Linking: To the Brand Or to Bewilderment?

This article on ClickZ.com uses airport wayfinding as a metaphor for branding, while delving into chocolates, psychology and linking, all in about 10 paragraphs. There are a number of neat ideas here, but it feels like too many correlations and metaphors are packed together. It would have been much stronger if, instead of trying to tie everything together, he just focused on the idea of designing aspects of environments (signage, linkage) around users.

The author is really talking about IA, whether he intended to (or even knows what it is) or not:

  • “The environment feels good because it not only allows me to find my destination in a hurry but it also imparts a feeling of control. Every time I look about for helpful signage, there it is. When this occurs, it seems the planners must have anticipated my needs before I did.”
  • “For some reason, the intuitive element of sites seems to diminish in proportion to the amount of information sites attempts to expose. Desperate to tell the visitor everything, preferably all at once, the site instead drowns in chaos.”
  • “Often, the result of greater decision-making comfort is more people actually make a choice. Conversely, when a plethora of choices dazzles an individual the result is more likely to be the confused person makes no choice at all.”
[See also: Peter Morville on Findability]