Benefits for Individual Industries
By: Domnic Hinchliffe
There are few worse feelings than being geographically lost or unsure of how to find your desired location. Thankfully, traditional wayfinding has been helpful in abetting this issue for a long period of time. The capabilities of traditional wayfinding, however, are limited. Through a very restricted scope, wayfinding provides a map which states ‘you are here’. Suffice to say, this is challenging for users who aren’t familiar with the area in question. This becomes notably more stressful when there isn’t a friendly bystander or worker to seek directions from.
The need for better wayfinding has led to the evolvement and popularity of digital wayfinding solutions. Digital wayfinding allows users to engage with bespoke digital maps to map out a specific route from point A to point B. Beyond this, digital wayfinding solutions can provide much more benefits to a business and its users. Here’s an industry breakdown of the benefits of digital wayfinding:
For many educational organizations, especially large ones spread out across multiple campuses, the flow of students can be rather disjointed. When a student or staff member enters a building that they haven’t been into it can be challenging to locate a desired room or lecture theatre, especially during the mad rush between lessons. Aiding issues around this disjointed flow are the job of digital wayfinding, which strategically guides users around campus or building to avoid high pedestrian traffic and congestion.
For international schools and colleges, digital wayfinding solutions can be configured in multiple languages to help international students to settle in to their new country. The real-time scheduling functionality also allows important messages to be disseminated quickly, keeping students and staff in the loop with any urgent announcements that are taking place.
To gain new business and see growth for many organisations, it is imperative to take care of employees, prospective clients, and current clients. Few things are as captivating as a personalised message on a digital screen upon arrival, as well as how the feeling of using a modernised touchscreen platform to check in and find your way around a building.
Alongside this, integrating a touchscreen solution with meeting room and event scheduling software allows guests and users to take advantage of all the facilities that are available within a building. Integrating a solution with local public transport routes helps to lower congestion and traffic in surrounding areas and encourages the use of public transport. For extensive organizations, displaying a hierarchal staff directory will help reduce the fragmented feeling that comes with large scale companies.
There’s no doubt that the word healthcare induces a certain level of inherent anxiety within each of us. Whether it is a routine check-up at the doctors, a trip to the vets with your favourite pet, or simply picking up a dental prescription, healthcare institutions provide a rather unnerving experience for many. This level of anxiety is significantly increased when you can’t find a treatment room or certain wing within a practice.
The underlying patient anxiety that comes with not being able to accurately find a specific room is not the only issue that is arisen. For a hospital in Atlanta, a recent study found that 4,500 staff hours – equivalent to two full time employees – was being used giving directions to patients. Therefore, the need to accurately facilitate the movement of patients is not only to reduce visitor stress, but also to save the capital being wasted on employees guiding patients.
Retail & Hospitality
The retail and hospitality sector can be characterized by being highly competitive, with each high street brand fighting to be the most competitive. To stay competitive, high street brands must go over and above what their competitors are doing.
An instance of this could be displaying a stock directory in which customers can both check stock levels, as well as place orders through the screen itself. This eases the pressure on staff during busy periods whilst also capturing sales that may have normally been lost. A similar practice can be used within hospitality by embedding a real-time menu that updates the availability of food and drink to customers.
A further use of the digital wayfinding kiosk within this sector is that, generally, high-street shops will receive a high amount of footfall. As such, a well-positioned kiosk will attract the gaze and interaction of the vast amount of people passing by. Because of this, digital wayfinding kiosks can be a lucrative advertising opportunity for those wanting to reach this target audience. This can help supplement or even alleviate the cost of the wayfinding kiosk. Embedding QR codes onto the wayfinding kiosk is also a great way to increase customer engagement. Offers on certain shop items or menu deals can be incorporated, encouraging shoppers to visit the advertiser’s location, with the added bonus of providing analytics of the digital marketing displayed on-screen.
Last but certainly not least is the benefits – both physically and mentally – of a digital wayfinding kiosk to those less abled. Digital wayfinding maps can be used to direct wheelchair users to the closest access points or toilets within a building. Educating the general public through clever images and videos of those less abled would also be a great step towards alleviating the stigma surrounding disabilities. Even just displaying a helpline number could make a huge impact on someone’s life.