Jenn Gvozdek's blog

What Does the Mall Experience Look like Moving Forward?

Is the mall dead? It’s easier than ever to make this argument, considering the last 18 months of record ecommerce sales and the reluctance to shop in person due to the pandemic. However, industry experts believe the mall is ready for a comeback. It will look different, though, and leverage technology to create new experiences for shoppers.   Interactive experiences will replace anchor stores Since its inception, the mall concept has been built around anchors, which were typically department stores. Unfortunately, many of those traditional department stores have been on a slide for some time. Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Ascena Retail Group and Tailored Brands filed for bankruptcy in 2020. While they are still operating, they’ve all closed numerous stores and are rethinking their footprint.  With increased competition from Amazon, Target, Walmart and other ecommerce retailers like Etsy, department stores couldn’t survive. As they vacated malls, large spaces became vacant. Without the influx of new retailers, malls are now looking to reimagine the shopping experience with interactive experiences. One example is the Village at the West Oaks in Houston, which transformed a Bed Bath and Beyond into a new retail experience. Sesimique is an interactive art museum that’s family-friendly and full of wonderful surprises. Similarly,  Canada Goose, a luxury clothing retailer, created "The Journey: A Canada Goose Experience" at CF Sherway Gardens Mall in Toronto.  The space focuses on telling the story of the products, the people who where them, and the connection to the natural world. These immersive experiences won’t bring the mall back to its former glory. However, they will certainly attract more people to the space. Practicality Is Reshaping the Mall Footprint, Too While immersive experiences are an exciting possibility, other options are a bit more practical. Healthcare providers are looking at malls for plausible spaces, according to a 2019 report. Vision centers have people a popular fixture in malls for a number of years. With COVID-19 malls have become popular spots for testing and vaccines. Primary care, specialty care, labs and other services could also soon become permanent fixtures. In many cases malls provide greater convenience for consumers, including better locations, parking and hours.  What Digital Tools Can Malls Use to Entice Shoppers to Come Back? Brands have a significant opportunity to elevate the shopping experience with technology. Interactivity and engagement are key here. Some applications include: Interactive kiosks that deliver product information and deliver promotional and seasonal messaging. Read our Carhartt case study to see this idea in action.   Touchscreens that offer suggestions. Consumers may be looking for an opinion on what goes with this or what else they’ll need if buying one product. Smart touchscreens can deliver ideas that could keep shoppers in stores longer and buying more.  Interactive wayfinding that allows visitors to map their course. Additionally, information about the stores, such as current deals and promotions can be included. Another option with wayfinding is to guide customers to where they should pick up items purchased online, as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) will continue to be big for consumers. Crowd control digital communications that combine digital signage, IoT sensors and other technology are rapidly becoming popular. Such applications can manage queues better, so shoppers face less frustration. They can also tie into emergency notifications to alert in real-time. Digital menu boards in food courts streamline sharing nutrional information, menu items and specials, Additionally, they can be integrated into backend systems and programmed to change based on time of day, inventory, and much more. Large-scale digital video walls that deliver news, weather, infotainment and advertising. With high-quality, relevant content, these installations can garner attention.   Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) are another technology emerging in the retail world. AR and VR allow customers to digitally test products. Consumers have a high interest here, as 66% said they have an interest in AR for help with shopping.  The Mall of Tomorrow—Powered by Technology One thing that is sure about the mall of tomorrow is that technology will be pivotal to the transformation. From digital signage to kiosks to touchscreens, the Omnivex platform can help your organization. Explore our retail solutions.

