Going beyond static wayfinding

By Hongwei Liu

Static signage plays one part in wayfinding for client experience.

Static signage plays one part in wayfinding for client experience.

Wayfinding has evolved quite dramatically with the overall adoption of digital signage and the evolution of inter-activity for an enhanced user experience. In turn, indoor mapping technologies have greatly advanced how wayfinding is affecting numerous verticals. Accessibility in daily life is crucial, and using digital signage for wayfinding has assisted many.

The average individual spends as much as 75 per cent of their time indoors. Information about who, where, and what is around someone has become standard fare. In today’s digital age, consumers demand real-time, accurate, and relevant information at their fingertips. Most people are familiar with outdoor wayfinding, to the point it has become second nature for some. Indoor wayfinding, however, is beginning to catch up to its outdoor counterpart in terms of user adoption.

Online retailers are continually delivering an experience that is efficient and personalized; one consumers have become accustomed to. As a result, consumers are now seeking similar benefits when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. To date, this experience has been significantly more difficult to replicate within a physical location.

What is wayfinding and how is it implemented?

Wayfinding is the use of products to provide navigation and information to consumers about a given product, location, or service. Used well, wayfinding is much more than simply moving people from point-to-point as efficiently as possible. Evolving from (and now including) static signage, wayfinding is used in any number of industries to bring the digital experience into physical locations. The goal of good wayfinding is taking into account design and brand extension while providing information. Ultimately, however, it needs to be intuitive and helpful enough that people will want to engage with it.

Wayfinding also plays a part in the larger conversation around property and asset management. If not used properly, it can complicate these processes. On the other hand, when it is used correctly, organizations can see a dramatic increase in time savings. Understanding the overall layout of a facility can help with decisions about everything from leasing to maintenance to directing customers for the purpose of sales.

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