Evaluating the Influence of Environmental Design Elements on the Legibility of a Shopping Mall


ABSTRACT Shopping is an ordinary and necessary activity for human beings. Especially today, a mall becomes a community centre that contains social and recreational activities along with shopping. With the increase in number of large-scale shopping malls, shoppers have problems in finding their way. Legibility as the ease of finding one's way around in a setting becomes a crucial concern in shopping mall design. The environmental design elements (EDE) -layout, landmark, orientation aids and signage- affect the legibility of a building. This study was designed to contribute to the understanding of human wayfinding behaviors in shopping malls with the concentration on the legibility by addressing two aspects of influential factors: EDE and individual differences. An individual interviewing and pointing task comprised of a hundred and twenty shoppers was conducted in the shopping mall. Findings of the study verified that the appropriate usage of EDE improves the legibility of a shopping mall setting. In addition, gender and familiarity differences have found to be effective in the usage of EDE.