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Part 4 Accessible Design

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Designing Digital Signage for Everyone PART 4: Accessible Design When thinking about accessible design interactive kiosks often come to mind. Interactive kiosks offer designers a lot of options when it comes to accessibility. In the last infographic, we talked about what you should know and consider before setting out to design an accessible solution. In this part, we’ll look at how design can help make your kiosk accessible. MAKE YOUR KIOSK EASY TO USE - ICONS, CONTRAST & FOCUS If you’ve ever used an interactive kiosk and been a little unsure what to tap next, then you’ve experienced a bad interface design. Good UI design is vital to a positive user experience, no matter who the user is. You can make the user experience better for those with disabilities by adding a few features. AN ACCESSIBLE OPTION Omnivex Moxie software enables you to easily create a solution that allows the user to customize how the screen looks. Let’s start with making an accessibility option. This is as simple as adding a button that says ““Accessibility””, or even better, using an icon. Icons are a universal visual language (more on that later) and, from a design standpoint, much more visual and can save space. A symbol or icon or the word ““Accessibility”” - both are good ways to identify there’s something here to make this experience better. HIGH CONTRAST OPTION So what are some options and controls you can add to your Accessibility menu? Features that help with the most common visual impairments are a good place to start. Again, use an icon, letters, or both. Providing people the option to adjust the contract so they can more easily read, adds a lot to their user experience. It’s easy to build layouts in Moxie and data-bind properties, such as background, fill color, text color, and be able to switch modes around at the press of a button. ADJUSTABLE FONT SIZE Add some options to adjust the font size. Predefined sizes, such as Regular, Medium, Large give you more control. But you can also add buttons that increase or decrease the font size with each tap, and set a limit on the largest font size possible, just so your overall design is still usable and cohesive. Ideally, your design will already . COLOR SCHEMES Color to a computer is just a hex code, and with Omnivex Moxie software, it’s very easy to data-bind the color of elements in your design and have those values change with the tap of a button. So why not have some more color schemes for those who see color differently? Whether it’s a black and white mode or a color-safe mode. Blue and orange is a good color combination for people with color blindness. Blue is a great color to use, as it usually looks like blue to most people dealing with color blindness - so blue and orange, blue and brown are good choices. Avoid red and green, green and brown, green and blue. USING ICONS - ICONS ARE A UNIVERSAL VISUAL LANGUAGE A famous American graphic designer, Paul Rand, created a version of the IBM logo with icons, visually lining up an image of an eye and a bee before the letter M, in the same characteristic style as their iconic logo. It’s a famous example of how we can use icons to communicate. Icons are great to use in kiosks, and they can help with accessibility. Just remember to use icons that are universal - don’t make people guess what they mean. And remember - all the rules of color and contrast apply to your icons as well! Don’t use an icon that will be difficult for people to understand. When using icons that are universal, such as an accessibility icon or an emergency exit icon, try to keep the colors consistent, so they are instantly recognizable. Don’t change something that’s not broken. DESIGNING WAYFINDING APPLICATIONS FOR KIOSKS - MAKE SURE THE DIRECTIONS ARE ACCESSIBLE Wayfinding kiosks are a very common digital signage solution that is widely used in shopping malls, campuses, and large facilities. Wayfinding kiosks guide people to where they need to go, so make sure the directions you provide are accessible. If people have to use stairs to reach certain destinations, point out in the directions the route is not accessible. Or think about labeling the buttons for accessible destinations - this will clearly tell the user which routes are accessible and which routes are not. View PDF of interactive design infographic!

