In the modern digital signage landscape, several key methods present an efficient path to simplify digital wayfinding for users. From corporate offices to shopping malls to large event spaces, wayfinding is becoming more prevalent and helpful for users to not only get necessary information, but get it in ways that are unexpectedly helpful.
THREE KEY STEPS TO ENHANCE DIGITAL WAYFINDING
- Directional Highlighting: Detecting and showing the most efficient route for the user to traverse
- Scheduling Integration: Connecting to system data to show room availability and meeting details
- Mobile Availability: Provide these details via a user’s own device
Let’s explore these ideas to see how technology and data can evolve the user experience. With more open API data frameworks, increased integration and customization are possible while newer development code bases make advanced ideas (e.g. route detection) more achievable, even in real time. To check the success of your methods, study (or simply ask) your users for insights after launch; you’ll quickly discover what items are helpful and what can be built upon, all leading to exciting new methods and techniques for increasing user satisfaction.
Sometimes the shortest route between points isn’t the quickest. In spaces with more than one route to various destinations, there is always a preferred route based on the environment, such as areas that require quiet for office productivity or enticed paths in malls where users see special deals and events. In addition, with multiple wayfinding instances on one floor (e.g. multiple elevator or stair locations), each kiosk needs to know the optimal user route based on these different locations. Advanced methods can achieve this dynamic route updating and directions (specialized/customized collision detection), enabling the application to calculate preferred paths and make intelligent decisions in real time for the quickest or easiest route.
Most wayfinding is for meeting rooms or areas of interest, particularly in workplace and office environments. Scheduling data can be the foundation for smart data regarding meeting rooms: guiding users to their next meeting, displaying room availability, or who is currently occupying the room. When users start to engage with a map visual, certain visual indications can becomes very helpful, such as displaying an in-use icon for availability. This can be particularly helpful when people are need an available room on the fly — why make them go back to their computer to check for availability of a meeting room? Once your wayfinding solution is connected to the scheduling system, it may even be able to book rooms, enabling a streamlined booking process available from individual kiosks.
Almost every aspect of a wayfinding experience can be extended to a user’s mobile device, allowing for real-time updates that follow the actual journey to the target destination. Once the user defines the destination, various methods can be employed to transfer way finding data to a mobile device: QR code, short URL, Bluetooth, beacon, etc. Upon accessing via any web page or application, it can leverage the device GPS and/or environment floor plan mapping technology to give the user step-by-step navigation. Even if certain use cases require that the mobile component be only temporary due to security reasons, other methods (network dependent, setup, etc.) enable a certain window of time for the webpage to self-destruct and not be available