Wayfinding for legible landscapes

Following on from Naïve geography

People need lots of opportunities to make sense of a landscape. A landscape-like digital space needs to be as legible as possible. In a digital space, the best way to ensure all those opportunities are present is to include UI and/or content elements that follow these eight wayfinding principles

  1. Identify locations
  2. Create edges
  3. Pave paths
  4. Add landmarks
  5. Make maps
  6. Establish sight lines
  7. Add signs
  8. Limit choices

Questions for evaluating legibility:

  • What is this page about?
  • What site is this?
  • What are the major sections of the site? Which section are you in?
  • What other maps help you understand the shape of the site?
  • What edges or boundaries can you see?
  • What paths could you follow from here? How can you tell they are paths?
  • How far can you see “up” from here? How far “down”? How far into related sections?


Foltz, Mark A. Designing Navigable Information Spaces. Washington University, 20 May 1998, http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/infoarch/publications/mfoltz-thesis/thesis.html.