A User-Perspective Approach for the Design of Modern Bilingual Airpot Signage

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Garcia-Castro, Alejandra
Chung, Wayne
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Airports have increased in size with the popularization of air travel and the emergence of new technology, which in turn has created less than ideal facility configurations for users wayfinding purposes. For that reason, the primary tool used to move the traveling public through airport facilities is signage, which should employ a concise and comprehensible system of directional, identification, regulatory and informational messages (Erhart 2001) to help all airport users navigate the maze-like facilities. With the intent of successfully directing the majority of airport users to their desired destinations, airport planners have implemented bilingual signage in several airports across the United States. The majority of these systems utilize Spanish as a secondary language: a reflection of the changes in population of American communities and the addition of new travel routes to Mexico, Central, and South America from several airlines. Whereas the importance of having bilingual signage systems is apparent, there is little information concerning how the Spanish speaking user views these bilingual systems and whether they are useful. The purpose of this thesis is to shed light on this issue by conferring with the user on the usability of several features of bilingual (English-Spanish) signage systems, and involve them in the design process with the goal to develop a useful system. As a result of this thesis, recommendations for improving the design of English-Spanish signage systems will be provided.
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