Digital Wayfinding 101

EPISODE 43 | Guest: Jill Perardi, director of professional services for Visix

Wayfinding at its most basic level is simple – help people get from point A to point B. But there’s a lot more to effective wayshowing than just putting up a map, especially once you decide to go digital. Digital wayfinding needs to be well planned and well designed with the user experience always the priority.

The tradeoff for that extra work is that you also have more possibilities and options to engage your audience. In this episode, we’ll explore digital wayfinding options and best practices for static screens, interactive touchscreens and smartphones, and cover the basics of what you need to get started.

  • Start with a goal, a team and a plan
  • Maps: where to get them and what goes on them
  • Use color coding and landmarks
  • No touchscreen? No problem. Put wayfinding on static displays
  • Design for the user, environment and screen size
  • Weigh time and budget against the visitor experience
  • Consider ADA guidelines and mobile options
  • Use a voice user interface for hands-free interactivity on any screen

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Derek DeWitt: So, you enter into a new building or you’re going onto a new campus or something, you’re trying to find somewhere, you don’t know where to go. You start looking around. In the old days, we looked for signs, but now more and more we’re looking at screens. We’re looking at interactive wayfinding on digital signage in some way, shape or form.

We’re going to talk about what it is. We’re going to talk about how to figure out if you’re thinking of getting this or deploying this. We’re also going to talk about how to find out which option’s kind of the best one for you. And we’re just going to talk about wayfinding as a thing. To that end, we have Jill Perardi, creative services manager for Visix. Hello, Jill.

Jill Perardi: Hello Derek.

Derek DeWitt: Thank you for talking to me today, Jill.

Jill Perardi: Thank you for having me.

Derek DeWitt: And thank you everybody for listening.

Wayfinding. Finding your way, obviously. Uh, what is it?

Jill Perardi: What you just said! Wayfinding is finding your way from point A to point B, whether that be within a building or on a campus, a property; finding your way, learning how to get from where you are to where you need to go quickly and easily.

Derek DeWitt: Right. Like the most expeditious route. Right.

Jill Perardi: Absolutely.

Derek DeWitt: And, of course, in the old days it was permanent signs. Because it’s a whole thing. I know, SEGD and facilities managers, there’s a whole discipline devoted towards how to do it, what should the signs look like, what colors should they be, where should they be? It’s a whole discipline.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. As you mentioned, the SEGD, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design, they focus (and their members focus) solely on wayfinding and wayshowing. I’ve placed this sign here because it is showing me my way as I navigate through a facility, through a campus, through an airport or whatever it might be.

Derek DeWitt: Like you’re on the right track, keep going straight. (Wayshowing.)

Jill Perardi: Absolutely. And it could be signage. It could be a landmark, even, that’s telling me, okay, I’m going in the right direction.

Derek DeWitt: So, I’m looking around for wayfinding. Maybe I want to incorporate it into my digital signage. What do I have to think about? What do I have to keep in mind when I’m shopping around?

Jill Perardi: Well, there’s a couple of things you need to think about. First and foremost are the maps themselves because that’s what you’re trying to help somebody do, is navigate a location, so you need a map to help them do that. So, you want to put a little bit of thought into your map. We’ve talked about this on some other podcasts. There’s a lot of publications out there, a lot of articles about what you want to do on your map. But, without going into too much detail, make sure your map is labeled, the rooms on the map match the rooms or the placards outside the door.

Derek DeWitt: Accuracy would be useful.

Jill Perardi: Accuracy is helpful. Color code them if necessary. You can color code based on room type. A lot of customers like to do that. They like to do that. All of our meeting rooms are a particular color. But I really think that it’s useful if your environment matches that color. So, if you have a multistory building and each floor in this building is painted a different color, you see it a lot in parking decks or hospitals…

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure. Right. This is the purple deck.

Jill Perardi: Exactly. Make sure your floor maps match that.

