The AIGA Leadership Retreat is an annual gathering that brings together board members from all 75 chapters of the organization to, among other things, unite around the “state of the union”. Between 2012 and 2015, AIGA looked to us to help craft that story in a transparent, compelling way.
Working directly with former executive director Ric Grefé, we understood that the presentation to be honest, open, and direct. Using simple visuals and compelling animations, we crafted a presentation that emphasized tangible goals over platitudes, and effective communication over generalities. As members ourselves, that's how we wanted to hear about the future of AIGA.
Western Michigan University
Cloud Gehshan Associates
Large, physical locations like university campuses, hospitals, and public parks require excellent signage and wayfinding to help visitors get around. Western Michigan University was working with Cloud Gehshan to help with their physical wayfinding strategy, who then came to us to make recommendations about how to better leverage mobile and digital technology to improve the ease with which visitors, students, and faculty navigate the campus.
We began by researching existing conditions and holding stakeholder workshops to hear from staff, students and visitors of the university. It was important to include stakeholders from the beginning, so that they were able to be part of the planning and help frame the problem. We also wanted to build consensus around the idea of a wayfinding app as a solution to some of WMU’s unique problems, like inconsistently and inadequately signposted paths, confusing naming, and a sprawling layout. Off-the-shelf solutions like Google Maps just weren’t going to address these specific needs.
To prove the amorphous nature of the campus, workshop attendees spent much of their time talking about their wayfinding needs as they applied to tangentially related destinations and activities, making it clear that campus life is constantly in context with what’s happening around and off-campus.
Using those findings and an outline of best practices, we provided a detailed strategic document that makes recommendations about why mobile is important, how to build consistency, fixing inconsistent naming, and making parking, transportation, and off-campus information as easy to find as the campus map itself. We also made recommendations on the technical side, discussing various platforms, proposed functionality, and a project plan for moving forward.