Friday, October 30, 2009

Making names work for users

Wayfinding projects are not just about showing people the way – they are often about making the way easier to show. Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital last year renamed many of their buildings to provide a set of names that makes more sense for patients. For example, people used to have trouble finding New Guy's House, because it was not particularly new. This means that they've had to change not only signs and maps, but appointment letters too. They've also worked with the Royal Mail to ensure that their postal address is the street people enter from (it wasn't before).

Department names are also changing:
  • 'Paediatrics' = 'Children's services'
  • 'Ophthalmology' = 'Eye department'.
  • 'Renal unit' = 'Kidney unit'
  • 'Surgical appliances' = 'Patient appliances'.
 Hurray for common sense.