The aid of colour on visuospatial navigation of elderly people 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, we aimed to explore the usage of colour as visuospatial navigation tool for elderly people by testing in a virtually simulated polyclinic environment. We compared neutral, warm and cool coloured experiment settings to find out the effect of different colours on elderly people's visuospatial navigation performances. We conducted our experiment with 90 participants in two phases, each with a specific task (Route Replication and Picture Classification). 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 traveled 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. We believe that the findings of this study will provide important clues for both interior designers and environmental psychologists.