Answer Heightened Patient Expectations Using Digital Signage

Information and context are critical when communicating in any environment to any audience. This is especially true in healthcare. Both the evolution of technology and the recent pandemic have dramitically changed patient and visitor expectations around information access in healthcare. For hosiptals, clinics and healthcare systems at large, digital signage provides an efffective tool for communicating important real time information. Does digital signage impact perceived wait times in healthcare? There have been numerous studies that support the concept that digital signage does reduce perceived wait times. The key to this concept is “perceived.” So, why do people think they wait less? It’s all about psychology. When people have some certainty around time, it passes faster for them. For example, if you’re a patient sitting in the ER and have zero information about an expected wait, you tend to immediately think that it’s going to be a long time. However, if a digital sign displays the approximate wait time and updates in real time, you have data that tells you what to expect. You’re managing perceptions, not necessarily reality. Patients and their families sitting and waiting for healthcare services are likely already anxious. If you can provide them with some parameters around time, you can help ease their stress. Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time Another aspect of wait time perception comes from distraction. Retail and restaurant are the industries known for these tactics. They use entertainment components in digital signage to engage the person in a queue. Healthcare can apply it in the same way. For example, you might want to lean more into the “infotainment” realm. You can provide patients and visitors with information disguised as entertainment around healthcare best practices.  Can digital signage help with healthcare crowd control? There are certain moments when healthcare entities will face high demand. Hospitals and health systems have been strained since the beginning of the pandemic. While the vaccine is now available, the U.S. is still seeing rising infection and hospitalization rates. What can healthcare organizations do to manage crowd control when there are demand spikes? Digital signage is an option and one that can communicate effectively to manage expectations. Using signage throughout the grounds and especially at entry points can provide patients and visitors critical data from the start. Those signs could provide anticipated wait times for the ER for patients or wayfinding messages about where individuals with specific conditions or symptoms (i.e., COVID-19) should head. Additionally, you might have overflow areas to help non-COVID patients and should point those people to the right space. Being able to navigate people to the right spot is crucial for managing crowds in healthcare spaces. Communicating in real time Real time information is critical and digital signage networks can be connected to a variety of real time data sources. Whether it is news and weather feeds or IOT devices or emergergency notifications, digital signage gets information to people when and where they need it. In the case of emergency notifications, such as fire alarms, digital signage can be used to provide supplementary information such as the best exit. Internally within healthcare facilities digital signage can provide critical staffing or scheduling information. Additionally, combined with IOT devices it can highlight whether rooms are free or occupied. In many cases this reduces demand on healthcare workers so they can focus on more important tasks. Digital signage solutions enhance the patient experience Healthcare facilities are often dealing with people under a high level of stress. Digital signage provides a vehicle to effectively communicate, answer questions, and provide clarity. Explore all the benefits of digital signage for your healthcare organization today. 

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Part 3 Interactive Design

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Designing Digital Signage for Everyone PART 3: Interactive Design When designing solutions for interactive kiosks, you have a bit more flexibility to customize and personalize the user experience, making the solution more accessible for everyone. With kiosk solutions built using Omnivex software, you can easily add options to move menu buttons to more accessible areas, integrate a high-contrast color option, or allow users to increase font size. MAKE YOUR KIOSK ACCESSIBLE - PLACEMENT MATTERS! Before you start designing your interactive digital signage solution, it’s a good idea to find out how it will be used. What kind of display? Will it have a portrait or landscape orientation? What kind of enclosure will it be encased in? For wheelchair accessibility, kiosks that are sloped, usually between 15 degrees and 20 degrees, are generally recommended. Sloped kiosks at this angle are generally easier to use. When a person is seated in a wheelchair, the maximum height for a safe forward reach is 48 inches. If using a standing vertical kiosk without any slope, ensure your design doesn’t require the user to reach higher than 48 inches, or lower than 15 inches. Know where it’s going to be, what the kiosk is going to be standing on, and determine where on your touch-screen your accessible area is. If mounting a touch-screen on a wall, make sure it does not protrude more than four inches from the wall. The minimum height should be 27 inches and the maximum height should be 80 inches. ALSO NOTE that these guides change slightly depending on whether there is an obstruction in front of a kiosk so, like any design project, get as much information up front as you can! MAKE YOUR SCREEN OPTIONS ACCESSIBLE This is where finding out all the information on placement, kiosk model, the environment it will be placed in - can be put to use to designing an interface that everyone can use. Let’s start with the accessible part of the screen. We know the maximum safe forward reach of someone sitting in a wheelchair is 48””, so it’s important that any options on the screen a user will need to tap are within the accessible 48”” area.   View PDF of interactive design infographic!

