Digital Maps: 4 Tips for Using Digital Signage to Get Around

Whether it’s in a mall, a museum, or a train station, people need a way to navigate large, complex places.  The traditional solution to this problem is the paper map, but it’s a solution that leads to a lot of litter and a lot of turned-around visitors.  mapMany of these locations are turning to digital stations that have maps and other information, but these have their pitfalls as well.  Here, we discuss four things to consider when designing and implementing a new digital navigation system.

1. Keep it simple!
If your digital system is harder to navigate than a paper map, it’s not an improvement. Test your design on customers and get feedback. Confusing digital systems only lead to visitors giving up—which means you’re not getting the return on investment you’re looking for by implementing digital signage.

2. Show all the options
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked at a list of food options at an information center at a mall, only to find half a dozen options while walking around that weren’t listed.  Include an easy-to-access list format and a search function, especially in a mall, where dozens of businesses are located.

3. Include a path-finding feature
A “get directions” option for each location will help customers navigate—this is really where digital technology has the leg up over a paper map.  While paper maps have to be spun around by an increasingly confused visitor, a digital map can draw a line from “you are here” to where the visitor wants to be, or give step-by-step directions.

4. Keep it working smoothly
When most visitors are used to the touch screens on their Smartphone’s, a little bit of lag time on a display can seem like forever.  A touch screen used by thousands of people each day needs to be sturdier than your typical mobile phone, but keep an eye on the technology and make sure you’re getting something that isn’t just plain frustrating to use.

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