The Benefits of Integrating Wayfinding with Digital Signage and Who’s Using it Now

In addition to emergency notification, universities and hospitals can leverage their digital signage networks for maps and directions in buildings and on campuses.

There are some quantifiable dollar benefits of moving to digital wayfinding signage—it displaces or reduces previous wayfinding costs such as physical printed maps and signs, which have to be restocked and/or updated periodically.

Commercial-grade displays have, like most technology, continued to decline in cost. “A 55-inch interactive touchscreen is now about the same price as what a 32-inch home TV used to cost,” notes Rathbun. “So a display for interactive wayfinding would cost about what two or three replacements of a Lucite, steel or stone sign would.”

And once the display is up, and the map and route data has been populated, updating signage is comparatively inexpensive, in many cases, automatic and zero-cost.

Plus, digital wayfinding can reduce employee time, dedicated or otherwise, to provide location and direction assistance, including the training time to ensure these people know where facilities are and how to give clear directions.

Digitizing your site’s wayfinding also makes it almost instantly updatable to, for example, reflect an event location change, or to route around elevator outages, construction or maintenance.

In addition, to the direct benefits of easier navigation, digital wayfinding signage can bring other benefits, depending on the nature of your organization. For example:

  • Branding/image reinforcement. All wayfinding can carry along your organization’s logo, colors and other template information.
  • Associated information. Wayfinding can link to directories, which in turn can pop up staff pictures, service descriptions, departmental services and other related data.
  • Providing other digital signage information such as weather, company news, announcements, ads and emergency announcements.
  • Interaction with reservation/purchase applications to, for example, reserve a conference room, see a restaurant menu and make a reservation, see current waiting times and more.
  • Coupons and other digital deals. Wayfinding can present information about sales and coupons, even display digital coupon QR codes (2D bar codes) that people can scan with their smartphones.
  • QR codes that people can scan using their smartphones can provide not just maps and directions, but also offer coupons that the user can present at a store, restaurant or other venue.

Last, but not least, having digital wayfinding signage, even if people haven’t yet come to expect it, shows that your organization cares about employing current technologies and practices.

Who Leads the Way in Deciding To Do Wayfinding

Many groups, or departments, may all play roles in deciding to implement wayfinding, and what it includes. IT and facilities are key to proper installation and operations, of course.

However, because signage and information are involved, marketing has a stake in reinforcing the brand, and shaping the messages for groups concerned with the results — employees, visitors, students and others finding their way through buildings and the campus.

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Photo Credit: edgenumbers via Compfight cc

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