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Part 2 Typography

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Designing Digital Signage for Everyone PART 2: Typography As designers, it’s important to know who we are designing for. Who is our audience? Most importantly, who is our client’s audience? When thinking about typography and accessibility, think about how it may look to someone with a disability, whether they are visually impaired or dyslexic or any other disability, and how you can use your design skills to make your design more accessible. WHAT FONT SHOULD YOU USE? KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE IS KEY There’s really only one rule when selecting a typeface to use - know your audience. If you have a brand guide, then someone has determined the font you should use, and they’ve done that by doing the research into your brand’s audience and messaging and determining the font that best aligns with your audience. So stick with your style guide’s font. If you are able to select a font, or trying to determine what font to use, then where do you start? The ADA does not offer a list of compliant fonts, but rather offers guidelines. Fonts used in signs should be sans-serif, with limited styles - no italics or obliques. Script and decorative typefaces are also not recommended. Decorative fonts can be fun, and they can be great to use in ads for events or products - again, know your audience. If you are creating a sign that communicates information to the public, such as directions, wayfinding, regulations, etc., then it’s best to choose a font that meets accessibility requirements. WHAT MAKES A FONT ACCESSIBLE? IT”S MORE THAN JUST A TYPE You’ve probably heard this piece of advice before (we’ve already said it above, in fact) - when designing for accessibility, it’s best to use a sans-serif font. And it’s sound advice. ADA standards state that public-facing signs should use a sans-serif font. But what makes sans-serif fonts more accessible? And are all serif fonts equal when it comes to accessibility? INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION It’s not as simple as just choosing a sans-serif typeface over a serif typeface. That’s important, but choosing the right sans-serif typeface helps. The design of characters in a typeface go a long way in determining a font’s accessibility. Avoid typefaces that use mirror opposites for some characters as well - lowercase letters d and b tend to mirror, as do lowercase p and q letters. Typefaces that have distinguishing characteristics in these letters are more accessible. ASCENDERS & DESCENDERS AND WHY THEY”RE IMPORTANT If you’re a typography geek, you know what ascenders and descenders are. But if you’re not, ascenders are the parts of lowercase letters that extend beyond the x-height of a font. Descenders are parts of characters that descend below the baseline. For people with disabilities, some letters can be confusing. Properly designed characters with prominent ascenders and descenders aid in legibility, as they help make their characters easily identifiable. Selecting a font family with distinct ascenders and descenders is a great place to start. KERNING FOR ACCESSIBILITY - ADJUSTING THE SPACE BETWEEN We can’t talk about the importance of unique character design without also talking about the space between letters in a font. Kerning is the space between your letters and, just like uniquely designed characters, can help a great deal with your design’s legibility. Tight kerning typically results in a lower legibility. Letters lose their uniqueness and the separate letter shapes become harder to visualize and distinguish. In extreme examples, such as the one above, people without disabilities would experience reduced readability. Font designers spend a lot of time designing their characters, but when deciding on a font, check the natural spacing between the letters, and look at how some letters naturally line up with each other. LINE HEIGHT AND LINE WIDTH In addition to the space between letters being important, the space between line in a paragraph is also important. Try to use line spacing of at least 1.5 times the font size. While paragraphs of text are not common in most digital signage applications, they do exist, especially in news story feeds and some types of announcements. Also, try to keep the width of your lines between 40 and 55 characters when laying out. View PDF of typography infographic!  

