Effective Way-finding Digital Signage.

When is a picture worth a thousand words? When it’s an effective way-finding digital signage screen.

Identifying colors and shapes has long been a way of learning and symbols have a universal understanding for safety and emergency procedures; utilising this approach means everyone is included. But it is surprising to look at the statistics and find very few public places actually have any kind of way-finding – electronic or static poster.

way-finding digital signage

In the first instance, planning an electronic way-finding navigation route can overcome physic and logistical problems for visitors. Getting from A to B isn’t always a direct route. Many people use a cognitive or photographic memory recollection to process the information, this is where colors and shapes come in. Being aware of our environment helps us to prepare the route efficiently. One step beyond traditional style of poster way-finding is to use a digital signage screen; a further step is to install a touch-screen digital sign.

How to plan the way-finding digital signage board:

  • A floor plan or map, featuring key points and easily recognised features, is a good starting point
  • Add outside spaces and external doorways
  • Emergency exits and evacuation points
  • Toilets and rest rooms, restaurants and ATM’s are aways useful
  • Color code areas or zones
  • Consider using the virtual way-finding mirrored onto the actual floor – follow the colored lines
  • Don’t assume a speed in which people will travel; it is variable according to ability and other factors.
  • Consider repeat and regular routes – and short cuts

Being aware of your location and how it relates to where you are currently has a significant outcome for the end result. Getting ‘lost’ in a maze of corridors and T junctions, with closed doors is not only frustrating, but also frightening. And if you are a member of staff, don’t just assume every one (new staff and visitors) knows where they are going. The ability to program the software to run the interactive way-finding digital signage, is unique but elementary to install (for an in-house computer department or external company).

Make a note of how many other buildings and public places use way-finding digital signage screens….Leisure facilities, medical centres, educational campuses and shopping malls…to name but a few.

Being able to give up to date information makes the wayfinding very useful: there may be building work in a particular area, or a hospital ward is closed, so this can be highlighted in ‘real time’. No waiting for a printed alteration, post-it notes over the affected area, or marker pen scribble! Keeping it simple is the key – too much information is hard to retain and process. Also have additional electronic boards in key areas, like additional waiting rooms, foyers and main departments. It can also be a platform for broadcasting local and national news, the weather report and advertisements, which can bring in additional revenue.

A good way-finding screen gives the establishment a positive opinion and if your business relies on positive feed-back then this is for you; at the end of the route people can interact with the screen, leaving a glowing review. Reducing stress, like at an airport, or dentist is essential for reassuring clients and patients into a sense of security and calm, able to face the next stage of their journey.

Using effective way-finding digital signage can pay off.

Indoor digital signage solutions.

Digital signage is a relatively new technology; there are many solutions for indoor digital signage use that many of the installations cover. From free standing signs and including interactive units to engage with customers.

There are many innovative solutions from wall mounted and free standing electronic signage, controlling them is key, usually if installed over an IP network, the hardware will have an ad player that is networked based, so the multimedia content can be updated using a web connection. The other option if not utilizing an IP network is to manually update the ads, ideal when only a few units need updating otherwise it is time consuming and not as efficient. Screen sizes vary and depend on the application, as it would be pointless using a small 21” display in a shopping mall, as these applications are to be seen from a distance.

Interactive digital signage, is another hardware solution, the solutions here can be again, either wall mounted or free standing. Screen sizes tend to be 40” and up, with screens in landscape or portrait. These units usually incorporate a PC that has the content and software embedded to allow the touch screen to operate. These can be either a Windows or Linux base platform depending on the digital signage software that the client wants to use. Some clients prefer one platform over another, now by supplying a PC the client to install whatever operating software they wish. Using touch screens tend to build up brand awareness with customers engaging with the content.

interactive digital signage

Wall mounted dynamic advertising, can be used in any location whilst minimizing the footprint that these electronic advertising signs take up. You may have seen them used in hotels, elevators and even rest rooms. Normally wall mounted advertising displays are used as a more affordable way to enter the dynamic advertising industry and have smaller displays. The media devices can either be internet enabled, 3G or just standalone. Sometimes these are installed in risky areas, such as schools and prone to damage, this is when an LCD enclosure should be used to protect the hardware, they are very effective.

But one of the best dynamic signs you can see is as an LED video wall, the best video walls are the ones that have a super thin bezel so the image is uninterrupted and looks as massive as it should be. Another option is an indoor P10 video wall these are in 3 foot square panels and can be tiled to any size. The advantage is that the thin bezel displays are configured with a built in controller, enabling the picture to be split on each screen. The P10 video walls have a separate controller than can be updated with WiFi, 3G or hard wired. One thing to always remember is when installing a video wall, you need to use dedicated video wall mounts, rather than cheaper wall brackets, and the main reason is that the displays will be lined up perfectly, rather than misaligned displays.

video wall

Deciding on indoor digital signage.

One of the factors will be cost, also is the project itself. So now you have the data and only you can make the decision for your indoor digital signage solution.

Interactive Digital Signage Solutions.

Who would have thought that interactive digital signage would move so quickly, since the launch of touch screen smart phones, the industry has been pushing interactive or touch screen technology to ensure the adverts engage with the viewers, now there are multiple solutions on the market, so let us look at some.

Pizza Huts Interactive Digital Signage Pizza Table!

Well we have all seen it now, this is a table that you are sat at, then you choose you’re topping s for your pizza pie, order it and then whilst you are waiting for the pie to cook, you can play interactive games on the table, perfect for time warping! One drawback I can see is that there is no interaction with staff at the restaurant, you could go out on a date and not even speak – good in some instances I suppose! The interactive digital signage table enables the customer to choose; the size of the pie, the toppings, the crust options, the portion of cheese they want and much more.

When is a digital signage kiosk, not a kiosk?

Well the quick and simple answer is, when it is used with a tablet device to provide digital signage, these tablets have touch screen displays so they are interactive. The tablets have a type of kiosk housing around them to make them look as though they are an integral free standing kiosk. These are being installed and used at many tourist locations, due to the effectiveness and affordability. Now all the cabling is kept hidden inside the housing as is the network connection to the tablet. The data is streamed through internet updates to provide, fresh, new content.

Outdoor interactive digital menu boards.

We have all been through the drive through diner, now all you need to do with one Quick Serve Restaurant chain is to check out the queue inside the outlet and if you do not like the look of the length of the queue, you can order through the outdoor digital menu board that has a touch screen, it is NEMA 4 and provides all year round protection from the weather and is also vandal resistant. These interactive digital signage solutions are ideal for this environment. Then go and collect your meal from the pedestrian collection point, screens of 47” are used and they have a high bright, back lit LCD display that is 2,500 candelas, bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight.

Now the weird and wacky – An interactive bus shelter!

interactive digital signage

By Bus Stop Wizard

These interactive bus shelters, allows people to play games on the displays hen waiting for a bus, these look cool but we can see a problem in the future, with many teenagers hanging around the bus shelters putting other people off using the public transportation. Would you want to hang around listening to them? I know I would not. The displays by Bus Stop Wizard are 72” in size and perfect for outdoor use, they are certainly vandal resistant and weatherproof. Content updates are carried out using 3G ad players, so content updates should never be a challenge again.

More information on interactive digital signage hardware including touch screen displays can be found at http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/topics/interactive-touchscreen/