrid work gains popularity, the more visitor traffic will continue to increase. Move away from paper logbooks and long waiting times. Welcome better visitor pre-approval, ID verifications, mobile access, touchless sign-ins, and customizable options. 

secure modern workplace with visitor management

Learn more on how to Secure the modern workplace with Eptura’s latest eBook.