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Part 1 Color in Design

Accessibility & Digital Signs - Designing Digital Signage for Everyone PART 1: Color in Design There’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating accessible digital designs. If part of our design isn’t clear or visible to part of our audience, then why is it there? Part of designing with color is using color correctly so that the key message is clearly legible to everyone. Setting proper contrast between elements in your design helps, so let’s take a look at a few tips on how you can use color to improve the accessibility of your designs. CONTRAST RATIO - CONSIDER CONTRAST WHEN USING COLOR Contrast is the difference in perceived brightness (or ““luminance””) between two colors. When dealing with multiple objects, such as letters on a background, it is expressed as a ratio, and ranges from 1:1 to 21:1. The ratio helps you determine how legible your text is. This is a standard used extensively in website design, and can easily be applied to digital signs. Check out the infographic below for more information and examples on contrast. HOW DOES COLOR BLINDNESS AFFECT YOUR DESIGN? AND HOW CAN CONTRAST HELP? There are three main types of color blindness - red-green, blue-yellow, and monochromacy. Red-green color blindness is the most common, and falls into different categories: Protanopia (people can see no shades of red), Protanomaly (people can see some shades of red), Deuteranopia (people can see no shades of green), and Deuteranomaly (people can see some shades of green). Check out the infographic below for more information and examples on color blindness and digital signage. SELECTING COLOR - SOME TIPS FOR SELECTING COLORS IN YOUR DESIGN  Focus on your contrast ratio - make sure your design meets the 4.5:1 ratio. Think of everyone when creating your design - avoid color combinations such as green and red, green and brown - think of the different types of color blindness and how your color combinations may be seen by someone with color blindness. Check your design against a color blindness simulator to see if parts are murky or hard to distinguish between one another. View PDF of infographic!

Powerful role of digital signage as stadiums reopen for business

Powerful role of digital signage in stadiums and arenas Live events and sports are back, and most fans are eager to return. A recent survey found that over half of respondents polled are ready to return to stadiums within the first few months of reopening. However, there are some caveats, and apprehension persists. Many polled still want social distancing in place and safer experiences. They also want an elevated fan experience. There are technology solutions for these challenges, and the role of digital signage will be significant.  Digital signage will have both existing and new applications as stadiums and arenas welcome fans back. For example, they can offer real-time guidance to support crowd control and long queuing, facilitate food and beverage orders, and engage attendees in new ways. Wayfinding, crowd control, and managing queues Stadiums have adopted digital signage for wayfinding, but new opportunities can make this more valuable. When you integrate it with IoT (Internet of Things) devices, you have more context. It’s real-time information that supports more effective crowd control. Some applications include: Wait times at restrooms, concessions, or team stores Least-congested exit path identification to help disperse crowds in a more organized manner Seat availability notices for events that open seating Path optimization for guests depending on where they enter and their seat assignment All these things make getting where you need to do more efficient. It also helps alleviate worries about social distancing, providing alternative routes. Ordering food and beverage One big complaint many stadium attendees have is how long it takes to get food and drinks. Digital signage can help with this. First, as noted above, they can communicate wait times. Second, it can act as a menu and showcase all the food vendors available and how close they are to that person’s seat. Third, you can integrate ordering apps with digital signage, so visitors can order and pay for their food from their phone. Then when it’s ready, they’ll view it on the screen and in the app.  This process is convenient for attendees and could boost revenues for concessions, as well.  Engaging fans with interactivity  Digital screens are a means to engage. The content can be rich in animation and movement to get their attention, but fans returning to stadiums are ready and expecting immersive experiences. They can act as screens for replays or close-ups of performers but in new ways that show unique angles that you’d never see at home.   They are a vehicle for involvement. Use them for games and giveaways during breaks in the action. Another option is interactive screens throughout the venue that can allow fans to check out the merchandise, look at upcoming games or events, or view facts about the team. While these have traditionally been touchscreens, some visitors may be hesitant to do this due to germ concerns. Instead, integrate it with their smartphone and let it be the controller.  Stadiums can welcome back fans with new and improved digital signage applications The world of live events looks much different now, but there are many opportunities to make fan experiences even better. By using digital signage to manage crowds, simplify food and beverage ordering, and create immersive moments, your visitors will be elated to be back in their seats. Find out how Omnivex can help your stadium optimize digital signage. 

