Passenger familiarity and intuitive navigation within airport environments

Cave, Andrew R., Blackler, Alethea L., Popovic, Vesna, & Kraal, Ben J. (2013) Passenger familiarity and intuitive navigation within airport environments. In Consilience and Innovation in Design Proceedings and Program, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.


Passengers navigating through airports can experience confusion or become lost, resulting in dissatisfaction, missed flights and flight delays. Passengers moving through airports are required to make many navigation decisions, for example to find the correct check-in desk or find the correct boarding gate. Prior experience of using the airports is likely to enable intuitive navigation, however limited research on this topic currently exists.

In this paper we investigate passenger navigation by observing 30 participants at one international airport as they moved from check-in to a departure gate. The results indicate that passengers do spend time navigating intuitively through the airport, and that there is a positive correlation between intuitive navigation and airport familiarity. It was also found that participants with lower airport familiarity spend a greater percentage of overall navigation time searching and assessing/acquiring information than high familiarity participants. These findings provide evidence that passengers with higher airport familiarity have a greater understanding of the process, have a better understanding of what information to look for and use this familiarity to navigate intuitively. Findings from this research will have design implications for both current, and future airport terminals and other large spaces that people navigate through.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 62601
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Wayfinding, Navigation, Airport Terminal Design, Intuitive Interaction, Environment Design
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2013 01:56
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 10:25

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