Will Digital Signage and Mobile Apps End Traditional Wayfinding?

digital signage

A posting on The Velvet Principle blog titled “Do Digital Screens and Mobile Apps Mean the End of Static Signs in Wayfinding?” raised an interesting question. The post made several good points about the ability of hand-help devices, coupled with dynamic and interactive digital signage solutions, to replace traditional interior signage for wayfinding information.

Let’s cut to the chase and say “no, digital signage and mobile apps will not replace static interior and exterior signage for communicating wayfinding information, but they will work together to drastically improve wayfinding solutions for years to come.”

The author concurs with us by making the following points:


  1. Relative cost – the installation and whole life cost of interactive digital signage displays (initial purchase of the technology, installation of data and power and ongoing running and maintenance costs) represent a significant investment over and above the cost of a standard architectural signage system.
  2. Reliability – whether in a museum or shopping mall we’ve all come across digital signage that for one reason or another aren’t working. However much the robustness of the technology improves there are more opportunities for service failures – from the screen electronics, to the data or power supply or the software itself.
  3. Service efficiency – an architectural signage directory or monolith can service the needs of several visitors simultaneously. By their nature, interactions between visitors and digital signage tend to be a one-to-one experience, and by comparison a high unit cost per service encounter.

We strongly recommend reading the entire post on The Velvet Principle blog titled “Do Digital Screens and Mobile Apps Mean the End of Static Signs in Wayfinding?” and making your own judgment.

In addition, we have written about the potential for digital signage and mobile apps to play a great role in wayfinding solutions on previous posts. Check our these posts:

Wayfinding Solutions in the Palm of Your Hand

Exciting New Technology Could Make “Hablo Espanol?” a Thing of the Past in the Signage World

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