Designing wayfinding solutions and signs that work for neuro-diverse users

Designing Wayfinding Solutions and Signs that Work for Neuro-diverse Users

Live Broadcast Date:  Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Eastern (UTC - 4 hours)
Speaker(s): Christine Hemphill, Managing Director, Open Inclusion and Tom Pokinko, Research Director, Open Inclusion
Target Audience: Anyone considering how to design indoor or outdoor wayfinding including physical and digital solutions
Skill Level: Beginner - Intermediate - Advanced

Register for Designing Wayfinding Solutions and Signs that Work for Neuro-diverse Users


An outline of the key areas of diversity that can influence how people perceive and understand signage and wayfinding solutions. Who is being excluded and how?  Introduction to some core challenges and principles for good inclusive design in physical spaces. Then a practical guide - 1/ How to assess the solutions you have. 2/ A process for how to build new inclusive wayfinding and signage solutions 3/ Maintaining solutions and embedding competence. Then a range of examples of good and not so good signage and wayfinding solutions. Lastly  a look to the future. How may wayfinding and signage solutions change in a more deeply connected world? AR overlays in the real world. Signage in virtual worlds. AI, autonomous drivers and more. 


  • Participants will learn what are the various design elements of sign design and wayfinding
  • Participants will understand what may exclude people with differing physical, sensory or cognitive needs
  • Participants will learn how to design signs and wayfinding solutions to efficiently include differing needs
  • Participants will be shown known examples of good, bad and ugly solutions that meet or fail to meet users' access needs

Speaker Bios:

Headshot of Christine Hemphill
Christine Hemphill
has over 20 years experience in designing, making and improving products, services, environments and businesses. For the past six years, she has focused on customer and workplace inclusion, digital design and inclusive brand experiences for all. She founded Open Inclusion as a primary insight-led inclusive design organisation in 2015. In this role, she has led a number of projects specifically looking to understand and improve the design of signage and wayfinding solutions in large public environments such as universities, stations, and airports. She has spoken at the Sign Design Society in the UK on the topic of inclusive design of signage and wayfinding previously and is supporting the new edition of their inclusive sign design guidelines.

As an economist by training and human-centred designer by practice, Christine also leads the economic value research for Open Inclusion. This helps our clients understand the financial benefits of more inclusive approaches.

Headshot of Tom Pokinko
Tom Pokinko is an inclusive designer and user experience research specialist who helps clients inform the design of their products and services with usability insights from customers with diverse needs. He manages all user research for Open Inclusion and Open’s UK-wide Research Panel of 500 people with a stated disability or those aged 65 and over. Tom is passionate about organising and facilitating user-centred research with “lead users” such as disabled and older adults as a way to help businesses realise their inclusion goals and create better user experiences for everyone.

With over ten years’ experience working in multidisciplinary design and research settings, Tom is familiar with a wide range of research methods including usability testing, ethnography, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, user surveys, mystery shopping, task analysis and contextual enquiry.Tom has a Master of Design in Inclusive Design and a Master of Arts. He is also a member of the Design Research Society. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, he has provided inclusive research and UX design solutions spanning digital and built environment accessibility for public, private and third sector clients on 3 continents.    

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