Derek DeWitt: Oh, that makes sense. Because are people already going, “Purple?” Ah, purple! I see it”. Right, right.

Jill Perardi: Exactly. Make sure you have landmark icons on them. Things like restrooms, entrances, exits, stairs, elevators, escalators, ATMs, vending machines, lots of different landmark icons. Now, don’t clutter your map with them. But the important things that people need to find and know.

Derek DeWitt: There’s a broken outlet here. Careful, that stair is loose.

Jill Perardi: You know, you might want your defibrillators on the map because those are really important, but you may not want to put every fire extinguisher. Because then all of a sudden, you’ve realized that your map is very cluttered, and someone can’t find what they’re looking for. And it could be a life or death situation. Like they just need that defibrillator.

Derek DeWitt: Is there such a thing as, maybe you can have, like, I don’t know, you have all that stuff in there, but then it doesn’t default to showing that, but you tap a hotspot or a button saying, whatever “health and safety” and then that’s where emergency exits, the defibrillators, the fire extinguishers, those all show up? Meeting rooms: we don’t need that when I’m looking for that.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely you can do that. And that’s a great use for an interactive type of kiosk for wayfinding or a kiosk that you could speak to (doesn’t necessarily have to be a touch screen display). It could be something you speak to.

Derek DeWitt: Because it’s dirty. Yeah, dirty.

Jill Perardi: It’s dirty, or maybe it’s not in your budget. And so if you can speak to it and say, you know, “Hey display,” (you know, you’ve got your trigger word to talk to it), “show me all the health and safety locations.”

Derek DeWitt: Okay! Blink!

Jill Perardi: And there they are.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. What about say, that’s all within say a building, how about you’ve got a larger area, again, a corporate campus or a university campus. When you’re talking about landmarks, how many are we talking about, “Go to the big tree, go to the statue of the founder, hang a right”?

Jill Perardi: Absolutely. If you have a corporate campus that has some specific landmarks…this is where we have the founder’s mission statement.

Derek DeWitt: Right. Or some super expensive art installation.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, an art installation. If you’re a university campus and there’s a quad, there is a big statue of your mascot. You know, make sure that those are on your map because those are landmarks and features that can help your users navigate whether they are using an interactive touchscreen display; this is responsive and mobile and they’re using it on their phones, their smartphones. Or if it’s just on traditional digital signage, and they’re just looking at this but not interacting it in some way.

Derek DeWitt: With all the different possibilities out there, how do I even…? ‘Cause if you type in “interactive digital signage” or “interactive wayfinding” now; maybe 10, 15 years ago not so many things would come up in the search engine, but now it’s, there’s just so much.

Jill Perardi: There’s so many options now.

Derek DeWitt: How do I know…? Is it all about planning? You’ve got to plan it out ahead of time, what are you trying to accomplish?

Jill Perardi: Yeah. You have to plan it out. Set a goal, create a scope of work: what you want people to do, how you want them to interact or navigate, and really stick with that. But also, budget is really important. Because you may need to help people navigate through a building, but your budget doesn’t allow for interactive touchscreen displays or it doesn’t allow for the time (and therefore labor cost) to create a mobile website.

It doesn’t mean you can’t have wayfinding. It just means that you maybe need to do it a little bit differently and start by putting your well-designed, logical maps on traditional non-interactive digital signage.

Derek DeWitt: Okay. So, let’s say we have that. We’ve just got digital signage. We don’t have interactive screens and we’re not going to get them for at least another year, another budgetary cycle. What are some of the pros and cons of those?

Jill Perardi: Well, of course you’ve got your less expensive displays.

Derek DeWitt: Sure, they’re cheaper.

Jill Perardi: There’s no coding required. There’s no development required.

Derek DeWitt: All right, yeah, because it’s just a message.

