Returning my rental car to the Austin, TX airport. Getting into airports is an adventure unto itself, and signage is critically important, and usually rather good and frequent.As I entered the main airport and was confronted with hundreds of signs, I was really looking for only one: “Rental Car Return”. And I found it, indicated on a blue-banner sign that the right two lanes were the place to be. Signal, lane change, and settle in at 45 mph. Then the next sign with “Rental Cars” was on a red-bannered sign and indicated a single arrow in the left lane. Who to believe? Blue then changed to passengers and airline information while red remained for Rental Cars. At one point, I saw an old Rental Car Return sign that had been erased some time back on the blue signage.It’s worth noting that I’ve been to Austin before, and the Alamo (and other car companies’) return has not moved in at least 3 years.Just like giving a live message, conflicting indicators are hard to follow and ultimately confusing. Most of us don’t have the luxury to allow our audience to misinterpret our message.It might be as simple as using the left and right sides of the room when comparing two things (let’s talk about those who have set goals over here, and those that have not on the other side of the room), but be consistent. Gestures that don’t convey the spoken message (talking about increasing revenues while your hand descends) can also confuse.
Make all signs and messages consistent.