4 Must-Know Wayfinding Trends This Year & Beyond

The key to successful wayfinding implementation is presenting a consistent experience across the network. This can only be accomplished through top-quality wayfinding design and strategy. As with most things design-related, each year there are new wayfinding trends that are being seen across the globe and that have the potential to make any wayfinding system more effective. 

If you are ready to improve your wayfinding system and enhance the visitor’s experience, read on for four must-know wayfinding trends this year and beyond.

1. Maximizing Data

More so than ever before, maximizing data collection is essential for effective wayfinding as it can be utilized during the planning stages of your program. The more thorough your data collection, the more powerful your wayfinding program will be, and the fewer mistakes will be made. Given that deploying a wayfinding system can be expensive, the more you can utilize your data collection, the better. 

For example, the right data sets can help you to understand how people use the space and can then enable you to customize the wayfinding experience for a user. The data can show you the most popular locations and search results, as well as spaces where you should develop better wayfinding. 

Maximizing data also helps in recognizing where physical signs need to be, where interactive wayfinding software is required, and which are the most popular routes around the space. In other words, this data collection is crucial for maximizing the potential of your wayfinding system.  

2. Omni-Channel Experience

Today’s consumers are genuine omnichannel shoppers, which means they want to purchase from retailers that have both a physical and digital presence. No longer do they solely conduct online research, or go to a physical location, or browse a brand’s social media presence; these consumers do all three. This not only affects your overall branding strategy, but it also relates to your wayfinding system as it is crucial that your wayfinding system and signage is consistent with your brand and also complements your customer’s online experience.

In some cases, much of the wayfinding information is included in smartphone apps, as it allows data to be given to individuals when and where they need it. Moving forward, wayfinding systems are not solely going to be used for directing people, but also for helping them to make more informed decisions. Larger structures (such as convention centers, hospitals, and shopping centers) are especially suited for this type of software as these are environments that individuals are likely to visit more than once. This increases the chances that they will actually opt to download the app. 

3. 3D Graphics

Each year, it gets harder to capture people’s attention and to make a good impression. After all, individuals are bombarded continuously with memorable experiences. Therefore, to produce an engaging experience, you need to utilize 3D graphics in your wayfinding signage. 

Not only do 3D graphics improve the user experience, but they also make for a pleasant and unique environment. This is a surefire way of getting your space shared and posted about on social media

By utilizing 3D graphics, you can easily cut to distinct shapes that reflect your brand identity and then place them around the space to signify particular areas and to incorporate more information. Well-designed 3D graphics in your mall wayfinding can transform your space into an enjoyable (and practical) place for visitors to be, and it certainly helps in offering a memorable experience. 

This is a wayfinding trend that is only going to become more prevalent in the future as more locations recognize the benefits that it brings. 

4. Augmented Reality

While Augmented Reality (AR) has so far had mixed results, there is no denying that it is becoming more intertwined with the wayfinding landscape. This is because it is much easier to navigate a space when you don’t need to be staring down at your screen regularly. Instead, visitors will be able to keep their eyes looking in front of them and listening to the directions. 

Developers around the world are working on apps that combine branding with functionality and help to get people where they need to go. For example, Google recently released its new AR map app to local guides for beta testing, while the San Jose Airport is testing a new platform that enables devices to use a traveler’s exact location without GPS or other external signals. These developments help to produce location-based augmented reality (AR) within mobile applications

Final Thoughts

Wayfinding design is one of the most critical aspects of your business, which is why it is crucial that you choose to work with the best. Encompassing 21 years of experience, DezignTechnic is a wayfinding, mapping design and signage consultant in Dubai, UAE, with offices in Paris, Lebanon, and Egypt. If you have wayfinding design needs, reach out to DezignTechnic today to learn more about what our team can do for you.

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