Jill Perardi: It’s just a message, it’s just an image that you’re putting on your display. You are not paying a developer to make this all interactive. And when I touch this, this happens, or this shows up on this sized phone and scales down for that sized phone. You would need a designer to design your maps.

Derek DeWitt: In theory, if you’re incorporating into existing digital signage, you already one.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Or you may have great looking maps already that your facility management department has taken care of. If you are a university campus, I guarantee you there is a campus map on your website. Who has created that map? Get that from them, put that on your displays.

And so, you would need that. Because you want to make it look good and you want wayfinding best practices to come into mind, like we had discussed with the maps when you’re putting this up here. But it’s great just to be able to put that image of your map on your screen.

And maybe you have a building that’s a little bit complicated and so you have multiple digital signage displays because…. A great example of this: I worked once with a conference center, a small conference center. When you walked into the front door, you could go left or right to go to a different series of rooms. And then once you did that, there were a few little winding hallways in each direction.

They also sold space on their digital signage as ad space for whichever conference was booked at that point in time or whichever wedding was going to be in the venue. So, they would sell advertisements from sponsors at that conference, or they’d have a photo of the bride and groom, whatever it might be. So, they needed digital signage for that. And so, they zoned their screens. They had those advertisements on a portion of it and a map on another portion.

Derek DeWitt: Have one content zone that that’s the permanent wayfinding zone.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. And then they also had underneath the map, arrows pointing left or right for the different room banks. That’s not unfamiliar to us. You go to any hotel, you step off the elevator, there’s a sign with an arrow to the left or arrow to the right for the hotel rooms. This was just done digitally. And they were able to combine their sellable ad space on that same display, more bang for their buck.

As you walked down, those corridors, they had smaller traditional digital signage displays with the map only showing just that portion of the floor and the list of rooms that were beyond that, where that display was located.

Derek DeWitt: Right. Past the sign, this is what you’ll find.

Jill Perardi: Yep. Absolutely.

Derek DeWitt: Well, obviously there are some drawbacks.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. There’s no personalized wayfinding experience. I can’t walk in and touch that display and find where I’m going, and having a little line path drawn me to that location from where I am to where I’m going. I can’t touch and enter my mobile phone number and get a text message with written turn-by-turn directions. So, the personalized experience is a little bit less.

You really have to have some thoughtful design for readability. Particularly if you’re dealing with smaller displays or you have zoned your screen, make sure that that map…

Derek DeWitt: So, the map Is going to be smaller.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. Your map’s going to be smaller. And make sure the rooms, or the numbers that are on that floor map, are large enough for people to read.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. That’s the worst when you’re going, “Is that 16 or 18? I can’t… I guess I’ll just try them both.”

Jill Perardi: Yeah.

Derek DeWitt: Sorry!

Jill Perardi: If I’m showing ads every seven seconds, and then all of a sudden, my map appears for seven seconds, that’s not long enough.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, no! It would take me at least two seconds to go, “Oh, map! Oh, oh, oh, oh…” and it’s gone.

Jill Perardi: And it’s gone.

Derek DeWitt: Awww, grrr.

Jill Perardi: So, I wouldn’t recommend you mix your map with other items in the playlist.

Derek DeWitt: Make it a permanent sort of a thing.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. Yeah. And with any wayfinding implementation, whether it’s for traditional digital signage, an interactive display, a mobile phone, or even, you know, static signage, you have to have a plan. You have to have that goal. You have to have that scope. So just make sure that that’s considered and kept in mind as you’re planning for your maps on your traditional digital signage.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. I always kind of figure it’s the art of giving directions. You know, you have to anticipate what they’re going to be asking themselves when they get to a certain point.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. Put yourself in your user’s shoes and your visitor’s shoes. And if you’re in this building or on this campus every day, it’s going to be tough to do that. You’re going to forget because you’re so used to it.

Derek DeWitt: You’re like, “Well, yeah! And then you go around the big tree and you go down the path and you go past the petunias. Everybody knows that!”

