The Legible Leeds project is tasked with improving the city’s information and signage that helps people find their way around the city; this includes the roll out of a new on street map and signage system. Leeds City Councilcommissioned Enventure to conduct research in the city centre to ensure the new system met the needs of those who came into contact with the signs; city centre residents and workers as well as visitors. Phase 1 focussed on gathering feedback on the usefulness of existing signage and new hand held Walk It maps to identify any gaps in the information provided.
407 on street interviews were conducted in June 2010, covering two map locations in the city centre. Quotas were set to ensure the views of those visiting the centre for work purposes as well as for leisure were covered. In addition, half a day of observational research was conducted at the two sites to observe and record how people actually used the map. This layer of ethnographic research added a valuable real life context to the quantitative data collected.
The findings showed that the current signage was working well in meeting the needs of people living and working in the city however some improvements were required to better meet the needs of those not as familiar with the city such as increasing the physical stand out/visibility of the maps, greater focus on specific landmarks and indications of time and distance between key locations.
Benefits to Client
As well as evaluating the effectiveness of the existing signage, Enventure identified key improvements and information gaps that the new signage needed to address such as increasing the visibility and physical stand out of the maps in the streets to ensure that visitors to Leeds in particular make the most of their time in the city.