Our projects often involve processes that weave together complex methodologies and specialist skills to create accessible and effective solutions. Our mantra is to think before we act, to do more than is asked of us and above all keep our work simple and easy for people to engage with.
Effective wayfinding solutions can only be created through a comprehensive understanding of people and the environment they navigate. An understanding that can only be gained by speaking and listening to people. We use a range of tools and techniques to get under the skin of a project, to find out how people navigate, the methods and tools they use to help them navigate and how the environment influences their methods. We interview people in the environment, ask them about their journeys, their stories about the place. We ask them to draw mental maps which provide greater insight and clues to how people view their environment than what they say.
We work with the client to find out about their objectives, their operational needs. What are the requirements of and expectations for a system. How to develop a business case and stakeholder buy-in. How a project could be developed and communicated. How a system will be used and maintained.
Our design ethos is again to bring our experience and knowledge to the client and engage with them throughout the process. We show and discuss our work with the client at every stage and we test our thinking and designs with users through sketches, scenarios, mock-ups and prototypes in order to ensure that when final designs are approved they will have the greatest chance of success.
Applied develops systems that increase people’s understanding of physical places.
Our approach to wayfinding projects has been applied at the city, regional, district and town scales, on educational and medical campuses, in buildings and retail centres, airports and stations, in parks and along routes and trails, providing interpretation to cultural, retail and leisure environments. We work across all modes, pedestrian, vehicular and cycle networks, create transport information systems for city-wide transportation and local networks.
Digital wayfinding is as important as printed media in the physical environment. At Applied we have developed a range of digital tools that increase legibility, allow people to access data through selective functionality and interact with real-time information.
Applied has developed some of the most important city wayfinding strategies and systems anywhere in the world including London, Bristol, New York and Vancouver.
Legible London was an idea conceived and developed by Applied. It has been used on over 900 pedestrian and cycle hire signs in 22 London boroughs, and 13,000 bus shelters and 19,000 bus stops throughout the Capital.
Applied created the business case for New York wayfinding. The I Walk New York book set out how a pedestrian system could be planned, designed, manufactured, maintained and supported.
In Vancouver, Applied has created a comprehensive multi-modal, region-wide, multi-media wayfinding system covering vehicular, cycle, pedestrian and transit modes. This included the implementation of a new transit information system in all SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations, bus exchanges and loops and is now being rolled-out to 8,500 bus stops across the Metro Vancouver region.
In addition, Applied’s Tim Fendley and Richard Simón were key members of the team that developed Bristol Legible City, which is widely regarded as marking the renaissance of city wayfinding systems.
At the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Applied has created a landmark wayfinding system to support the Park as one of the most important additions to the London visitor experience in a generation.
Applied has developed innovative wayfinding schemes in a number of educational and medical campuses around the world including the University of British Columbia, London South Bank University, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and Hamad Medical Centre in Qatar.
In Shanghai, Taiyuan and Seoul, and in cities across the UK, working in English and local languages, Applied has planned, designed and installed wayfinding systems for airports, retail environments, and many mixed-use buildings and complexes.
Projects such as Heathrow, which by any measure is one of the largest airports in the world. Applied has developed a centrally controlled and maintained, real-time digital mapping service which is being published in scaleable format on the airport’s website, in-airport kiosks and in print for static maps.
Bluewater retail and leisure destination is one of the highest performing retail centres in terms of spend for over a decade. As part of a brand refresh to improve the visitor experience, Applied developed a comprehensive wayfinding system in all internal, external and parking areas. A system which is presently being rolled-out as part of a five year programme.