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A Simple Guide to Digital Wayfinding Signage System

The term ‘wayfinding’ refers to guiding visitors through a particular location to their destination without making them face any hassle or confusion.

Traditionally, wayfinding has worked in ways like simply getting directions from the elevator man or following direction signs. However, organizations soon realized that unorganized wayfinding mechanisms secretly cost them. It adds to visitor frustration, loss of opportunities, and loss of time.

Once the issue came to light, there was a rapid adoption of wayfinding signage through technology. Nearly 20% of companies worldwide with five hundred or more employees have already deployed or plan to deploy a wayfinding technology.

Wayfinding signs have evolved and have become digital; they have even turned portable. This blog will guide you through the ins and outs of digital wayfinding signage.

What is digital wayfinding signage?

We started our blog with the simplest definition of wayfinding: guiding someone from point A to B. And, when we are talking about ‘digital wayfinding,’ it’s the same process of conducting a visitor, but with the help of digital maps & directories. One way of putting digital wayfinding into practice is by installing interactive kiosks at various business locations.

Digital wayfinding signage means any digital screen that shows you maps, directions, building information, addresses, or other information to help locate the desired place.

How does digital wayfinding signage work?

Wayfinding technologies operating through digital signage use screens and digital signage software. The screen shows the content, and the software drives that content to the screen. This is the most straightforward mechanism.

There can be a need to customize the software with more advanced features like touchscreen & touchless systems and interactive ‘follow-me’ maps. Digital wayfinding signs can also use QR code technology to enable visitors to carry building maps on their mobile devices.

Types of digital wayfinding signage

You can use digital wayfinding signage in several ways as per your needs and preferences. However, there are mainly 3 types of it. Let’s know them better.

Digital building directories

a mall equipped with digital signage screen displaying digital buiding directory

Digital building directories fall under the umbrella of static wayfinding solutions. These wayfinder signs are inexpensive and aid your visitors with a simple reference point. Just display a graphic layout of your campus or building highlighting all the facilities and departments.

You can also include a QR code in that electronic map and help visitors scan it using their mobile devices and access the directory easily on the go.

Want to know more about the digital building directories? Read this blog

Interactive wayfinding solution

It allows visitors to interact with a digital screen for an easy understanding of how to go from point A to point B. And it happens of course with the help of touch screen technology. With interactive wayfinding signs, you will offer a personalized experience to your visitors.

What they need to do here is, touch the destination name on the screen, or search for it by typing on the search bar. Immediately they will get a visual demonstration of how to reach the place from their current location. It will show the exact route, saving the visitor the precious time he would otherwise waste on guesswork.

Interactive wayfinder digital signage is very engaging as it represents the map in an attractive way and allows filtering the search to a very precise route discovery.

You can also opt for 3D wayfinding that allows a dynamic functionality. With 3D digital wayfinding signage you can offer a realistic view of your campus. This will take your overall brand image up a notch.

Here’s a video explaining how an interactive 3D wayfinding kiosk functions.

Portable wayfinding signage

Portable signs are the coolest of all because you can carry them wherever you go. A simple QR code technology can enable visitors to find a building map on their mobile. The visitors can scan the QR code from the screen and follow the map on the go.

Where can digital wayfinding signs be used?

Providing digital wayfinding assistance to the visitors results in wonderful benefits, and we are about to discuss that in a bit.

And for those amazing benefits, it is hard-pressed for any industry to avoid using digital wayfinding signs. Here, we have listed down the ones where digital wayfinding signage has already found its application and proven its worth.

  • Corporate Headquarters

  • Healthcare sector

  • Hotels & Resorts

  • Shopping Malls

  • Airports & Railways

  • Education sector

  • Government buildings

  • Stadiums

  • Convention centers

  • Amusement parks

  • Residential complexes

Digital wayfinding signage best practices

It’s likely to make mistakes. Hence, it’s important to learn about the digital wayfinding signage best practices. Let’s have a glance at them.

  • Keep only the required details. Do not make your maps overwhelming for visitors.

  • Keep things simple. Complicated terms may confuse your guests. For example, using ‘cloakroom’ instead of ‘washroom’ or ‘toilet’ will be confusing. Avoid it.

  • Choose your color codes wisely. All your screens must be in alliance with each other with a similar brand voice.

  • Use universal symbols for every location. Coming up with creative symbols and signs is cool only if your guests decode them correctly.

  • Place the screens effectively. If you keep them in a location that’s out of sight for most of the visitors, what’s the use of it? Think twice before the final placements.

Make sure you use a QR code. People may not like standing in front of the screens. They’ll simply scan and find out what they want on their mobile devices on the move. Keep that option open.