Jill Perardi: Right. Ask somebody that’s new to your facility, “What was tough to find?” Bring a friend or a family member that’s never been through and ask them to find this room and watch them try to do it. And that goes for any kind of wayfinding implementation or deployment, from static signage to digital, to interactive or whatnot.

Derek DeWitt: Right. So, it seems to me like really the non-interactive screens, the static screens I guess we’ll call them, it’s a one size fits all solution. Here’s what we’re doing. We’ve done the best we can. It’s just a slightly more flexible version of the hard signage, the physical signage, that has existed all through, you know, before the invention of television.

You can do a lot more when you have an interactive touchscreen or kiosk, right? You said “personalized”, which is interesting. One source can show multiple routes and….

Jill Perardi: Absolutely. Show multiple routes, the best way to get there. The quickest way to get there, the way to walk there, the way to drive there.

Derek DeWitt: Fly!

Jill Perardi: Yes. Take a bus. And there’s all kinds of things you can do for that. You could include a variety of directories. So, I’m not here just to find an event, I’m here to find an employee or a tenant.

Derek DeWitt: Or department.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. A department, a shop, you know, whatever it might be. I can choose from a variety of directories: one generalized destination directory or broken down by different types. There’s a variety of things that I can choose from. I can fit more information on the screen. Think about it as like a website; you’re playing with your website on your computer.

Derek DeWitt: Provided it’s, like, nested, just like with web links.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got, you know, nesting, I’ve got different buttons I can choose, different pages I can view. I can really click through and get a lot more information than I can just by looking at a screen and moving on.

Derek DeWitt: I suppose you could drill right down. “Where is it? There it is. There’s a picture of it. I got it. Okay. Now I know where I’m going.”

Jill Perardi: Yup. And you can also include things to kind of build on that. Like, and I mentioned this earlier, text message integration or QR codes.

Derek DeWitt: Which means it sends the directions to your phone.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. Sends the written turn-by-turn directions to your phone. Or even takes it a step further and gives you that whole project that I was just playing with on an interactive touchscreen on my phone, responsively. It scales down to the size of my smartphone, to the browser in it, and I can walk away with it and take that with me. Or take a part of it. Maybe you don’t want to include all of your directories, but you want to include the floor maps or the property map or the campus map.

Derek DeWitt: There must be some negatives. Obviously, they’re more expensive.

Jill Perardi: Yup, absolutely. They’re more expensive. You are going to have, for sure, designers and developers in this instance.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. Barbara the administrative assistant’s probably not going be up to the task.

Jill Perardi: She might update the directory later.

Derek DeWitt: Right. But she’s not going to build the code.

Jill Perardi: Probably not, no. So, you’re going to need designers and developers involved in this. You’re going to want designers that can take that floor map, and even if it’s a well-designed map from your facility managers, like we had talked about just a minute ago on your traditional, or your static signage, they’re going to want to design that so if you have the ability to take your thumb and forefinger and pinch to zoom, to make it larger, we need a designer to make sure that that doesn’t become pixelated or it’s stretched.

Derek DeWitt: Or it’s such a big file that when I do that, it freezes up for three, four, five seconds while it renders.

Jill Perardi: Right, right. Yep. And your designers, your developers, can help prevent that. Your designers are going to design with wayfinding best practices in mind. They’re going to make sure that that landmark is on the map. They’re going to make sure the buttons are where they need to be, or that nested table is where it needs to be to interact with it. They’re going to make sure the overall colors of the whole project is designed for ADA and high visibility, that sort of thing.

But then you’re also going to need those developers to make sure this all works, and it all comes to life. And if I touch this, what I expect to happen actually happens. Those developers are also going to be able to integrate with your existing databases to make realtime updates to the directories. So, Barbara might be able to make updates to the directories if a developer creates a simple web tool for her to use as a database.

