Implementing the right wayfinding strategies into your business operations not only makes your working environment more accessible to clients and visitors, but will only work toward boosting overall efficiency. But depending on which industry your company operates within, a fair question you may be asking yourself is whether digital wayfinding or physical signage is the best wayfinding resource for my business?
Both digital wayfinding software and physical signage have their pros and cons, but choosing between the two depends on a variety of factors that all relate to catering to the navigational needs of your clients, patients, visitors, etc. To get a better feel for which wayfinding strategy aligns most with your company’s operations and practices, here’s a quick breakdown of whether interactive digital wayfinding or physical signage best suits your business.
If you’re managing a high-traffic environment such as a hospital, airport, or mall, ensuring that your clients or customers are receiving relevant, up-to-date information regarding their environment is an essential part of the job.
While physical signage can point anyone in the right direction, digital wayfinding systems can provide real-time updates on any crucial information relevant to customer needs, while also operating as essential navigation resources. Digital wayfinding signage can also be wirelessly managed, allowing for businesses to immediately upload custom content and navigational announcements, right on the spot.
The primary objective of any physical wayfinding signage is to keep customers or guests informed on their whereabouts. While that’s also a primary objective of digital wayfinding signage, the main difference between the two are the seemingly infinite amount of options digital wayfinding provides when it comes to providing descriptions, information, etc.
A physical sign can only show a viewer so much, typically displaying arrows, maps, or legends of a facility’s interior or exterior surroundings. Digital wayfinding on the other hand offers distinctive descriptions in addition to an array of mapping features, allowing users to not only know where they’re going, but gain a better understanding of their newfound environment.
Depending on your working environment, certain customers or guests may need more assistance when it comes to helping them find their way. With physical wayfinding signage, your accessibility options are limited, especially for any clients, patients, or guests who are elderly or living with a disability.
Digital wayfinding designs allow for more customizable routing and mapping options, even possessing the capabilities to link with a user’s smartphone to provide a 3D, personalized route to wherever they need to go, displayed directly on their phone. With more personalized routing and navigational resources, your guests can efficiently find their way around your facilities without having to inquire or bother staff on their whereabouts.
A big reason most businesses in need of wayfinding solutions choose to work with physical signage is because they believe it’s a cheaper investment than digital wayfinding systems. That perspective certainly fluctuates, depending on your specific ROI goals and needs.
For starters, having to frequently change or edit all of your static sign content will only reduce your long-term ROI, as updating physical signs will require a new purchase for every alteration you need to make. When you work in an environment that’s constantly changing or adapting to new rules or regulations, having to constantly update physical signage can be as expensive as it is annoying.
While digital wayfinding systems may come with more expensive upfront costs, the long-term gains that accompany virtual wayfinding solutions will pay themselves in the long run. These features include custom content design and development, accompanied maintenance check-ups, hardware and implementation assistance, and a wide variety of other accommodations that simply can’t be experienced with physical signage systems.
At the end of the day, improved efficiency and synergy is the overall goal of any wayfinding system. With digital wayfinding strategies, your business or facility inherits a resourceful system that’s intended to provide clients and guests with all the information they need to know about their current environment, freeing up extra time for staff to stay focused on their own tasks at hand. The less time your employees spend attending to customer or patient needs, the more time they can efficiently use to maintain the order of operations.
Digital Wayfinding Solutions from Express Image Digital
Businesses of all sizes and industries have something to gain from custom digital wayfinding strategies. If your current wayfinding system is in need of an upgrade, Express Image Digital has the team, experience, and resources to provide your business with personalized digital wayfinding solutions designed to unlock your efficiency potential.
Contact us today to learn more about all of our digital wayfinding services, or call us at 651.237.5677 to schedule an appointment.