What’s Wayfinding & How Can Digital Signage Help?

Wayfinding helps people move from point A to point B through a combination of signs, signals and other visual cues. And comprehensive digital wayfinding solutions combine four functional elements that enable guests to easily find and navigate their destinations. Selecting the right combination of wayfinding solutions depends on the objectives of your company.

Four Wayfinding Must-Haves

Search, direction, information and interaction are four must-have features that companies should look for in a digital signage wayfinding system. This means that the solution should be able to search facilities, stores, rooms or destinations within the vicinity and provide turn-by-turn directions through a 2D or 3D map, giving visitors a visual representation of the best route to take.

Another feature to keep in mind is the ability to provide information about a facility or store such as a description, the type of food being served, the average price and virtually any other content that can be configured relative to what visitors need to know. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the interactive capability of digital signage wayfinding. The system must be intuitive and interactive enough to enable self-service, giving visitors the freedom to search and figure out destinations on their own.

Now that you know about these non-negotiable wayfinding features, it is time to compare the different types of digital wayfinding solutions so that you can find the combination that will provide the most value to your organization.

Interactive Wayfinding

Ideal for multi-floor and multi-building properties, interactive wayfinding makes it easy for visitors to get directions using a three or two-dimensional perspective. Very useful at entry and exit points as well as other common convergent areas, interactive wayfinding retains visitors’ sense of directional orientation regardless of the floor or building of their destination. For example, Four Winds Interactive’s (FWI) wayfinding application allows the creation of single-level and multi-level maps with a functionality that indicates where the users are, effectively anchoring that location as their starting point.

FWI’s “you are here” beacon is configurable in both size and color and is very effective in drawing users’ attention to a specific place on the map. Interactive digital signage wayfinding also enables visitors to search and browse facilities through a simple finger tap on the digital signage screen. From here, the map will show them point-by-point directions, animated pathways and specific directions. An interesting case study is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas Nevada, where FWI implemented its wayfinding application to make it easier for travelers to find nearby restaurants and shopping opportunities.

Dynamic Wayfinding 

Ideal for large properties where visitors are unlikely to return to the lobby for directions, dynamic wayfinding makes it easy to see what events are happening as well as where they are located. As events change, the directory and corresponding map beacons automatically update too. And by using FWI’s Integration Framework, it’s easy to pull from different databases and systems, so that only the most relevant information will be shown on the map.

Static Wayfinding 

Static wayfinding is best placed at key intersections and convergent points, as these signs keep people moving toward their final destinations. For example, static signs can help people find reception desks, offices and loading docks. It is also helpful to place static signs near elevator banks so that visitors know what offices or facilities are located in the area. Another useful implementation of static wayfinding are property maps that indicate the visitors’ current location, giving visitors a sense of where they are so they can orient themselves to your facility.

Mobile Wayfinding

Mobile wayfinding is another type of dynamic map, only better, as visitors can send guided turn-by-turn instructions to their mobile phones. FWI’s digital wayfinding solutions work by identifying the visitor’s location and their target destination. Animated route paths and a list of navigational instruction will then be generated and can be directly shared via SMS, email or QR code scan. Another mobile wayfinding option is a custom made FWI native application that both visitors and employees can use to navigate any facility.

Combining Wayfinding Solutions

Digital signage wayfinding solutions can also be combined to provide a more robust visitor experience. 

Choosing the right combination of digital wayfinding applications to create single powerful solution largely depends on the objectives of your company, whether it be customer satisfaction, increasing staff efficiency, reducing operational costs or developing your brand. When choosing wayfinding solutions, make sure to find a solution that allows seamless integration across platforms and gives you the freedom to select dynamic, static, mobile and interactive, or any combination of those.   

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