Derek DeWitt: Web form or a template or something.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. Or that’s not even necessary because it’s been integrated with your Active Directory or Exchange events or whatever it is. And it changes in realtime when someone else updates that information.

Derek DeWitt: Right. Update at one place and it feeds that info everywhere automatically.

Jill Perardi: So, yeah, a con is, of course, it’s going to require more design, more development time.

Derek DeWitt: And then if you’re, like you said, you’re kind of turning it into, maybe you could turn it into a responsive mobile offering that is essentially taking that, or a scaled down version of that, with you. That’s going to take even more time and energy.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. It does. Overall, it just takes more labor hours. You know, you’re not just designing for one or two displays that are the same size, aspect ratio, resolution. Now you’re designing for any user on any smartphone. If they want to look at it in a horizontal way or a portrait way, whatever is easiest for them, it all has to move and scale.

Derek DeWitt: Ah, I hadn’t even thought of that.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. So that’s going to take more time, but that’s a really positive thing to have because maybe you have the budget to do something like this, but you don’t want interactive displays all over your facility. Or maybe it’s an older historic building and, quite frankly, you just don’t have the electric or the networking that you can make those drops.

Derek DeWitt: We keep shorting out the power supply in the whole building and folks are starting to get angry.

Jill Perardi: Right. Or it’s some old stone building and you just can’t run a network cable anywhere you need to. And so responsive mobile is great for that. Put that touchscreen in your lobby, allow people to then view it on their smartphone as well.

Derek DeWitt: Right, it basically just sort of transfers the wayfinding to the phone. Thunk!

Jill Perardi: Yeah. It takes it off the display onto the phone and with them. And it’s, you know, easy to navigate because it’s been designed to do that. And because we’re all used to looking at browsers on our phones.

I think a pro of a responsive mobile site over a wayfinding app, because I’m sure some of the listeners are thinking, why not just do an app…?

Derek DeWitt: Well, you’ve got to download it. And….

Jill Perardi: Yeah, I need to turn on the GPS notification; by the way that drains my battery, so I’m just going to turn that off for now. I’ll remember to turn it back on next time I walk into this building.

Derek DeWitt: No, I won’t.

Jill Perardi: No, I won’t. I have to have my Bluetooth on if there’s beacons, you know, I need that to be enabled; that might drain my battery. I’m not going to remember to turn that back on. And I’m walking quickly, so those beacons aren’t even seeing me. Because, by the way, if you’ve ever walked behind me in an airport or a convention center….

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, you’re fast.

Jill Perardi: Yeah.

Derek DeWitt: You’re on a mission.

Jill Perardi: I used an app at an airport one time. And I was at the conference center, so at the far end of the airport, and they had just installed wayfinding and beacons. And I’m just a fast walker by nature. And I went all the way through the airport, not kidding, from one end to the other, from the conference center to my gate, through security, with my bag; the first beacon that saw me was in the gate as I was boarding the plane. So, you just have to keep that in mind.

And if you have an app, you have to assume someone’s going to download it and use the latest version. Whereas if I have this mobile site, I’m already at your touchscreen. Or I’ve just been given a URL in advance, so I just type that into my web browser. I leave it there. And when I open it up there it is. I don’t have to really do anything else.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. It’s always the updated version.

Jill Perardi: Exactly. It’s always updated. It’s there for me when I need it.

Derek DeWitt: Earlier you mentioned (or I mentioned?) you’ve got to kind of put yourself in the audience’s shoes. This stuff really is about user experience when all is said and done. I mean, yes, it’s nice to have a fancy, maybe even award-winning design, but don’t let that design get in the way of the…because this is a practical thing we’re trying to accomplish here. We’re trying to make it easy, and possibly even dare I say pleasant, for someone to maneuver through your facility or your grounds.

Jill Perardi: I hope it’s pleasant. You want someone to have a pleasant experience there. Some businesses rely on it, have to have it in order to receive additional funding. You know, patient experience, for example.

