Going Digital: Making the Move to Interactive Directories

Traditional printed, handwritten or analog building directories may still exist — there are plenty of examples in current deployment — but as digital solutions have become less expensive and more efficient over the last few years, even small businesses are beginning to make a welcome change to digital directories and wayfinding.

For those struggling to decide if it’s the right move for their company, it’s an understandable dilemma. After all, creating a digital directory system that increases efficiencies and solves problems for end users can be tricky; it requires balancing several different factors, ranging from design and engineering to software development. Just knowing where to start can feel like a project in and of itself. This means choosing the right partner is critical to the execution of a successful digital directory rollout for businesses of any size.

Starting with a company that has a full range of in-house capabilities, such as engineering and fabrication, can go a long way toward eliminating frustrations from the directory development process, as it creates instant efficiencies. Project management is handled by one point of contact, streamlining communication from design to deployment, saving time and money, while eliminating many of the pitfalls that stem from the participation of multiple players — in particular, communication failures that often translate into expensive mistakes.

Once a partner is chosen to create the new digital directory experience, it’s important that they conduct a thorough interview to understand both the client’s and end user’s needs. For instance, what does the client see as being the primary problem with the directories as they are currently deployed in a given environment? Is it that they require updating frequently which takes too much time? Are they not accessible enough? Do they not have the ability to showcase enough relevant information?

From the perspective of the end user, what types of information is important? How do they use the directory now, and what changes might make them more useful in the future? Are the convenient/easy-to-use/accessible? The answers to these questions will inform not just the UX and therefore the software development, but will also assist the industrial designer with creating the overall concept, and the engineer in bringing that design to life.

One of the greatest advantages of using a fully-vertical manufacturer is that once the design is finalized, the rest of production should be seamless — parts are fabricated, various hardware components integrated and the unit as a whole finished via a range of processes that may include anything from powder coating to printed graphic “wraps”. The most complete kiosk providers — like RedyRef — can also customize software to create the best-possible functionality and user experience, then deliver the digital directory right to its installation point.

If the simple, turn-key scenario presented here seems impossible, then you haven’t met the team at RedyRef. If your company is ready for digital directories, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 628-3603 and let us show you the difference choosing a vertically-integrated kiosk manufacturer can make to the entire kiosk development process.

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