What does the new navigation system start from?

Submitted by KA9021 on 31.08.2020 - 14.07

The development of new navigation system in the museums - the project participants - is one of the main tasks in the project KA9021 "Museums in focus: the development of cultural services for Chinese tourists" (CBC "Karelia" 2014-2020, funded by the European Union, Finland and Russia. At first sight it seems to be very easy. But in fact, the process is very long and requires many aspects to be taken into consideration.

One of the key audiences of the project is Chinese tourists, and their peculiarities of information perception should also be taken into consideration while the new navigation system development. It is known that the inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom better perceive information through visual images, therefore, the navigation system should contain pictograms and visual designations of premises. Visualisation is a feature of the modern time and therefore the visualization of museum symbols is an urgent solution.

The Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia is one of the places where the visual navigation system is being modernized. The main challenge is keeping the balance between all the necessary navigation signs and the small area of ​​the museum, where a great variety of collections  are presented.

We have already written why a visual navigation system is needed in a museum, but where does its development begin?

At first we carry out a comprehensive analysis of the space with the identification of problem areas, we determine the main routes for visitors flows in the museum space. To do this, we interviewed the museum staff who are the first to meet guests and work with them in the exhibition halls. We managed to find out what places and directions our visitors are interested in most of all. In addition, we found out how often the museum staff are asked how to find “obvious” premises and services, and also how often they use additional services. Some services are not very popular just because of the lack of information about them.

Based on the data received, the project team formed a preliminary navigation plan with the main direction signs. The possibility of using one or another navigation carrier at their locations was brought up for discussion with technical specialists. Based on this information, the terms of reference for the design team was developed. The graphic designer and interior designer worked closely with the project team for about two months to develop the most correct ergonomic, stylistic and color solution.