Wayfinding is a strange word. It’s really an abbreviation for “finding your way.” It is used to describe systems that help you to find your way through a facility or venue using signage and directional information. It is as much an art as it is a science.
Wayfinding systems are expected to successfully direct people in widely differing circumstances and locations. Wayfinding must take into account how people read and process information, where they instinctively look for signs and how they interpret arrows. It must try to do that despite widely varying literacy levels, language barriers and disabilities of the people who will be attempting to follow the directions.
You may no longer notice it, but wayfinding moves you from the door of your favorite coffee shop to ordering to pick up. You also depend upon it to move you successfully through airports the size of small cities, from parking to the ticket counter to the gate. Wayfinding also moves you through hospitals, whether you are arriving calmly for a doctor’s appointment or are terrified and rushing to find an injured loved one in the emergency room. These are just some of the complex circumstances under which wayfinding must hold up.
Enter the mobile app for wayfinding.
Like everything else, mobile apps are improving wayfinding and putting easily understood directional information into the palm of the user’s hand. Whereas traditional, fixed wayfinding signage quickly becomes obsolete when facilities renovate and expand, wayfinding maps in mobile apps can be adjusted in minutes with the click of a button. Where the size of traditional wayfinding signage limits its ability to address numerous languages, a mobile app is in the language of the user. Mobile wayfinding solves innumerable problems inherent in traditional traditional wayfinding, not the least of which is cost.
That’s what we do – we solve wayfinding problems. SPREO has spent years investigating the psychology and science of wayfinding, its impact on businesses ranging from hospitals and stadiums to resorts and shopping centers. We understand the unique impact of ineffective wayfinding systems on hospital revenue and patient satisfaction.
Wayfinding is all about knowing your location
One major problem, and the key to successful wayfinding – is knowing where you are in relation to your destination at any point in time. That poses a difficulty for mobile wayfinding apps because GPS technology does not work indoor. However, SPREO solved that issue with a proprietary technology that enables indoor positioning accuracy. Users know where they are at any moment in time in relation to their entry point and desired destination. Our proprietary technology has made wayfinding agile, scalable, flexible and economically feasible.
Technology has brought wayfinding into a brave new world. Now facilities can respond to customer demands for easy navigation of large facilities. Management can improve revenue and avoid lost productivity (as staff loses work time repeatedly giving directions). Wayfinding is woven into the fabric of every business and we’re going to tell you how technology is moving it into the 21st century. Stay tuned to this space as we share with you our insights, industry research and information on wayfinding.