Derek DeWitt: Oh sure, yeah.

Jill Perardi: So, when you’re planning for any of these, non-interactive or static, traditional digital signage (I think we’ve used all of those; they essentially mean the same thing), a touchscreen display on your phone, whatever it is you’re planning for, just think about what kind of experience you would want to have if you walked into your facility, not knowing it.

Derek DeWitt: Not knowing it. Right. You walk into this facility as a stranger.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. What kind of experience would you want to have? My guess is that almost pleasant one.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. And if the answer is “No, I’d like to have a confusing and frustrating experience”, then seek help.

Jill Perardi: Exactly. But again, of course you have to keep your budget in mind. And so, think about ways, all right, well, our budget doesn’t allow for mobile, but does it allow for a touchscreen? Our budget allows for one touchscreen, but we think we might need more. Well, how about a touchscreen with that big project and then your static non-interactive, traditional digital signage displays elsewhere that’s just showing your map to augment?

Derek DeWitt: To augment and supplement and support.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. So, really what kind of experience would you want to have as a user, as a visitor, walking into that building or on that campus? And what can you as the owner of that building or the owner of this project, what does your budget allow for?

Derek DeWitt: Sure. So, we use a word like “pleasant” for something that is as unemotional as wayfinding and just getting around a space. So like, what are some of those, I don’t know, extras or little bells and whistles that I could…? ‘Cause I figured out my basics. Okay, I know how many displays I can have, which ones will be interactive which ones won’t; we’ve done some preliminary testing, but what are some additional things I can maybe tack on there?

Jill Perardi: So we had talked a little bit about, or a lot, about using traditional digital signage as well, whether that be your traditional digital signage is actually what someone sees on the screen all the time until they push a button, which we call a hotspot, that launches their wayfinding full screen. Or it could be the screen is zoned to show an interactive map or a non-interactive map, plus digital signage on the screen at all times. You’re kind of getting more bang for your buck with your displays in that way. Maybe you can talk to your displays. Not maybe you can, it’s a thing. So, you’ve got a microphone there. It’s listening for you. You say your trigger word, you know, “show me the map, show me how to get to the bank, show me how to get to the nearest restroom”…

Derek DeWitt: Just like Alexa or Google Home or one of these smart speakers.

Jill Perardi: Absolutely. It doesn’t just have to be directions and it doesn’t just have to be voice or touch. You know, you could touch a button to launch your social media. You could talk to it and tell it, “Show me Facebook”, and it shows you…

Derek DeWitt: If it’s web enabled.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. If it’s web enabled, it shows you the Facebook page. How do I get to X, Y, Z location? And it pulls up the property or campus shuttle, and shuttle map and shuttle schedule.

Derek DeWitt: There are three options. Please choose one now.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. Do you want daily messaging and visitor welcome messages? Do you want someone to walk up to it, and thanks to RFID integration, it knows it’s you, automatically?

Derek DeWitt: Ooh, that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

Jill Perardi: Some people think it’s cool, some people think it’s a little creepy.

Derek DeWitt: Creepy. I mean, it’s the “Minority Report”, you know. I don’t know, I mean it’s a little bit of both.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, it is. It is. So, I do CLEAR when I’m in an airport, which is basically I walk up and using my thumbprint, it knows it’s me. If it can’t see my thumbprint, which for some reason it only can…

Derek DeWitt: Because your body temperature’s bizarrely low or something.

Jill Perardi: Yes. Every other time it can see it, it scans my eyes.

Derek DeWitt: Really?

Jill Perardi: So, when I first signed up for this, my thought was, “They’ve got my fingerprints.” In a previous life, I worked with investments and securities. So, the government’s had my fingerprints for years. No big deal. Now it has my eyes. I was like, “Oh, that gets a little creepier.”

Derek DeWitt: Next year, your pancreas!

