New Wayfinding System: One Year On

It has been a year since the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Stage 1 opened, and with the new line came a new wayfinding system.

The new wayfinding system was developed after a three-year review and was designed with the intent of a gentler learning curve, so that everyone can quickly pick up the new signs and get going.

According to an interview with the lead designer of the new wayfinding system, the clutter of paper signs is one of many reasons why he embarked on a redesign for the Singapore’s transit signage system.

However, makeshift paper signs have begun popping up at two of the new TEL1 stations – Woodlands South and Woodlands.

The first paper sign can be seen at the platform level of Woodlands South station. This sign directs commuters to the exits of the station and is one of the only few signs that inform commuters the exit directory on the platform. this is contrary to the designer’s intent of “Inform, direct and confirm”.

The new wayfinding system allows commuters to consult information points prominently installed around the station to identify the correct numbered exit to take. However, what is lacking is an actual information point on the platform level of Woodlands South. Thus, such makeshift paper signs were placed to inform commuters on the platform level directly.

More makeshift paper signs can be found at Woodlands station, where multiple signs are placed from the platform level to the transfer level within the TEL premises. These signs indicate the direction of the North-South Line and most of these signs are located near the redesigned wayfinding signage.

Unfortunately, this creates an unnecessary duplicate of a direction signage, leading to a slight clutter within the station.

Ultimately, there needs to be a fine balance between putting up necessary paper signage and additional paper signage, and in this case, there needs to be more fine tuning to the wayfinding system to eliminate unnecessary clutter within the transit signage system.


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Matthew Ng

An avid train enthusiast since 2009, he designs graphics and infographics to promote the little known facts about Singapore's train network.