Anyone who visits airports, shopping centres, hospitals, and other large public places will know the frustration when entering an unfamiliar building and not knowing which way to turn – especially if you’re pushed for time. Where is my check-in desk? Is my favourite shop here? Where do I find the children’s ward? Where is the nearest coffee shop?
Some places will already have a comprehensive digital wayfinding system in sight, in which case you can breathe a sigh of relief, but for those that haven’t it can often be an unnecessarily stressful spell of wrong turns, asking strangers where to find things, and delays in getting to where you want to go.
Wayfinding is not only an essential part of the customer experience, it is also an often underestimated factor when it comes to efficiency and profitability, as the easier the customer finds their way around, the more relaxed they will be, and the more likely they are to spend more time and money.
The costs of installing and maintaining digital systems are inevitably higher than traditional (static) alternatives. However, the benefits of digital are fundamental to the modern and fast paced technology savvy audience of today; added to which, they are much easier to manage via easy-to-use content management systems (CMS), thereby ensuring content is always up to date.
In a world where touch screen technology can be held in the palm of your hand, it has never been easier to communicate almost anything to anyone and engage users of any age or background, making digital wayfinding the ideal solution for any business.
Digital navigation is flexible, it can display interactive maps, information about loyalty schemes and offers, opening hours, flight times, and pretty much anything you want to communicate to your audience. Traditional signage takes time and money to alter, whereas digital is an easy and instant tool.
Digital wayfinding gives customers such specific directions that advertising can correspond to retailers or restaurants on a particular route, making them much more attractive to potential advertisers. This revenue stream will also help the system to become self-funding.
There are many different options for the hardware too, and while some shopping centres and airports have opted for large pods set up at T-junctions throughout the building, others have chosen to integrate tablet sized touch screens in strategic positions, such as wall mounted screens, across the building.
Interdirect has designed, developed and deployed wayfinding and information solutions in more than 26 shopping centres across the UK and internationally, and recently completed the install of six pods at London Gatwick Airport. Designed using Interdirect’s CMS, SiteMachine, businesses can manage every aspect of their wayfinding content, putting the power of the tool in their hands.
Digital wayfinding should now be a vital consideration in the construction of new buildings, including universities, train and bus stations, and hospitals. It is something that should be on every managing director’s, centre manager’s and chief executive’s radar.
To talk to Nick and the ID team about what digital wayfinding can do for your business call us now on 0845 121 5566 or email [email protected].
Interdirect is a vibrant, multi award winning, full service agency, specialising in digital design and development, advanced content managed websites, bespoke software solutions, PR, marketing and social media. Our clients include some of the nation’s best known brands, including Champneys, Gatwick, Bluewater, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, which span sectors as diverse as luxury health spas, airports, shopping centres and professional bodies. Interdirect’s head office is situated in Milton Keynes, but we also have offices in Manchester, and personnel based in Dubai.