Effects of competing environmental variables and signage on route-choices in simulated everyday and emergency wayfinding situations

This study examined the relative influence of environmental variables (corridor width and brightness) and signage (directional and exit signs), when presented in competition, on participants' route-choices in two situational variables (everyday vs. emergency), during indoor wayfinding in virtual environments. A virtual reality-based methodology was used. Thus, participants attempted to find a room (everyday situation) in a virtual hotel, followed by a fire-related emergency egress (emergency situation). Different behaviours were observed. In the everyday situation, for no-signs condition, participants choose mostly the wider and brighter corridors, suggesting a heavy reliance on the environmental affordances. Conversely, for signs condition, participants mostly complied with signage, suggesting a greater reliance on the signs rather than on the environmental cues. During emergency, without signage, reliance on environmental affordances seems to be affected by the intersection type. In the sign condition, the reliance on environmental affordances that started strong decreases along the egress route.


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  • Accession Number: 01523802
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 30 2014 9:16AM