Examining intuitive navigation in airports

Cave, Andrew R., Blackler, Alethea L., Popovic, Vesna, & Kraal, Ben J. (2014) Examining intuitive navigation in airports. In Design Research Society Conference 2014, June 16-19, 2014, Umea, Sweden.


Airports accommodate passengers with a range of prior experience, from frequent flyers, to passengers who fly every couple of years, to those who have never flown before. Passengers with varying levels of prior experience may use different visual elements when navigating the airport. Ensuring all passengers can navigate to the processing activities intuitively is important for passengers, airports and airlines.

This paper examines how participants with Low, Medium and High airport familiarity navigate through the departures area at an Australian international airport. Three navigation activities are investigated:

(i) navigating to the check-in row,

(ii) navigating through the Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) preparation area before security screening, and;

(iii) navigating to either the boarding gate first or to a discretionary activity first, after exiting customs.

In the three activities, differences were observed between the familiarity groups. These differences include the use of different information to locate the check-in desk, different actions when navigating through the LAG preparation area, and evidence that Low familiarity passengers have a desire to locate the boarding gate as soon as possible once through customs. This research provides evidence based design reccomendations for airports to benefit from intuitive passenger navigation.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 71897
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Wayfinding, Navigation, Intuition, Airports, Design
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > OTHER BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (129900)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 26 May 2014 22:18
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 16:42

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