User Centred Development of a Smartphone Application for Wayfinding in a Complex Hospital Environment

  • Frank Smolenaers
  • Tim Chestney
  • Jenny Walsh
  • Simon Mathieson
  • Daniel Thompson
  • Mehmet Gurkan
  • Stuart MarshallEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 818)


Finding where to go within a hospital environment can be difficult and frustrating for patients and visitors leading to complaints, missed appointments and inefficiencies. We iteratively developed and tested a navigation application for smartphones, to augment existing wayfinding strategies. The “PowerNav” smart phone app uses indoor location and movement tracking, enabled by low energy Bluetooth beacons (BLE) mounted on the ceiling of hospital corridors. No IT infrastructure is required. A prototyping stage of the interface with user input was followed by a rapid phase user-centred design process involving naïve and experienced users. This culminated in the naturalistic observation of users with the app and ongoing data collection of user experience. The partnering of a public health service and a private developer proved to be a successful venture. Future work will involve accessibility features for visually impaired users and support of additional languages. We believe that future integration of the app with public transport and other travel information will also improve the utility and create a patient centred approach to appointment management from the receipt of the letter to attending the appointment.


Wayfinding Navigation Hospital Design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alfred HealthMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Monash University Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative MedicineMelbourneAustralia

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