Hi, I’m Meredith and I’m the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at LogicJunction! I’ve just moved to Cleveland, the home of LogicJunction. The great thing about moving to a new city is all of the new things to explore. The downside? Trying to not get lost. I get lost all the time, and what makes that funnier is that I now work at a navigation company.
Though I had a great college experience, there was one thing that always drove me crazy: it was complicated to get around my campus. There was only one building that wasn’t made of brick, meaning every dorm, facility, and administrative office looked exactly the same. The streets all jumbled up and had similar names. When I came across LogicJunction, I didn’t even realize there was a solution that could proactively help people not get lost. And, of course, in just a few short days working here, I’ve realized just how important wayfinding systems are for public places, but especially for colleges.
Wayfinding refers to the general idea of enhancing a person’s understanding of where they are and guiding them to destinations. The most common example of wayfinding are signs that point and guide you to where places are, like in an airport. Wayfinding can also refer to maps, symbols, colors, and more. Digital wayfinding is the online version of wayfinding, such as using Google maps to get you to the nearest gas station or watching the monitor in an airport to see where your gate is. LogicJunction has a digital wayfinding system of interactive maps and routes that you can use with your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
I can only imagine all of the ways an app, or some type of digital wayfinding solution, would’ve been helpful for both students and visitors!
- Admissions office and prospective students. If I had a dime for every time a visiting family stopped me to ask for directions on campus, I’d be a rich woman. Universities want to be as welcoming to prospective students as they can, yet campuses are so widespread and lack intuitive signage and tools to make navigating easy for students and their families. Guided tours seem to be the preferred way to get the lay of the land if you’re new, but self-guided tours are becoming more popular. It would be extremely beneficial for admissions offices to offer more location-based information about the campus via a mobile app or other digital interactive directions. This would also be an impactful differentiator for the school.
- Construction. In my four years, there was never a time when the campus wasn’t undergoing construction. With so many one-way streets and odd walking paths between buildings, navigating around construction was extremely difficult. Digital wayfinding could provide instant updates to walking routes for students based on the timing of construction projects.
- New and existing students. It wasn’t until the second semester of my senior year, that I finally felt confident about the school and everything in it- until I had a class in a building I had never had a class in before. If an existing student can get lost, imagine how many times new students are getting lost? Having a wayfinding system accessible to students is important for all students, not the just new students.
- Events. Colleges frequently have guest speakers and events which can bring a lot of visitors, traffic, and guests on campus. Digital technology could provide real-time updates, which would help manage parking occupancy and pedestrian traffic to the event. Just think of how this would improve sporting events as well. Whether it’s an out of state team that needs directions, or a fan that’s looking for the nearest concession stand, or bookstore to get some pre-game swag, wayfinding technology could improve the accessibility of unknown places and help outsiders explore the campus.
- Department changes. There were a handful of departments that seemed to change locations every year at my college. Having a comprehensive system to store updated information about office locations would have saved me a lot of time and effort. This would have also promoted more engagement with professors with hard-to-find offices.
- From Uber pick-ups to Amazon deliveries. There are many one-time visitors to college campuses, for shipments and deliveries, the nightly pizza orders, and Uber pick-ups. Having wayfinding technology would not only ensure that your package is delivered to the right location, but also that your Uber driver could find you on campus.
- Campus services. I always received text messages from friends asking which dining facilities were open. With LogicJunction’s technology, college campuses would be able to combine important information about services and facilities into a wayfinding system. Which book store is closer? What is the dining hall serving for lunch? Has the weather limited the hours for the gym? Combining all of this information into a wayfinding system could greatly improve the student and faculty experience.
Thinking back on it now, there are so many ways that a mobile wayfinding app could improve the college experience and overall branding of the school.
- Providing seamless navigation from outdoors to indoors
- Reducing the time employees and students spend giving directions to visitors
- Reducing anxiety for new students acclimating to college life
- Saving time for all students by providing real-time information, maps, and routes
- Saving money on traditional signage and printed maps, which also reduces paper waste
I am excited to have launched my career at LogicJunction. The products and services we offer are relevant to today’s mobile-first environment, especially because people are looking for more personalized experiences in their daily lives. Many colleges are prioritizing their digital strategy because of changes in the classroom, campus design, and use of social media. While many educational institutions are talking about the importance of being connected to the outside world, maintaining a strong connection inside college communities shouldn’t be forgotten. Indoor navigation systems provide a strong foundation to keep people connected to their educational community.
Photo Source: https://www.collegeconsensus.com/schools/university-of-richmond/