What makes wayfinding digital signage so important?

The potential of digital signage wayfinding is huge. You can bend and customize the benefits it provides according to your audience. Have a look at the few major benefits here.

You save time on both ends

How hectic is it for a person to find out the pediatrician’s chamber on a hospital campus? And if the question isn’t about which floor first, but which building, it is a frustrating and time-consuming task for the visitor. He may miss the appointment in the process of finding out the correct location!

And the people you’ve hired to help your visitors out with wayfinding can’t handle every situation smoothly. Why? Well, because the number of people on the other side (the visitors) is huge.

So, by implementing digital wayfinding signage you actually help these people save their precious time. And when you save the time of your employees, they can concentrate on more important work and boost productivity.

You keep visitors satisfied

When they won’t have to roam around much to find out their locations, they will be pleased and satisfied. Moreover, you are offering them things in their ways.

It means that you are helping them navigate themselves through the campus on their own, that too using a digital screen which they are used to operating and know every functionality. Hence, they find it extremely convenient and comfortable to use.

Also, if you have kept interactive kiosks, you are sure to please your visitors a hundred times more than static digital displays with the simple building directory.

The moment you install touch screen kiosks for wayfinding solutions, your guests are super satisfied because they realize you are providing them with very personalized information – just the way they like it!

You save cost on hiring people

No business would like to spend more than what’s needed to improve customer experience. Digital wayfinding signs help you save the cost you otherwise would have spent on hiring people for the inquiry counter.

Keep the digital screens on and let people gather information from them directly without much fuss. There’s nothing better than having satisfied clients with a meager load on the pocket.

You create a lasting brand impression

How? Well, with bright, visually appealing screens here and there on your campus, you actually build an aesthetically rich image of your brand.

You’ll showcase you’re up-to-date with technological transformations, you know how to make your environment look pleasing and you put the control key on your visitors’ hands.

This personal touch with engaging visuals on-screen heightens your brand impression. And it obviously helps with customer retention, customer satisfaction, and better sales.

You offer your visitors peace of mind

Say, you need to visit a parlor which is of great fame and you know the mall where it’s located. You reach there and you are clueless about where the parlor is in that giant building. You are surely going to lose your cool.

But, if you would have a screen at the entry gate, navigating you to the parlor, showing you the path to it with animated visuals, wouldn’t you feel relieved?

That’s the peace of mind you’ll offer your visitors if you deploy the wayfinding digital signage correctly.

You no more have congested hallways

As a floor manager, managing the crowd seems quite a task, especially when they come all at once with the queries like where’s this and where’s that! They can’t find their destination and keep jostling around.

Reverse this situation by investing in digital signage. Offer an interactive wayfinding experience to your visitors and keep them calm. No more overcrowding of people on each floor looking at every corner to see if that’s the cabin they need to reach. The screen will guide them right. Phew! That’s a relief.

You can update your floor plan anytime

For many reasons, you may have to shift your prime locations from one building to the other. Or maybe there’s renovation work going on and you had to shift some of the departments to a new location on the campus. Your visitors won’t know that. So, help them out with the web-based, easy-to-update content of the wayfinding signage.

Make the required changes in your plan, revise the new locations and let the signage software auto-update the same on your screens in a jiffy! Call out to your visitors by displaying an announcement on the screens, like, ‘Hey, we’ve had a few changes. Find out your location at the new spot here!’

You draw their attention and help them navigate through the building without any hassle to the newly located departments. Simple!

You improve audience engagement

Did you know that you can run other contents too on the screen along with wayfinding maps? That’s the fun you get with digital signage software in place. It allows simultaneous content rendering. You can even make the wayfinding solutions pop up every 15 seconds while you run weather updates or news or your employee profiles in between.

That’s how you keep your audience always involved. If you are running a corporate house, keeping the stock market updates on a slide below the wayfinding signs will be a brilliant thing to do. Thus, you’re sure to improve audience engagement and contribute to ROI indirectly.

You contribute to the environment

Digital wayfinding signage involves no paperwork, no printing, nothing! Everything goes digital. Even, the energy consumption by new-age digital screens is too little to count. So, in every way you put in the effort to save the environment. That’s something commendable! And don’t you think your visitors and clients will take note of that?

The bottom line

Wayfinding doesn’t have to be frustrating anymore with digital signage solutions. And when you are looking at your marketing strategies through new lenses, you must include digital wayfinding signage in it.

For better results with your marketing efforts, opt for digital wayfinding signs and witness the difference in customer experience within months.

About Pramita Banerjee

Pramita’s journey as a writer began in 2012. Almost for a decade now, she has been writing pieces on technology, marketing & business. Her belief is, "Creativity never goes out of style".

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