UBC Undergraduate Research

Effectiveness of Drinking Fountain Wayfinding Signage at the Nest, UBC Hsu, Yu (Frondia); Li, Xiushu; Qi, Yingdi; Wong, Chui Yiu Jacqueline; Wang, Yiwei (Vicky)


The SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies) program in UBC has been promoting the use of tap water drinking to meet the goal of Zero-Waste Action Plan by reducing 80% of all waste from the landfill by 2020. In this study, a mixed-method approach consists of two surveys (i.e. baseline survey and post-signage survey) and systematic observations were conducted to test if displaying drinking fountain wayfinding signage increase drinking fountain usage at The Nest. The post-signage survey (n=100), showed that only 25% of the participants noticed the recently installed wayfinding signage; and when they were asked to guess the purpose of the signage, only 35% participants responded with direction or tap water drinking related key words. 40 hours of systematic observation (i.e. 20 hours for each condition) showed increases of direct drinking and water bottle filling behaviors after wayfinding signage were installed; but by conducting the chi-square test, it revealed the differences were not statistically significant. The hypothesis that suggest displaying drinking fountain wayfinding signage near the drinking fountain would increase the usage of the drinking fountain, therefore, was rejected. Insights gained from this study will help develop practical implications of current signage design and future signage installation plan. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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