How do airports use design to help passengers?
Modern airports often showcase some of the most cutting edge and innovative architecture out there, but the principles of great airport design don’t stop at the exterior. Airports around the world are turning to design experts to find solutions to common problems that travellers fear like getting lost and making sure you are on time.
Using design to encourage wayfinding
One of the most important things in airport design is the way in which passengers move around the airport and get to their gates with enough time. This is known as wayfinding and it is one of the most important design principles used in airports. At Bayanat Engineering Qatar we offer a variety of wayfinding systems which utilise both technology and design to ensure passengers can move quickly and efficiently through the airport.
Practical ways to encourage wayfinding
There are a number of ways designers use wayfinding clues to subtly help passengers navigate the airport. Designers often utilise the large open spaces in airports to allow passengers to have clear sightlines to the next place they need to go so they can plan ahead. You may have seen large art pieces and installations in airports, which provide a reference point to allow passengers to orientate themselves and create a mental map of the area. Designers also use subtle differences between terminals or areas to let passengers know they are somewhere else. These include different shaped signs, changes in the carpet pattern or they could be practical boundaries in place to control passenger’s routes like a row of seats.
Clear, well-designed signage is incredibly important in airports throughout the passenger’s journey and designers have several tools to encourage communication. Bold colours like yellow and black can be used to warn passengers, and symbols will be used often as many travellers will speak different languages. Before security, there should be several large and easy to read signs so passengers know what to expect and how to prepare, as well as well-placed bins to allow easy disposal of banned items. Digital flight information directories in obvious places allow passengers to feel in control and manage their time effectively. As technology has evolved, new digital solutions have been introduced in airports such as airport apps and geolocating software to inform passengers in realtime.
Making customers feel safe
Travelling can be an anxious experience for many, especially with new security measures, like human body temperature scanners, metal detectors and detailed questionnaires. In fact, many airport designers think that these obvious, large-scale security measures can ease traveller’s worries about potential terror attacks, by showing just how seriously it is taken. Another way airport designers can remedy this is through introducing ‘recomposure zones’ which allow you to take some time and relax after the stressful security checks or the wait for baggage handling. These will have benches and perhaps somewhere to get a coffee. Designers will also use natural light as much as possible, with landscaping elements and art also helping to create a soothing and calm atmosphere for travellers.
Airport design experts
At Bayanat Engineering Qatar, we offer comprehensive airport design and consultancy services. We know just how important great design is in airports and we can help you implement wayfinding systems to improve passenger flow and customer experience. Our decades of experience in the Aeronautics and Aerospace industry mean we can offer practical advice and real-world solutions.