Digital communications experience at colleges

What will the digital communications experience look like as colleges reopen? Colleges and universities will reopen their campuses this fall after substantial disruptions to “normal” campus life. As new students begin their university journey and others return, how these institutions communicate will need to evolve to meet new expectations. One medium that colleges have used in the past—digital signage—will again be a tool for messaging. But how will they leverage these solutions, and what will the experience look like in this new era? The desire to seek information digitally hasn’t changed Most students are from generations that are considered digital natives. Technology has been a major player in their lives from day one. Their smartphones are always on, and they expect communications in digital formats. The pandemic didn’t change these feelings, as they adapted to full-scale eLearning, and they may even need to acclimate to being back in the classroom and on campus.  They’ll look to digital communications even more now and have new expectations about how they interact with it. One probable trend is that this will no longer be a one-way communication vehicle. Let’s look at some expected trends that will reshape the use of digital communications in higher ed. Digital signage and mobile app integrations Apps are foundational to how the modern world operates, and it makes sense to empower integrations between apps and digital signage. There are many opportunities in higher ed, specifically in improving communication between their library of apps and digital signage. For example, if a university has a scheduling app for students to keep up with their class schedule, it could sync with a wayfinding sign to figure out the best path to that location, taking into consideration other pieces of data like weather and crowd size.  Another option would be a dining app that sends information both to the foodservice provider and digital signage. Students know when their order is ready, because they see it on the screen. It could also communicate expected wait time to them before they order.  Real-time messaging remains a key part of higher ed digital communications One of the most powerful applications of digital signage on a campus is its ability to share real-time information, including transit schedule, news, weather and emergency alterts. Many times, these emergency alerts act as a secondary communication channel complementing texts or emails. Digital signage can tie into backend systems and alarms that automate this messaging.  It’s been key in alerting to severe weather, active shooters or building outages. Colleges and universities could find it’s a suitable means to communicate health information regarding COVID-19 clusters or other contagious diseases. Campus health organizations have this data, and an alert regarding outbreaks doesn’t break patient confidentiality, as, in this case, it’s a public health concern.  IoT’s impact on digital signage Connecting digital screens with other technology isn’t new, but colleges and universities have adopted it less than other industries. However, it can bring real value to their communications, because the information from IoT (Internet of Things) devices provides context. IoT and digital signage could work together to provide real-time information on availability.  The known use case for this is something like parking or traffic. However, schools could take this a step further and deliver data on wait times to reduce queuing issues or other limited space areas, as social distancing continues to be critical to reducing the spread of illness. No one wants to wait, and the traditional sense of a “line” is in the past. New technology allows for better processes, and using digital communications in this way has proven to be effective.  IoT can also minimize touching for kiosks. Users can use their smartphones to control the screen. Voice activation is also an option. The world went from touching everything to wanting to touch nothing at all, and that’s likely going to linger. Amplification of student voices Decades ago, the way to get the word out on campus about an association or meeting was to tape a sign on a post or pin it to a bulletin board. Digital signage makes sharing information signficantly easier. Digital information screens spread across campuses provide a great way to clubs, faculties, sports teams, and even the administration, to share events and other important information. Integrating these screens with social media enables individual students to share their own messages and get them more involved with school. Digital signage software provides tools for submitting content and approvals workflows. Crowd control and convenience at events The social aspect of being in college is why so many students are eager to return. Cheering for their school on game day, attending productions and other events will look slightly different. Most should be at full capacity, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the need for crowd control and convenience.  On the crowd control front, digital signage can elevate wayfinding by advising where the least congested exits are or where seating is available. For convenience, mobile apps could play a role in ordering food and drinks from seats, reducing congestion in popular areas. How will colleges use digital communications to engage students and manage information? As a decision-maker for any higher ed institution, you face challenges for the 2021-22 school year. Some are new, while others persist. Keeping students informed and engaged is critical, and digital communications are a great tool to have. Explore how Omnivex can help your college or university today. 