Jill Perardi: Yeah. But I have to say it is pretty cool because it’s a great way for me to navigate the airport and security quickly and easily, and get from point A, security, to point B, my gate, very fast.

Derek DeWitt: Just look here, great. You could actually have your arms full.

Jill Perardi: Yup.

Derek DeWitt: I got my arms full. I got kittens. I got emotional support kittens, 10 of ’em.

Jill Perardi: If you knew me well enough, you would know that I would not be carrying 10 emotional support kittens.

Derek DeWitt: Iguanas, I don’t know, whatever. There are a lot of balls in the air, potentially with something like this, so how do you…? And, as always with these things, no one person is going to do it; you’re going to get a team together. How do I sort of get it all organized and what’s the process to really, from soup to nuts, getting that thing perfect?

Jill Perardi: I’ve determined my audience. I’ve determined my need. I’ve determined my budget. I know where my displays are going. So now what? Get the right team together. Designers, developers, if necessary, who’s going to install your displays?

Derek DeWitt: Testers.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, testers. Who’s going to maintain the data later? Keep that database up to date if you’re using one and it’s not tied into an existing data source. Get your right team together.

Always remember the goals of the project that you’ve set before you’ve even gotten your team in place. You’ve thought through this enough, you’ve determined your displays and your types, you set your goals then. Always remember that. Always remember to define your audience. Again, you did that in the planning process.

Derek DeWitt: But do it again just in case there’s new information or what have you.

Jill Perardi: Yeah, absolutely. Then you start to gather the assets that are needed, whether it’s just maps, additional design for your traditional digital signage if you’re going that route, icons, directory data, how are we going to connect to that if you’re having directories? Choose a design style. Think about colors. If you want to use your brand, if you want to design for the aesthetics where the displays are located in and think about, again, the colors as things like high contrast. Are my colors going to be seen by someone who is colorblind, for example?

Derek DeWitt: Ah! Yes, yes, of course.

Jill Perardi: Yeah. So, make sure that you consider that in the design. You think about additional ADA regulations and guidelines. Like if this is interactive, where are the buttons placed? Can a shorter user, user in a wheelchair, interact with this just as well as a standing and taller user? If it’s non-interactive and this is on traditional digital signage, are these displays, and again, this is something you thought about in advance in the planning…

Derek DeWitt: Hopefully.

Jill Perardi: Hopefully. But are these displays too high where no one can see them? Are they low enough that they can be seen by everyone? That shorter user, user in a wheelchair or a typical standing user.

And then you have to implement, you have to test this. More importantly, you have to keep track of it and find out if this is even user-friendly. What you think might be a great map at the beginning you might find, as people start navigating through your building, it’s not helpful, or something needs to be changed and needs to be revised either based on building changes or just traffic flow changes.

Derek DeWitt: Right? Yeah. “Boy, when we were sitting around a table, planning this out, we sure thought this would be easy, but now that we are out there in the real world conditions, it turns out it’s not easy at all.”

Jill Perardi: Right. “And we thought everybody went this way, but it turns out everyone cuts through the coffee shop to get there because they want that cup of coffee on the way.” You may need to note that in some way.

Derek DeWitt: The wayfinding says, “Go through the coffee shop, and you must buy a coffee.”

Jill Perardi: Yeah.

Derek DeWitt: All right. So those are some ideas on how to really get some truly world-class interactive signage and wayfinding, no matter what your budget is, no matter how big or small your facility is (one building with a couple of floors, a big, big, tall building, or a whole bunch of buildings), whether you have a large budget, whether you have a smaller budget. And again, you can kind of, as I think you said before, you can start off a little smaller and then build out from there as you get the opportunity, as you get the team members or you get a bigger budget.

Jill Perardi: Absolutely.

Derek DeWitt: All right. Thank you very much for talking to me today, Jill.

Jill Perardi: Thank you, Derek.

Derek DeWitt: And we’d like to thank all of you for listening.