Admiralty Station in central Hong Kong is undergoing an extensive expansion, which will increase the station size from four to eight platforms, from three to seven levels and from eight to 48 escalators. The number of signs will increase drastically, and it will be harder for passengers to find their way around the station.
Traditionally, signage installation was tested by using paper mock-ups prior to station opening, but this is not appropriate for the extension of an operational busy station such as the Admiralty due to the short time period of daily closure for the operational station.
Rising to the challenge, Arup worked closely with MTR Corporation to develop a Realtime Interactive Model of the station environment, using cutting-edge 3D simulation technology to test the wayfinding and signage design.
The Interactive model
The interactive model tested the movement of different user groups, including wheelchair and pram users, to embark on a virtual journey to identify problem areas. Each ‘journey’ was broken down into specific areas and the end-users were questioned at each stage to develop a greater understanding of how to minimise passenger confusion and enhance passenger experience.
By conducting the usability test and expert walkthrough in the model, of the 970 signs in the proposed signage system, a total of 235 potential issues were identified; and of those potential issues, 145 signs were changed. This has demonstrated cost reductions for MTR in comparison to post-construction relocation.