You have 99 problems, but information isn’t one of them

Digital communications platforms have the power to transform organizations. They enable companies to efficiently collect, process, and deliver targeted information to customers and employees on any screen. Digital communications drive action and help deliver results by connecting an organization's two most valuable assets: people and data. Using digital communications organizations can solve problems in ten different areas, from safety to culture to customer experience. Safety The safety of customers, employees, and visitors is an essential concern for all organizations. By providing timely information to employees, customers, and visitors businesses can protect their well-being and welfare. Digital communications can improve awareness and enhance emergency preparedness, through real-time alerts on any screen. Additionally, digital communication can provide periodic updates on the status of an emergency situation to keep those affected informed of what is going on. Compliance Businesses must take the precautions required to manage compliance and communications both within their organizations and with outside parties. From FDA compliance in restaurants to ADA compliance to health and safety regulations, companies must keep up with changing rules and regulations. A robust digital communications platform can help in this effort, allowing businesses to meet regulatory requirements, improve communication with employees and customers, reduce costs, and manage complexity. Employee Engagement Delivering information has always been essential to running a business. However, traditional channels like paper memos, emails, and company newsletters are no longer effective. In fact, they can negatively impact employee engagement. On the other hand, digital communications deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Real-time Information empowers employees to make better business decisions more quickly. This information can include key performance indicators (KPIs), news, weather, and emergency notifications. You can also share more evergreen content reinforcing goals, creating awareness of policies and values, and highlighting customer success stories. By delivering information to a variety of devices, employees become more likely to check in often, even after hours or when working remotely. This emphasis on digital communications is affecting employee engagement. A Gallup study found that 34% of US workers are engaged, the highest proportion in Gallup’s history. This relatively modest number, however, indicates the untapped potential in reaching the majority of the workforce. Gallup researchers found that work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity. Productivity Organizations dedicate significant time, resources, and money to collecting and securing their data. Unfortunately, much of this data sits unused because it’s challenging to search and retrieve. With a powerful digital communications platform data can be easily accessed and used strategically. The result is increased productivity, improved decision making, and better company performance. Digital communications help increase efficiency with visual dashboards and KPI screens while reducing errors by empowering employees with key information and stats. The business case for creating a digital workplace is compelling. The Harvard Business Review reported that organizations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive than those without these tools. McKinsey Global Institute recently found that using social technologies to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration had the potential to raise the productivity of high-skill knowledge workers by 20-25%. A digital workspace that easily connects employees with data from any location is a powerful way to increase productivity. Culture From platforms like Skype to digital signage to mobile devices, digital communications are having a profound impact on organizational culture. Emails, printed memos, and even intranet sites are no longer meeting employee expectations. They want personalized real-time information where and when they need it. By embracing digital communications companies can reduce communication barriers, improve productivity and enhance company culture. Many studies have highlighted the significant benefits transparency and knowledge sharing have on the workplace. In an era when many companies have a dispersed workforce communication has become paramount to the success of the business. Costs In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, margins are tighter than ever. Real-time monitoring and communication across the business can be made more efficient and cost effective by leveraging digital communications on screens across the organization. Screens can provide real-time production alerts and metrics, enable dynamic inventory location and monitoring, and optimize inventory levels. Using digital communications also eliminates the costs associated with distributing and updating print media. Finally, these platforms allow employees to monitor operations and compare them to key targets and statistics. Employees can quickly find the source of a given problem and access useful data to make better decisions, eliminating wasted dollars. Revenue Digital communications not only reduces costs it can drive revenue growth. Providing employees access to tools that aids decision-making empowers them to make smarter choices backed by information. This information might include real-time operations and market results, as well as increased awareness of competitor’s product offerings or services. With digital communications organizations can make timely adjustments to plans and campaigns to meet the changing needs of their customers, raise awareness of product offerings or services, improve sales through cross-selling and upselling, and drive revenues with advertising sales and promotional messaging. Customer Experience Strengthening the relationship with an existing customer is an easier way to increase sales than signing a new customer. Digital communications provide a powerful tool for gathering information on your existing customers and engaging them with relevant real-time information on any screen. In an airport this might include location-based information such as arrival and departure times, cancellations, and delays. For retail customers, digital communications help employees provide better customer service by linking inventory and POS to show what is available. In a service industry, visitors can get real-time updates on their place in line and be entertained with news, weather, and other content while they wait. Finally, in any business digital screens can be used to help visitors quickly navigate through buildings with interactive wayfinding or to help themselves using a self-service kiosk. Information Management In business today, there’s no shortage of data but it is only valuable when employees use it to make decisions. However, ways to effectively manage information are in short supply. An effective digital communications platform enables an organization to collect, distribute and present information across a network of screens from one central location. It empowers employees by allowing them to update and make changes to digital communications content without help from the IT department.  Software and Technology Each organization needs to decide which information management tools are the best for its unique business needs and goals. First, a company should examine which technology it already has in place and consider how well it is serving the organizations' needs. They should evaluate solutions that fill the gaps and ensure they aren't likely to become quickly outdated. Finally, it is important to choose a trusted partner that can provide installation, upgrades, troubleshooting, and security to make the most out of the investment.

