Colour as an aid for elderly during visuospatial navigation in a virtual polyclinic environment
It is well documented that elderly people often have difficulties in finding their way in unfamiliar environments. In this study, it is aimed to explore the usage of colour as visuospatial navigation tool for elderly people with tests in a virtually simulated polyclinic environment. Neutral, warm and cool colour experiment settings were compared to find out the effect of different colours on elderly people’s visuospatial navigation performances by using a head mounted display. The experiment was conducted with 90 participants in three phases; eligibility questionnaires, testing on computer, and presence questionnaire. The findings showed that neutral coloured setting affected participants’ visuospatial navigation performances negatively compared to warm and cool coloured settings. However, there was no significant performance difference between warm and cool coloured environments. In addition to that, when they were asked to reach to the destination point, male participants spent shorter time, did fewer wrong turns, experienced fewer hesitations and travelled shorter distances compared to female participants. Currently, due to the increase in the elderly population, designing well-functioning interior spaces for the elderly has become a more pressing matter. The findings of this study will provide important clues for both interior designers and environmental psychologists.