Nature Tourism Services is an Australian company that specialises in delivering innovative interpretive and visitor orientation design solutions.
Decades of experience in interpretation planning underpins all our project work. We connect traditional interpretation sign, maps and print media product with interpretive digital products including tourism webapps and PDF smartphone guides.
In order to quickly and simply change its visitor orientation signage across from winter to summer modes of operation we worked with Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management staff to develop an innovative solution.
As part of a project team comprising Geoff Sorensen from the Falls Creek Resort Management and production specialists Screenmakers, we have assisted in the 2015/16 roll out of an innovative signage system that develops a very new approach to an old intractable problem.
How can the resort signage cater equally specifically and effectively for the needs of summer users as it does for its more traditional winter visitors? This project set out to find the answers and in the process came up with some remarkably simple and effective solutions.
The idea developed here is an elegantly simple solution to the challenge of ensuring that the six monthly cross resort signage changeover can be accomplished in a cost effective manner. Using this system the off season panel is simply stored inside the unit where it actually forms part of the structural solution holding the face panel in place.
To make this system easy and practicable to implement, Geoff Sorensen of Falls Creek Management came up with the elegant solution of pivoting the signage panels, thereby ensuring that workers could complete the process "off the back of a truck".
Signage specialists Screenmakers then put their precision engineering to work to create the remarkable signage units seen in operation here. For smaller trail signage, the sign change over can simply happen by removing the cover at the top of the sign.
To ensure that the signage could act as a portal to a richer experience, we also developed a user guide catering specifically to the needs of users both in the summer and winter contexts.
This user guide is a webapp that visitors can use in areas around the resort with internet coverage. To provide them with maps for use in areas beyond the reosrt precinct an interactive PDF guide also forms part of the product suite.
People can easily download this to their phones to embed the content there for use in areas with no internet coverage.
The challenge of coming up with an effective system of road signage along the sweeping village roads led to establishing prominent roadsign elements prior to each of the major intersections. The idea here is to ensure that the user is fully oriented prior to engaging with the intersection - a process that requires their full attention to negotiate safely. As they exit the intersection, the rear of the corresponding "entry sign" on the other side of the intersection then reaffirms their location and direction of travel.