Dubai has become synonymous with ‘…the biggest...’, ‘...the greatest…’ or even’….the worlds largest...’ when referring to the construction and development of one of the worlds burgeoning economies. Coupled with that, not surprisingly is the vast array of huge building for residential, commercial and retail pursuits. As the worlds infrastructure grew and became more complicated, the evolution of digital maps took off. Today, almost any person from any background will have or will regularly use a tool like google maps or some form of ‘sat nav’ to find their way about town or indeed, the country. But what about when trying to find an office, a department in a huge company or even a store in one of the vast malls. Welcome to the world of digital wayfinding
. A solution to reduce time lost wandering internal route ways ensuring a positive experience for shoppers, customers or even employees.
But, how much does this cost?
When deciding on the design elements and subsequent cost, you will need to consider the holistic picture and multiple elements required. This will have a direct correlation on the affordability of your solution.
Area/Size of the location to be mapped
Requirements for unique or bespoke elements
Design of the customer interface
Custom made or ‘off the shelf’ products
Brand and or aesthetic requirements
Additional interface solutions (for example, mobile applications)
Being prepared to communicate these factors to a wayfinding solution provider is very important. Whether you have a defined budget or are looking for the complete no holds barred ideal solution, costs will vary depending on the scope of work in both programming, design and fabrication of hardware.
When looking at design elements, consider the long-term impact and avoid short cuts or cutting corners. Some interface units will have a more aesthetically pleasing look but may not be as user friendly. If it looks pretty but doesn’t improve the user experience it is not likely to deliver an ROI. Perhaps worse, a solution that negatively impacts the user experience can become very costly indeed.
Remember, the ROI from these types of solution is unlikely to be driven by branding but more from how the user experience translates. If a shopper finds exactly what they are looking for quickly, they will have more time and energy to shop on for example. In an office environment, having a happy customer arriving at the right location on time and unflustered may smooth the business process that little bit more to encourage a positive outcome.
Materials and customized elements will affect the price, but can also bring the design closer to matching the core values of the location. In some instances, this may be a pre-requisite to branding or company guidelines so be prepared to allocate the right resources to what you really require.
We are living in demanding times and working in an environment where innovation and ease of operation are essential. One of the most valuable assets all need to budget is time. By making yourself or your customers easy to deal or do business with, you can elevate yourself above the crowd and be a pioneer or a leader in a fast-paced environment.
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