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By Dave Clifton
A visit to a local government building is enough to put anyone on edge—for good and bad reasons alike. It’s a joyous occasion to pick up your marriage certificate at city hall. Conversely, it’s not a happy moment if you need to visit a police station to file a theft report. In either case, people want to get to where they’re going as quickly as possible. Enter: government digital signage.
Whether they’re occupied by happy thoughts or nervous anxiety, municipal buildings can be confusing places. Most people visit these locations only sparingly, and aren’t always sure of where they’re headed once inside. Wayfinding signage simplifies every visit by pointing a clear path to the destination. Moreover, it does this no matter how large, complex, or confusing the facilities are. From a police station, to city hall, to courthouses, and beyond, it’s a comfort for people to have directions.
Here’s a look at how to make government digital signage work, and why it’s an important part of the visitor experience in municipal buildings.
Examples of government digital signage
There’s a broad gamut of digital signage to consider for wayfinding. The presence of these different types of signage usually depends on the size and complexity of the building. Here are a few examples:
- Kiosks. For large facilities, entryway kiosks can be extremely helpful in easing the stress of navigation to a particular point within the building. Federal buildings, for example, may house hundreds of offices and rooms over several floors, which necessitates wayfinding the moment someone steps in the door.
- LED signage. Common corridor signage overhead can give instant context to visitors to tell them where they are. This works in small and large facilities alike. Whether static or scrolling, it’s helpful to visitors to be able to look up and get context for their location.
- Wall screens. Similar to kiosks, wall screens are informative points in larger buildings where visitors can pull up a map, search for amenities, see their location, or ask common questions.
Digital signage serves a variety of purposes: from showing people the way to their destination to informing them about their surroundings. In government facilities, this is instrumental in easing the stress of a visit.
Government wayfinder software is a low-cost convenience
The beauty of digital wayfinding solutions for government buildings is that they’re a universal investment. Anyone can use them—and, in fact, most visitors are likely to. This can cut down on confusion, misunderstanding, questions, and inconveniences for both visitors and the people who work within these buildings.
Consider someone visiting the court house for jury duty. They know they’re supposed to check in with the clerk in Room 233F. They can reasonably decipher that it’s on the second floor, but if they’ve never been there before, they’ll likely need to ask for directions. If the first thing they see when they enter the courthouse is an information kiosk, they no longer need to bother someone. More important, they’ll feel more empowered to find their own way, instilling confidence.
The cost savings of this convenience in similar situations is immeasurable. There’s savings in not interrupting workers, not needing to staff full-time greeters, and, of course, savings from time not spent wandering around. Everyone is able to get to where they need to go without delay, interruption, or incident.
Examples of interactive wayfinding software for government buildings
While there are plenty of digital wayfinding software options to consider for municipal buildings, interactivity is truly the modern standard. Visitors need the ability to interact with maps, directories, and information hubs to become confident with their surroundings.
Take something simple, like a map of the current floor. The ability to rotate it helps a user get their bearings, instead of trying to reimagine themselves within the context of the map. Zoom in and zoom out improve perception. Clicking on different amenities and rooms brings up information, to provide context for surroundings. There’s no end to the capabilities and conveniences of interactive wayfinding features; even something like point-to-point directions can instantly transform the situation from an uncertain one, to an informed one.
The power of digital signage for government agencies
The core purpose of government is to serve constituents. And while we tend to think of this as policy decisions and referendums, it’s also a matter of simple, everyday conveniences. When they visit the courthouse for jury duty or go to city hall to pick up a building permit, people need to know where they’re going. Wayfinding can tell them, and make sure they arrive at their destination with minimal stress involved.
It’s not every day people need to visit government buildings. When they do, it should feel comfortable, familiar, and accessible to them. All they’ll need to do is follow the signs.
Keep reading: The Five Major Pillars of a Wayfinding Program