Integrating Wayfinding in the Digital World

12 Signage and wayfinding
How many times have you visited a particular place and had a hard time finding your way around? Have you ever had to ask for directions in a place such as a convention center, hotel, airport, hospital, office building, or college campus? Have you checked those printed directory maps on the wall only to see that it is already outdated, incomplete or not detailed enough?

We've all been in similar situations at some point or another. The feeling of not finding your way around can be daunting; it can be especially stressful in a new place. Even when we ask people for directions, sometimes they tend to be unclear.

Modern Digital Wayfinding Plays an Important Role

Digital wayfinding consists of tools and processes people use to find their way from a starting place to a destination. It combines art and science with the goal of guiding people through a man-made space.

For this reason, many organizations are integrating wayfinding into their digital signage to successfully guide people where to go, show them how to get there, and even provide additional information about the place. They are shifting to digital signage as a solution because traditional printed signage is usually out-of-date, time-consuming, and expensive.
For instance, campuses and hospitals can send messages and emergency information while leveraging the same system to include maps and directions to their building and campuses.

Digital wayfinding signage can come in different forms such as:

• Mobile integration: Mobile devices are now being utilized as a digital wayfinding solution. This is helpful for the next generation of users who depend on apps from their phones.
However, the technology can also benefit drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pilots, etc. who use an embedded wayfinding device.

• Digital Wayfinding Kiosks: Placing digital wayfinding kiosks can help visitors find their next location with ease. Kiosks are also dynamic, easy to change and easy to use.

Usages of Digital Wayfinding Signage

Digital Wayfinding signage is now being used in several venues and industries - in hotels and resorts, convention centers, colleges and universities, medical facilities, public spaces, event venues, communities and a lot more.

Hotels, resorts, and even cruise ships are using digital wayfinding signage as well. For example, wayfinding signage in Marriott's hotel chain allows them to show shops, restaurants and other amenities available to the property, improving their guests' experience.

Benefits of Digital Wayfinding Solutions

1. Time Saving
Digital Wayfinding Solutions reduce the time spent looking for a destination. Nothing is more important than being able to know where you are going and how to get there quick and easily. You will not spend time trying to find people who can help or being sent in the wrong direction.

2. Reduces Mood Dampeners
Stress, frustration, and worries are lessened as problem questions such as "where am I going? Alternatively, "I cannot find a place" are easily solved.

3. Cost Effective
Static signage is prone to wear and tear, thus they need to change every number of years. Digital wayfinding eliminates the cost of printing maps and signs every time an update is needed. Also, updating digital signage is inexpensive and can be done easily.

4. Ease of Use
Factors such as maintenance, elevator outages, construction, and event schedules can be changed in real time.

5. Branding Opportunity
Digital wayfinding can incorporate an organization's brand, logo, and colors. Additional information such as company products, services, and offerings can be tied directly to the wayfinding feature.

6. Display Relevant Information
Pertinent information such as weather changes, emergency alerts or location-specific news can be shown as well. Specific industries can include their restaurant menus; wait times for a particular service or event, venue seat layouts, or screening schedules.

The benefits of using a wayfinding digital signage solution cannot be denied. It proves to be an effective solution for organizations in enhancing customer service experience and increasing employees’ productivity. Having digital signage shows that your organization is also concerned about using current technology and practices that deliver a better experience overall.