By Noam Livnat
Chief Product & Innovation Officer
Thinking of implementing digital wayfinding within your facilities? It’s a great way to help visitors and staff confidently navigate your campus. Before hanging digital signage or setting up kiosks, there’s an important choice to make: What wayfinding software is best?
When vetting wayfinding solutions, don’t simply browse price points. Start with basic features and capabilities, then narrow your search from there. You’ll be surprised at the wayfinding customization options available.
Benefits-driven software features
Wayfinding makes it easy to find a person or location. The software running on your digital signage and kiosks should be just as intuitive and adaptable as the information it provides. Here are six essential wayfinding software capabilities:
- Interactivity: Choose digital signage wayfinding software (read more on what is wayfinding software) with a front-end, experiential component. Displaying digital signage is convenient, but providing user interaction options ensures your wayfinding solution is truly helpful. Features like point-to-point navigation, pop-up directory information, and interactive maps let a user dictate their wayfinding experience and get the information they need.
- Mobile support: More than kiosks and screens throughout your facilities, make sure you’re picking interactive wayfinding software with mobile support. Whether it’s an app employees can download, QR codes they can scan, or kiosk-to-mobile SMS directions, mobile is a vital component of modern wayfinding. Offering visitors and employees mobile support gives them directions they can take on-the-go.
- Web support: Web support, like mobile, extends the reach of your wayfinding beyond physical installations. Make sure your software offers online hosting for maps and directories, as well as destination mapping. Someone coming to your facilities tomorrow can pre-plan their arrival today thanks to the web supported component of your wayfinding system. Web access is also great for providing a facility map on the company intranet site.
- Pushed updates: On the facilities side, the real convenience of a digital wayfinding system is how easy it is to manage and update. Look for software with pushed updates, so you can make changes easily. If employees change offices, the names of areas change, or your facilities grow, good software lets you make changes centrally and push them to all connected wayfinding devices and applications. This centralizes data, avoiding issues of outdated signage or incorrect maps.
- Dynamic positioning: Whether they use a mobile app, web app, or physical kiosk, people need to know where they are in relation to where they’re going. Dynamic positioning is the key. Good wayfinding software will capture the user’s location and display it on the map or when giving directions. It’s a better level of support than users trying to guess where they are.
- Point-to-point directions: Having an interactive facility map or open directory is great, but there’s still the struggle of getting from Point A to Point B. Point-to-point directions simplify this. Put in where you are and where you’re going to get concise directions on how to get there. Paired with dynamic positioning, it’s an even simpler process—just say where you need to go! Good wayfinding software can route a person based on a room, employee, or department.
- Back-end functionality: On the facilities side, choose easily branded and customizable software, so your wayfinding needs are personalized to your workplaces. Choose software with widespread integrations and, if possible, an open API for further customization. Automation capabilities are another big plus.
To be effective, wayfinding software needs to solve the problem of navigation with clear and present, easy-to-see signage. It should also offer web and mobile support, taking as many steps as possible out of providing directions. The effectiveness and convenience of wayfinding is directly rooted to the software you choose.
Support user-side and facility operations
In addition to the seven features listed above, ensure your wayfinding software offers users and managers easy-to-access and intuitive support.
For users, ease of use is essential. Kiosks and interactive signage should be intuitive and simple. Clearly label all features and options, and make sure graphics, icons, and fonts are easy to read. Wayfinding resources that are welcoming and accessible encourage employees and guests to use them.
For facilities managers, control and convenience are everything. Wayfinding should be as simple to manage and coordinate as it is to use. Whether pushing updates or integrating features, wayfinding software needs to fundamentally complement building management and operations.
Powerful wayfinding software puts experience first. It makes navigating and managing facilities easier and improves people’s interaction with the building. If done right, good wayfinding can better everything from visitor experience to employee convenience.
Keep reading: wayfinding best practices.
Photo by Jordan Ladikos on Unsplash