Visual controls must at the very minimum be unambiguous, and either indicate normal versus abnormal or to positively specify a problem condition in order to be useful. Ambiguous visual controls are a waste of print and only good as examples of visual management practices to avoid. I stumbled upon one of the most ambiguous and supremely unhelpful visual controls while in the supermarket today.
This sign that boldly affirms “You are here.” does not tell me anything I don’t already know. While the map shows a large number of assistance centers across the store, it fails to indicate exactly which assistance center “here” is. Nor does it provide useful context for this information or any hint of what this condition of being here implies beyond the obvious.
Perhaps “You are here.” was meant not as a location specifier but rather as a vague but existentially reassuring statement directed towards any shoppers who may suddenly feel as though they were in a song by The Clash, lost and no longer able to shop happily.