Published on March 4, 2014
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 We here at the unity group strive to deliver a product that Mission Statement will exceed your expectations. After numerous hours of research we have developed a wayfinding system that will improve the overall navigation of your mountain bike trail system. We have developed three major objectives in this wayfinding exercise that when fully implemented will ensure the rider has not only a positive experience but a safe one. 1. Get the people to the trail system 2. Warn the rider of any upcoming dangers 3. Inform the rider on how to properly navigate the trail network Congratulate you on winning trail of the year for the entire state of Ohio, and with that award new riders will be drawn to the area with little to no experience with your trails. A proper wayfinding application will ensure that these riders become quickly acquainted with the trail system and have an adventure that they will remember for a lifetime. Kiosk As soon as the eager rider arrives you need to have the kiosk positioned where all who are parking can easily identify that this is a key display on quickly ascertaining the trail. Our research indicates that this display should be within ten feet from the trail head (where riders enter the trail system). The display also needs to be no smaller than 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Also provide a mounting system that elevates the signage where it is eye level with someone that is 5ft 9in . The overall purpose of the kiosk is to provide interpretive information in a format that people can easily identify with. This is our first opportunity in educating the potential rider and getting them acclimated with the environment ahead. The one way communication provided by the kiosk is only useful if the visitor is willing to read it so we need to draw their initial attention and keep it though out the entire message. The kiosk will be divided into four major facets that each has their own purposes that will be discussed in more detail during some of the remaining sections of this document. 1
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 We have done numerous usability studies on your existing trail map that quickly eluded that we will be able to elevate some development time by keeping the existing map  and utilizing it in our wayfinding interpretation. Its primary location will be the kiosk, and will encompass the largest portion of the overall signage. This is purely do to the visual nature of the map and how the riders can quickly identify and acclimate themselves with the riding situation. Primary Map Smaller variants of the map will be provided throughout the trail network that will also indicate where the rider is located in relation to the map. Placing them within the trail network will aid in reducing stress on the rider that is afraid of getting lost. Reducing this fear will allow the rider to concentrate on the trail and enjoying the moment and not worrying about finding the end of the trail. 2
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 This section the only time we will be able to show the potential rider Sign Overview all the various type of signs they will encounter during their trek throughout the park. We only want to give the user a small representation of the signs they will encounter because listing them all would create a situation where the rider’s attention is lost. We only want to give them enough information to be able to identify with the signs and be able to interpret them on the fly. A small visual example will be accompanied by a short text description of the sign and its purpose. Examples that will be presented Cautionary Sign Entrance Sign Exit Sign Route Indicator Park Info This region will focus on what West Branch does best, and letting the riders know about how special this area is. This also would be a great place to mention the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) and how if it wasn’t for their devotion the park wouldn’t even exist. They continually bring the trail system into the next evolutionary step in riding while preserving safety as a top priority. Keep mentions arranged a logical order and keep them short. Recommended content topics CAMBA Ride safe / use a helmet Use the buddy system when riding when possible Rules about trail closures and how to identify the trails are closed 3
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal Caution & March 15, 2010 The purpose of caution signage is to inform the rider that that hazards or Reglatory Signs conditions are imminent and special attention is required. This allows the rider to quickly interpret their meaning and have enough time to ascertain proper judgment before attempting something they wouldn’t be comfortable to. By having cautionary signage we can ensure that the riders are traveling the trails safely. Example / Explanations Sign: Bridge Objective: To warn the rider of an upcoming bridge structure. Both the text and visual representation easily allow the user to identify with the message and prepare for the obstacle. Sign: General Caution Objective: To warn the rider of an upcoming object. This sign can be used in numerous situations that warrant the rider be more aware of their surroundings. Sign: Downhill Objective: To warn the rider of a steep downhill. 4
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 Sign: Drop Off Objective: To warn the rider that a sheer drop is eminent. Sign: Rock garden Objective: To warn the rider that a series of rocks are present. Sign: Switchback Objective: To warn the rider that a series of turns that require special attention. Sign: Hill Climb Objective: To warn the rider that they need to prepare to transverse a hill. 5
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 The purposes of the regulatory signs are to ensure that the rider adheres to the very few rules that are present on the trail network. The meaning must be clearly present so they aren’t open for any individual interpretations. Sign: Entrance Objective: This sign will placed where the trail network starts to indicate the trailhead. Sign: Exit Objective: This sign will be placed where the trail network ends. Sign: No Riding Objective: This sign will warn riders that the trail is closed and not to ride. West Branch does close its trails seasonally and riders still persist on riding the trails. This indicator should be placed at every entry point. 6
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 Even though the primary map of the trail network is a rather Directional Signs powerful tool and a rider with no experience could use it to navigate. The wayfinding system needs to give rider a periodic updates on which way they should going. The sign will also include elements that will indicate the trails level difficulty along with an indicator that this section of trail has a general increase or decrease in elevation. Each of these elements will be shown an explained shortly. Sign: Direction | Difficulty | Elevation | Trail Name Objective: Starting at the top you will notice a clear designation pertaining to direction and where the user should travel. Next is a combination of elevation and difficulty. The black diamond represents the difficulty of the upcoming trail (this is based off of the difficulty scale that ski systems generally use). This allows us to use the rider’s previous knowledge and have them apply it from memory. The green box indicates a decrease in elevation; a red outline would state an overall increase for this section of the trail. The signage would be described to the user at the kiosk. Last but not least is the trail name that would correspond to the naming convention on the primary map. These signs will be mounted on a flexible material that if the rider were to strike the sign it would not break under the pressure. The rider would also benefit from this because they would not be injured in the process. 7
West Branch Wayfinding Proposal March 15, 2010 The wayfinding system Optimal Sign Location and Frequency would be a complete failure if the signs would improperly locate within the park. The task of finding the right spot isn’t as hard as it seems. All you have to do is ask yourself “should a sign go hear”. Along with having these areas identified by someone with vast knowledge of the trail; we would recommend that a rider be brought in that has no experience and have them identify potential locations for signage also. Signs will be clearly visible from the track and be consistently placed on the left side of the trail. Directional based signs should be located where a wayfinding decision can be made or the trail changes in difficulty. The regulatory signs will be placed anywhere a park rule is enforced or a rider needs to be reminded of park policy. However providing to many signs can have the opposite effect and make the trail system to confusing. Finding the proper balance is critical to the success of the park and the level of pleasure you bring to your constituency. All the elements presented in this proposal will ensure that each and every Conclusion rider will have a fun and safe trek through the amazing trails systems provided by West Branch State Park. We look forward in working with you on this future endeavor, and hopefully many more projects to come. Feel free to contact our team if you ever have any questions. References 1) Human Height (2010). [Provides an average height for Americans]. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_height 2) Camba West Branch State Park Tail Map. [Provides a wayfinding map for the mountain bike trails at West Branch State Park Ohio]. Retrieved from http://www.camba.us/pn/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showco ntent&ii=1 8
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