We examined how recipient perspective and descriptive features affect direction giving and following during wayfinding. In Experiment 1, participants provided directions from starting locations to destinations for fictional recipients driving through a town (route perspective) or looking at a map of the town (survey perspective). As expected, participants included left-right and landmarks more frequently when addressing a person driving in the town and cardinal descriptors more frequently when addressing a person looking at a map. In Experiment 2, participants rated the effectiveness of directions. Effective directions contained significantly more left-right references than did less effective directions. In Experiment 3, participants followed the bestand worst-rated directions. Unexpectedly, they navigated significantly faster when following the worst-rated directions. In Experiment 4, participants gave wayfinding directions for destinations in a familiar town. Again, direction features depended on recipient perspective, highlighting the dynamic nature of wayfinding processes. Copyright # 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.