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Hospital Wayfinding & Experience gets a Human-centred Design Approach

Navigation of “wayfinding” is a critical aspect of the healthcare experience that shapes perceptions of hospital care quality for patients, caregivers, hospital staff and visitors. Positive interaction can leave users feeling supported and satisfied with their recovery; a difficult journey in a stressful environment will only increase discomfort and anxiety.


PIVOT tackled this multifaceted problem at North York General Hospital (NYGH) through a combination of design research, field research, human-centred design practice and a holistic approach to understanding patients and their environment.


We explored various environmental, physical and emotional touchpoints in the system and isolated challenges contributing to wayfinding obstacles. Areas for further growth and opportunity were identified, and we proposed actionable design solutions to improve patient and caregiver experience.

Based on research, we proposed both short-term (adding clocks in high-traffic areas) and long-term (installing a virtual concierge desk) solutions to help alleviate anxiety experienced by visitors and provide general wayfinding support capable of enhancing the overall experience. By applying empathy and adopting a patient-centric approach, PIVOT was able to supply a range of viable options and measures to benefit all stakeholders in the NYGH system.