Digital signage enhances guest experience in hotels

6 ways digital signage enhances guest experience in hotels Digital signage makes perfect sense for hotels because it can inform, entertain, and even perform some services for guests. Today's digital signage solutions are very easy to use and provide crystal clear images your guests will appreciate. Here are several ways digital signage enhances guest experience and general hotel operations: 1. Advertising If your hotel has multiple restaurants or bars, digital signage is perfect for informing guests about their options. While waiting to check in, a guest view dining options, learn about hours and specialties, as well as any special events like live entertainment. Additionally, digital signage can advertise your in-house fitness center, spa, retail stores, and convention facilities. 2. Interactive kiosks Interactive digital kiosks can take care of "concierge" services quickly and cost-effectively. For example, such an interactive display could be used by guests to make dinner reservations, or to reserve tickets for a nearby movie theater or choose among attractions and learn about show times, operating hours, and admissions. Also, if your hotel is near popular tourist attractions, your staff may spend significant time repeating information to guests, and this can take time away from critical hotel functions. Digital signage is perfect for conveying information about nearby attractions.  3. Schedules Hotels that host business functions can use digital signage to display things like conference schedules and directions to registration tables. Electronic "door cards" are small reader boards used near meeting rooms to identify events, meeting times, and speakers. Additionally, digital signage in public areas can display local transit schedule, real-time flight information, and other important details for guests travelling. 4. Real-time information Digital signage displaying real-time local and national news and weather can be placed in your lobby to keep guests up to date on big stories. People on vacation or attending business functions may not have time to keep up with news like they do at home. An architectural video wall in your lobby can provide welcome information with a serious "wow" factor. 5. Crowd control Hotels are busy places with hundreds, even thousands, of people move throughout the facility each day. In the wake of COVID-19, controlling crowds is critical. Digital signage takes the pressure off staff trying to manage crowd control. It can assist in tracking people entering and leaving facilities, particularly in conjunction with IoT sensors and integrations. Important capacity information can easily be shared on any screen.   6. Directional signage Hotels are facilities cover thousands of square feet and often multiple buildings. Digital signage can be used to help people get where they need to go quickly, efficiently, and without need extra staff available to provide directions. Interactive wayfinding screens enable guests to locate where they want to go and plot the best route to get there. Digital screens can also be quickly update to reflect changes in the facility such as maintenance or renovations. The screens can also be quickly taken over during emergency situations to provide important information.   Whether you operate a small, independent hotel or are part of a large hotel enterprise, digital signage solutions exist in the right size, configuration, and price point for your needs. Not only can these systems engage and inform guests, they can be used to keep employees informed too. The result: quick return on investment, happier employees, and more satisfied guests.


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