Wayfinding in Interior Environments: An Integrative Review

Front Psychol. 2020 Nov 6;11:549628. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.549628. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Wayfinding is an issue in complex facilities-including hospitals, airports, and office buildings-and wayfinding difficulties are associated with negative psychological and physiological consequences. In addition, since finding one's way in a building is a prerequisite for successfully using that building, wayfinding has attracted the attention of scholars and decision makers. The goal of this article is to review and synthesize the published literature on wayfinding in interior environments. A systematic search was conducted of four databases: PsychINFO, JSTOR, ProQuest, and EBSCO. A hand search was also conducted. From the initial harvest of 804 records, a total of 84 records met the inclusion criteria for full review. After several rounds of review, four broad domains were identified: (1) wayfinding cognition, (2) wayfinding behavior, (3) individual and group differences, and (4) environmental factors. These domains are used as a framework to organize the findings, and the review shows that the sub-domains most thoroughly addressed in the literature are spatial memories, floor plan configuration, landmarks, signs, and maps. This review can deepen the field's understanding of factors that contribute to interior wayfinding and can serve as a resource for decision makers and designers.

Keywords: indoor environment; integrative review; spatial behavior; spatial cognition; wayfinding.

Publication types

  • Review