8 July London Journal
Summing Up London Journal: No Place Like Home

9 July London Journal Postscript

I read an article a few years back in Slate about good signage. it really stuck with me, and ever since I have noticed the difference between good signage and bad. Good signage anticipates where you want to go, shows you the direction clearly, and periodically reassures you that you are going the right way. London Underground: some of the best signage in the world. Clear, frequent and color-coded. Paris Metro? Worse than BART, and that is saying something. British National Rail: first class and crystal clear. French National Railroad (SCNF): god-awful, useless when it isn't confusing. Heathrow Express train: clear as a bell. Heathrow Airport: impressive. Chicago's O'Hare airport: non-existant. Where do I go after passport control? I have to ask someone, as there are no signs. How do I get from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3? There is no American Airlines employee anywhere to ask. There are no signs that I can see. Finally, I ask a man from Cathay Pacific, who walks me to the one sign in the terminal (posted nowhere along the path I walked) that indicates the inter-terminal shuttle. If I had turned in circles often enough I might have spotted it. Maybe. And I speak English. My heart goes out to any foreigner trying to make heads or tails of most of the inadequate and poorly thought-out signage at the O'Hare's International Terminal.

Thank you, I do feel better now.