Ufa tourist wayfinding system
Ufa is a wonderful city that has everything: marvelous Ural nature, vibrant cultural life, centuries-old architecture and places associated with world-famous personalities. The studio conducted a large-scale study of the city and relied on it to develop an elegant and colorful wayfinding system that helps tourists visit as many places of interest as possible.
In this house Sergey Aksakov, son of the then governor of Ufa, listened to fairy tales of his housekeeper, which later inspired him to write The Scarlet Flower.
Ufa has been the center of Islam in Russia since the 18th century.
Jaroslav Hašek performed in this building. He also lived in Ufa for several years, was a party activist and even got married here.
Ufa is an iconic place for Russian rock. The LSD House (Lenina Street, 72) is one of the places where Yuri Shevchuk and other Ural musicians gathered.
This building was the headquarters of the Comintern during the Great Patriotic War, and was also home to Maurice Thorez and Palmiro Togliatti. It also housed the Comintern’s radio station: the famous phrase “Attention! Attention! Moscow speaking!” was actually broadcast from here, not from Moscow.
In total, we identified four hundred locations, which were included in the tourist wayfinding system of Ufa.
Often, however, tourists are only aware of a handful of sights: most of the fascinating places and stories remain unexplored.
Research: problems and solutions
Problem No. 1
Tourist websites list all the same places, of which there are no more than twenty. Other interesting but less famous locations remain out of sight.
Solution: thew wayfinding system should be a true guide, encouraging people to explore the city.
Ufa is the third longest city in Russia. In addition, it is formed of two settlements: in 1956, Chernikovsk was absorbed. Because of this, the landmarks are scattered over a large area. People often get lost and do not understand whether it is worth spending time to travel to remote places.
Solution: the wayfinding system should not contain simply a list of landmarks and directions to them; instead, it should help visitors and locals find the most interesting ones.
On the one hand, the wayfinding system looks brutal and austere, Ural-style. The black color is a reference to the local industry, oil refining and ferrous metallurgy.
On the other hand, bright accents refer to the famous Ural gems and Bashkir colors.
The most informative signs—pylons—are installed at intersections of major tourist routes. They indicate directions to nearest attractions and contain maps in the form of clusters of bright “gems.”
Side panels in the Ufa-inspired turquoise color and a pattern made of the “three screws” symbol which resembles the name of the city spelled in the Bashkir language unify the look of the media and make them more noticeable.
Maps turn walks around the city into a real hunt for treasure scattered around the city.
Bookmarks are the highlight of the system. Each pylon is crowned with a bright marker that shows directions to the most important places.
Primary bookmarks can be easily replaced with temporary ones during major events.
At the bottom of each pylon there are all sorts of hints and tips: they help find entertainment fit for even the most sophisticated tourists.
Directional signs are installed along routes. Their flag shape allows them to be clearly visible along the path, while their poles do not interfere with pedestrian traffic.
Information plaques are installed on historic buildings.
They do not look like boring text from an encyclopedia, instead they are full of curious facts. QR codes are used to link to detailed descriptions or audio guides.
Information displays are located next to the most visited landmarks. They look like house plaques, but contain more information and have additional information about parks, monuments and other interesting things around that wouldn’t fit on a plate.
Ufa is considered to be the greenest city in Russia with over a million inhabitants. It has a huge number of parks, gardens and alleys. They are marked with small information displays.
They emphasize special features of the place and explain where visitors can find fountains, monuments or even a Ferris wheel.
All tourist trails are divided into sections with different characteristics. Signs are installed so that at each decision point people have all the necessary information to choose their next route.
On the signs, all landmarks are visually divided into categories based on the degree of interest in them, and are enhanced with all kinds of hints. All objects are ranked according to a variety of factors that take into account tourist needs.
According to the ranking, the sights are divided into classes which are then rendered on signs with the help of a clever algorithm.
Thanks to all this, the wayfinding system helps to better learn the history of the city, to see the eras and learn the legends.
The new tourist wayfinding system of Ufa makes the city even more friendly, open and cozy, attracting travelers. Vivid impressions and warm memories are guaranteed.