Anticipate Everyone’s Needs
Waiting areas should be places of dignity and comfort, and they should provide people with choices. To create an inviting space that anticipates needs and decreases stress, use furniture that’s accessible by everyone and make sure to establish clear, open pathways that people of all abilities can navigate.
Design for Different Kinds of Waiting
Waiting is not one-size-fits-all—some people check email for 20 minutes, some sit in physical pain and emotional distress, and some wait with their families for news about a loved one. To provide for all of these different scenarios, create waiting areas that include varied settings designed for purposeful use and relaxing calm and quiet.
Make Waiting More Active
Waiting areas that allow people to continue doing everyday activities—like checking emails on their laptop or watching videos on their phone—elevate their experience and make waiting feel less like waiting. Offer single seating, paired seating, and small furniture clusters that act as “family rooms” to provide patients with comfortable spaces they’ll actually use.