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Social Media & Wayfinding on UBC Campus

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Dakota Brant

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Social Media & Wayfinding on UBC Campus

-Enhance mobility of the UBC Vancouver Campus
-utilize social media for campus wayfinding
-access social media tools to pre-plan campus navigation with ease

-Online discussion forum for feedback mechanism and interactions would be helpful Obstacle 1 Obstacle 2 Obstacle 3 Summary Start Wayfinding, a word coined by the urban planner Kevin Lynch in the 1906s, refers to the processes by which a person situates himself or herself in a geographic environment and navigates from point to point in that setting (Lynch, 1960). From Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the City. MIT Press: US. Discussions & Recommendations - Dean email updates
- Daily twitter
- Greater visibility of signage to ramp entrances
- Instant/up-to-date info. on route alterations (eg. road closures, snow removal, etc.)
- Route alteration alerts on digital screens that already exist around campus. Social Media
Wayfinding Act as an advocate on behalf of students with disabilities to provide greater empowerment.

Exploratory in nature: to investigate current rationale for using social media. Context: Disability Lens Methods & Research Design "...right now in the music building...unless you know the building really well I don’t think that one really knows that the only wheelchair accessible washroom is in the basement. And then for some other buildings I imagine that that might also be an issue- Also even knowing where the automated doors are. So that sort of information might be helpful on a digital sign" -interviewee How can social media and online mapping tools enhance accessibility for persons with physical disabilities on the UBC campus?

Research Sub-Questions:

How are online maps currently used to enhance wayfinding on the UBC campus by persons with disabilities?

How do persons with physical disabilities currently use social media? What is Social Media? Online tools that facilitate two way communication, involving the almost instantaneous creation, sharing and exchange of information and user generated content in virtual communities and networks.

Common examples include services such as Facebook and Twitter, mobile apps, and even online mapping platforms such as Google Maps. What is Wayfinding? BACKGROUND - An observed need for students with disabilities to receive current wayfinding and accessibility information.

- A recognition of the increasing role fulfilled by social media in providing similar services (Translink) GOAL: Identify how students with disabilities are currently using social media, and identify opportunities for improved access to information Rationale & Nature Context: Research Question -Five Semi-structured interviews

-Interview questions:
-Accessibility Experience
-Wayfinding Technology
-Social Media Use
-Social Media & Wayfinding Methods & Research Design Data Collection LIMITATIONS Low # of Participants
-5 participants cannot be representative

Many participants were not frequent social media users
-Recruit via Social Media

Focus group and participant observation would add to our analysis
-would help with creative solutions Analysis of Findings Findings and Analysis Wayfinding & Map
-Size of campus
-Break needed between classes
-Avoid back to back classes
-Need leave earlier when go to a building for first time
-Elevators, washrooms and floor wayfinding
-Building entrances (60% [3 vs 2]; 2 without mobility issue)
-Google Maps (better than UBC Map)
-Calculates Time, Distance, and Destination Barriers
-Weather (snowing, rain, ice, etc.)
-Construction & Race
-Roads blocked off
-Unclear detour
-Construction is the general public issue of accessibility Communication & Information
-Email or text from dean
-Easiest way to receive information? (80% [4 vs 1]; one prefers Facebook)
-Searching help from Access & Diversity, Advisors, or people around
-UBC websites (80% [4 vs 1]) Social Media & others
-Facebook or Twitter (60% [3 vs 2]; 2 use FB not Twitter, 1 uses both)
-2 previously used facebook or twitter, but not anymore
-Smartphone Apps might be helpful for wayfinding
-Equip digital/technological devices in buildings for wayfinding (e.g., navigation screen) All would like to share information about challenges or what's happening through social media if there's a platform
Consider social media would be useful to update or announce wayfinding information on the campus
photo-sharing and news updates
Creating entire community support

How to address social media for persons with different disabilities
Visual impairment people Analysis of Findings Continued Interaction Map Discussions & Recommendations Conclusion 1. Improved communication of wayfinding information through various social media platforms including the Dean's email list, Facebook, and real-time updates on the UBC website and twitter.

2. Improve UBC online wayfinding maps by making it more interactive for users, incorporating route time and distance estimates features, live updates of route closures, and highlighting current features such as the footprint map. References Brown, Paul, S. Vilches, P. Gurstein, R. Beaudry, J. Fernandes, C. Gallop, S. Gillett, J. Landry, and M. Q. Wang. (2010). Exploring the Distance Learning Experience of Students with Disabilities. Report prepared for the UBC Access and Diversity Office as partial requirement for PLAN 515, Planning Research: Qualitative Methods & Research Design. Current Social Accounts - Roughly 156 UBC Twitter accounts run by administration, departments, faculties, societies, and regular events. None of these are known as a source for up-to-date construction/barrier information
- Roughly 80 UBC Facebook pages of similar content, again with no information related to wayfinding or barriers. UBC Wayfinding Map:

Findings: UBC Online Wayfinding Map overwhelming, does not provide estimates of travel time or distance, ability to virtually plan a route, or current route closures/barriers.

Opportunity: Integrate interactive mapping components through social route tools. Provide the opportunity for students to update the map and let other students which routes are closed. UBC Footprint Maps:

Findings: 'Footprint' maps are segmented to individual buildings.

- A campus-wide Footprint map is either not available, or securely hidden.
- Footprint Map is out of date. i.e. Does not include North Bus Loop.

Opportunity: Provide printed and digital full-campus footprint maps with main accessible entrances and routes.
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