Ben Acornley is a Partner and Creative Director at Applied, and has overseen the detailed development and delivery of the Legible London prototype on Bond Street as well as the system development during the pilot phase. Ben always places the end user at the heart of development, combining usability with obsessive attention to detail to achieve the right balance in maps, forms and publications. He oversaw the design of the Legible London Yellow Book, and the Visual Design Standards Manual, that set the benchmark for a city wayfinding design.
London’s prototype wayfinding system aims to simplify a complex city and encourage walking.
With London’s numerous neighborhoods and boroughs, unplanned maze of streets, and dense road traffic, it’s not easy for pedestrians to find their way around. A 2001 London Area Transport Survey found that one in seven Londoners had trouble navigating the city on foot, and one in four feared getting lost. That’s to say nothing of the 27 million annual visitors, many discovering the city for the first time.
London is a city of complex structures, partly dating back to medieval times, with few long vistas but a multitude of destinations and attractive areas. With more than 27 million visitors a year, walkability is important. It’s well known that London’s “tube map” is one of the best wayfinding diagrams in the world. But the above-ground terrain has been less well served. Surveys conducted in conjunction with the Legible London program showed that more than 40% of people have been using the tube map for walking, too.