Designing a wayfinding system for an iconic department store
We were tasked with creating a customer-centric wayfinding experience; one that met Harrods’ brand values – British heritage, luxury, innovation, and sensational – and tastefully reflected the store’s art nouveau aesthetic.
We conducted 18 months of research to get some key insights; interviewing staff and customers, analysing popular areas of the store, and even watching CCTV footage.
Introducing a unifying numbering system
It became clear that Harrods faced similar navigational challenges to large museums. To mirror this, our primary solution was to introduce a simple hall numbering system; one which would maintain the wayfinding experience regardless of space usage, and unify digital services and printed guides.
Our strategy drove numerous improvements. Among these, a grand entrance opened on Hans Crescent, escalators were renamed to ensure clarity, and new WiFi-ready directional totems were built to signpost the numbers system
- Over 83% customers said the store was easier to navigate
- Customers reported they felt reassured by the signage
- Staff reported that the number of customers asking for directions
had significantly dropped
- Journey times to key destinations reduced by two thirds
Our work has also improved sales floor efficiency, reduced overcrowding, and set a foundation for digital services at Harrods.
The SEGD jury panel described our work as “A very comprehensive report and wonderfully packaged presentation of mass amounts of information. It’s an overwhelming task distilled into digestive information of planning, strategy and function."